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Fantasy Art and Comics: The Framemakers commemorates Downtown Waterville Maine's revitalization effort with a public art mural

Framing a City

© Brian Vigue

Downtown Waterville Maine is about to experience an economic shot of adrenaline. With the help of Colby College, old buildings are being removed, streets restructured, and new business and increased population are anticipated in the next few years. With all this buzz about the "Renaissance" coming, good citizens are looking to do their part because this beautification effort is all-encompassing. AK and I are involved in Waterville's Cultural Planning Project, and public art is a leading visual suggestion. The best time for responding with a new public art project is now.

This is what I had to work with.

This mural design required three criteria for optimum impact to its location, its time in history, and the legacy of the artist. First it needed to represent the Framemakers. Secondly it needed to depict the renovation effort across Downtown. Thirdly it needed to be recognizable and true to my artistic style. What I came up with was Centura in stylish modern downtown ensemble with a tape measure in hand. A silhouette of Main Street's iconic buildings lines the background. Framemakers is the fourth storefront window from the left. The magenta F is a dynamic, 3D version of the Framemakers logo with gold fillet. That, combined with the tape measure, represents our shop. The tape measure doubles as a planning device for the City's current renovation plan. The cityscape and water inside the F represent Waterville. City branding is also used in the top-left corner.

Big F
That's a big F!

The fundraiser piece reads as follows: "Framing A City" is a mural project by local artist and Framemakers co-owner Brian Vigue. The scene combines Framemakers branding, Waterville symbolism, commemorative recognition of the City's and Colby College's downtown revitalization effort, and some Vigistry flair that the community has come to know. Whether it's a custom framing job or restructuring of a city, careful preparation is needed to ensure a finished product that will be pleasing for generations. This mural reflects 2016's early stages of a brighter future for Waterville.

Looking good, Centura
Looking good, Centura!

I went with one of my comic babe trio because when you're Vigistry, it's what you do. Ironically Centura here is wearing more clothing than two other neighborhood ladies combined: the Silver Street Tavern nude and 18 Below mermaid. Why did I go with Centura? Because Bluette doesn't do classy, and AK hates her.

Framemakers mural
Only the vent left to do.

On September 30, 2016, the mural was finished after about six weeks net time. Certainly a big improvement over the grimy brick wall and busted-up vent from March. Public reception was 100% positive as I painted. However, local media failed to capitalize on it, which isn't at all encouraging to others at this important time. Colby College received two newspaper articles for a Temple Street mural that failed at the planning stage, and today that wall is still shabby. I got it done. All the bad news the paper spreads is a cheap thrill, but the public does need to know about these little improvements here and there.

October 18, Harvest in the Square: revelation about a big, twenty million dollar fish, and a lot of cheerleading by big money investors. Nothing about new business enticement, visitor enticement, or current business owners proving their worth in their own microcosms, sacrificing relatively substantial amounts of time and personal savings to make something nice for their city in the hopes of encouraging change. Yes, change is something the city's attitude could use very soon.