About the Project
In 2010, the Route 106 underpass reconstruction left a fine railroad bridge and a long, blank wall. A perfect “canvas” for an outdoor mural?
The theme, and the challenge, was to put some of the history of Mansfield on this 462 foot long, 4175 square foot clean, white concrete wall.
The committee selected the concept and design presented by Ian Gaudreau, a local artist and Mansfield High School graduate.
Then the work for the committee really began. The members had to promote the project so that residents and town officials would be on board about the benefits of a bold and colorful art piece — on a busy street — so near the train station. There were concerns about graffiti and driversʼ distraction, but those gradually gave way to growing interest and increasing support. At the next Town Meeting a unanimous vote of approval put The Mural Project into high gear.
The committee raised all the funding needed from local residents, corporations, businesses, and grants. The mural offered unique fundraising opportunities: A donation of $100 ensured that a name would be painted on one of two bronze plaques or for $500 a face painted in the crowd at the horse race.
Painting the Mural started in 2013 and it was completed in the fall of 2015.
Mural Committee Members: (Chair) Nancy Wall; Scott Brigante, Director of Visual Arts, MHS; Ken Butler, Executive Director of Mansfield Music and Arts; Kevin McNatt, Mansfield Historical Society; Lisa Rogan
His assistants included: Kelly Li, Marty Reynolds, Matt Dean, Lucas Kolasa, Deb Anderson, Julia Cox, Becky Sheerin, Kathy Devlin, Rosemary Marchetta, Jessie OʼConnell
Volunteers: Alyson Bailey, Anthony Malani, Bailey Levetin, Josh Marohn, Lauren Egizio, Tina Sylverio.
Artist Concept and Design
Ianʼs conception for the Mural is in two parts, side by side. The right half depicts important and unique historical aspects of the town that make the history of Mansfield unique. The importance of the geese and the train to the economic vitality and the everyday life.
Ian Gaudreau, a graduate of Mansfield High School, 2000, University of Massachusetts – Amherst, 2004 researched, created, designed, and painted the mural.
The Mural wall is 462 feet long and ranges from 2 feet high to 13 feet high, providing about 4,175 square feet of paintable surface. As the Gateway to Downtown, it faces the townʼs North Common and train station.
First, the wall had to be cleaned carefully and then marked off as a grid of one-foot squares. Ian did his preliminary designs and layouts in sections on the computer using a one-inch square grid then enlarged those sections to correspond with the one-foot squares on the wall. The figures were then laid out in purple. Then the color, shading and fine details were added.