May 2000 Archives

Downtown Mural Project

Many residents refer to buildings in Bellows Falls according to their prior commercial purpose. On the south side of 51 The Square...also known as the "Gast Block," the "old pharmacy," or "Flat-Iron," a historically accurate turn-of-the-century mural has been painted...greeting residents and visitors as the approach the downtown square.

RAMP conceptualized the mural as a way to welcome visitors to Bellows Falls and to celebrate the past and present. This timely project complements the Exner Block renovation, the Vermont Downtown Designation and symbolizes the renaissance of the town.

Muralists, Cliff Clear and Bonnie Lee Turner from The Art of Life (Lincoln, Rhode Island) painted the mural using historical photographs obtained from the Rockingham Free Public Library. Sign-maker Frank Hawkins, of Bellows Falls, created the lettering style for the greeting, "Welcome to Bellows Falls" which will be added at a later date.

The $17,000 project has been funded in part by:

  • a Municipal Arts Grant from the Vermont Arts Council
  • Windham Foundation
  • Vermont Community Foundation
  • and the Town of Rockingham.

Corporate leaders ($1000 or more) included:

  • First Vermont Bank
  • the Vermont Country Store
  • Buffum's Supermarket
  • and Ben & Jerry's.

In addition, several individual contributions from supporters of the arts made this project possible.

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