WEST NEWBURY – For the past couple weeks life-sized murals in green and blue have popped up on buildings in Groveland, Merrimac, and West Newbury thanks to the talents of the internationally-acclaimed Tape Art Crew. The murals are part of a public art project sponsored by the Pentucket Art Foundation. “Drawing From Our Past: A Tri-Town Tape Art Festival” continues in the three towns until August 3.
Phase I of the festival features murals created by Tape Art, artists who travel the world using only colored tape as a medium for their artwork. The murals are located on the exterior walls of the Langley Adams Library in Groveland, the Kenoza Vending building on Route 110 in Merrimac, and the West Newbury Foodmart. Each mural pays homage to something from that community’s past and is intended to provoke reflection into how the image ties into the town’s history.
“The eye-popping, unexpected Tape Art murals in the tri-town are a creative gift to the community — and the historical inspiration for each is brilliant,” said Sue Stasiuk, co-chair of the Pentucket Arts Foundation.
“Art is a fantastic way to provide us glimpses into our past,” said Tape Art artist Michael Townsend, noting that the temporary murals serve multiple purposes. “At the top of the list is to provide a fleeting portal into slices of history from each town,” he said. The mural of “memorable thrills, spills and spontaneous exciting entertainment” on the exterior of the Langley Adams Library in Groveland, for example, hints at a previous use of the land on which the library and other municipal buildings are sited.
On the side of the Kenoza Vending building locals and their possessions are depicted in the throes of an event that took place in the early 20th century that fundamentally changed lives and businesses in the area. In West Newbury, Townsend and fellow artist Leah Smith have turned the side of the Foodmart into “a dreamscape of longhair…