The panels were recently mounted on the back wall of Arthur Sharp, which is next to the rail trail, creating an 80-foot-long by 15-foot-high mural.
The Haverhill Foundation for Excellence in Education paid a painting contractor to prepare and prime the building’s back wall. A group of adult volunteers painted the background and did some repair work on the windows and sliding rear door. Fuller said Patrick Lane, the store’s owner, was pleased with how the mural looked and told her he might put a picture of it inside his store as a way to bring attention to the mural and the rail trail.
Persing was chosen as the Artist in Residence for the project and was assisted by Ellen Mullane, who teaches art at Haverhill High. Haverhill High School art teacher Susan Blim also contributed to the mural and was recently working with students at the high school to create three-dimensional images of trees out of metal.
One of the “trees’’ will be used to disguise a furnace vent pipe that runs up the back wall of the store, while the other trees will be attached to sections of the mural.
The next step in the project is to create a key to the plants and animals on each panel so people can identify what they might encounter along the trail, Fuller said.
Money for the project comes from a $5,000 grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and a $1,508 grant from the Haverhill Cultural Council, as well as from other sources.
Access 21 is an after-school program at Haverhill High School funded by a 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
Formula for a mural
Created by students, their art teacher and a professional artist
80 feet long and 15 feet tall
Displays images of animals and plants which rail trail visitors might see
Paid for with $6,508 in grants