Art Works Blog

Water Town: Rockland, Maine Paints a Mural with Alexis Iammarino

For over six years, community artist Alexis Iammarino has made engaging art in the small coastal town of Rockland, Maine. From vibrant murals all the way to a curatorial public history project about the origins of the American-style donut, her multidisciplinary artwork stands out because it’s community-based, meaning it’s made with participation from the community. Rather than working alone in a studio, Iammarino prefers to be out and about choreographing (she's a dancer at heart) large and small scale projects in collaboration with fellow Rockland citizens, other artists, and institutions, which brings us to the heart of this story—a community-painted mural called Water Town. After receiving a Challenge America grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Farnsworth Art Museum hired Iammarino to oversee the mural, which she designed with Canadian artist Melissa Luk. Under their artistic eye, the mural was carefully crafted by more than 40 volunteers, ranging in age from 4 to 80. "The mural’s theme was conceived by The Grasshopper Shop, with input from the Farnsworth education staff," added Iammarino. "Water Town celebrates the marine life of the Penobscot Bay and Rockland's location on the waterexpressing joy, playfulness, and a youthful spirit."

Haven't had your Water Town fill? Check out this gorgeous video produced by Scott Sell and Alexis Iammarino to watch how a blank canvas transformed into an electric, aquatic wall painting. To see and hear how other American communities are collectively making art, check out the latest issue of the NEA’s magazine

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