Wall That: More New Murals Pop Up in Vermont | Visual Art | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Wall That: More New Murals Pop Up in Vermont


Published August 30, 2017 at 10:00 a.m.
Updated September 12, 2017 at 9:58 a.m.

Clark Derbes mural at Tapna Yoga
  • Clark Derbes mural at Tapna Yoga

Earlier this month we told you about five new murals around the state. It didn't take long for even more to pop out of the woodwork — or, often, brickwork. For this iteration of the mural roundup, we've got a high school mascot painted by students, a massive botanical creation in Milton and a fresh new look on a popular mural site in Burlington's South End. That's not even counting the temporary artwork honoring late Andy "A_Dog" Williams that appeared downtown last weekend for A_Dog Day.

Cubic Collaboration

@clarkederbes on Instagram

Trained eyes can spot public art by Clark Derbes all over Burlington. He's painted the west side of the Moran Plant and semitrailers in the truck yard off Pine Street, among many other surfaces. Recently, Derbes added to his urban portfolio with a new collaborative piece on the south-facing wall of Tapna Yoga in the South End.

The large wall facing Curtis Lumber formerly hosted a swirling butterfly mural. Now it bears Derbes' signature color blocks with a rudimentary trompe l'oeil effect — it almost looks as if you could climb up the "cubes" that seem to protrude from the building.

Derbes was assisted by a group of volunteers from the King Street Center and a $3,000 grant from Burlington City Arts.

"King Street Center had a dozen or so youth volunteers and their mentors show up on Saturday morning to paint," the artist says. His motivation for working with King Street, Derbes adds, was to give the kids "a sense of ownership and pride about their participation in creating a highly visible piece of public art in their neighborhood."

The eye-catching geometric work has spiffed up a South End site just in time for the South End Art Hop, September 8 through 10.

Floral Façade

  • Courtesy of Gisela Alpert

The Milton Artists' Guild has a mission: to make the town an arts destination. "We have been working steadily to put Milton on the art map," says president Gisela Alpert. Part of that process is making art visible to the general public with murals. To that end, last week Sarah Rutherford, who painted silos in Jeffersonville last year, completed a large piece at the behest of MAG on the side of the Milton Gardener's Supply warehouse. The mural features a hummingbird, a butterfly and flowering plants.

"A mural provides art for everybody," Alpert says. "It's there for everybody to admire and adds beauty to the community." Alpert says she's heard positive feedback from employees at the facility, where the piece has "boosted morale." She adds, "It's exactly what we wanted: to share the appreciation of the arts and promote it."

Movable Mascot

  • courtesy of Målin Hillemann & Alyssa DuBois

One wall of Burlington High School's brick building off of North Avenue has received a tiny — and perhaps temporary — face-lift. Alyssa DuBois and Målin Hillemann, both recent grads, recently completed an outdoor sculpture depicting a seahorse — the school's mascot — and installed it on a wall near the front entrance. The artists say the design was inspired by Vermont artist Mary Lacy's tessellated murals, such as the hummingbird on the north side of Monarch & the Milkweed in Burlington.

Initially, DuBois and Hillemann wanted to paint directly on the brick. But the administration seemed apprehensive about the project, they note.

"Our principal was supportive of having students hang up artwork, but in a less permanent way," says Hillemann. They ended up painting the piece on wooden panels that could be attached to — and detached from — the building. The young women don't know how long the piece, which was funded by a $500 grant from the Booster Club, will remain in its current location, but they say they're satisfied with the results of their undertaking.

"The process was really difficult, but, at the end, it was worth it to see our piece hanging on the wall," says Hillemann. DuBois adds that other students who want to make public art shouldn't get discouraged. "There are people out there to help you, but it will take time to find them and get it right," she advises.

The original print version of this article was headlined "Up Against the Wall: The Murals Keep Coming"

Related Locations

  • Tapna Yoga