Maryann Andrushko, owner of the Ti Barber Shop, and her daughter, Keeley, helped paint the new mural on the side of the building. Jim Beaty, Seddon Beaty and Patty Hogan also painted during the project.
A blank wall in downtown Ticonderoga is now a mural, depicting the community located between two lakes.
The north wall of the Ti Barbershop building on Champlain Avenue is now a work of art thanks to a Ticonderoga Revitalization Alliance project.
“If you haven’t noticed the mural yet, please take a ride or walk past Jay’s Sunoco and enjoy the transformation of the Ti Barber Shop building,” said Chattie Van Wert, alliance executive director. “It is the result of a private building owner wanting to improve the appearance of an unsightly downtown wall and a group of volunteers, businesses and community organizations working with Ti Alliance to make it happen.”
The project was more than a year in the making. Last June several Ticonderoga buildings were targeted for potential murals and a contest created to attract artists. No artists expressed interest, though.
“That could have been the end of the story,” Van Wert said. “In October 2012, a few interested and determined individuals started coming together to keep the mural vision alive for the side of the Ti Barber Shop building The building owner and town barber, Maryann Andrushko, was ready to work with someone to design an image and paint it on the side of her building. We had images of a Schroon Lake mural and several Linda Smyth murals of Port Henry as models to inspire use. We just needed some artistic talent.”
Alliance members recruited Ti High art teacher Britney (McCarthy) Shaw and her students to assist in the mural’s design.
“Ticonderoga is nestled between two lakes — hence our name — and beautiful mountains, so an image of lakes and mountains was our goal,” Van Wert said. “Ticonderoga students love to use the school colors in art so their images included ‘purple mountains majesty.’ Several student images were submitted, reviewed by our team and one was chosen to work with.
“A few artists collaborated on the image, making minor modifications in perspective,” she added. “The group wanted the mural to be bright, uplifting and appropriate for all seasons. Vincent Smith, Ti alliance board member and cultural arts initiative chairman, offered color consultation to select shades of blue for the sky and water, purples for the mountains and greens for the trees.”
The initial plan was to have students plan the mural on panels that could be erected against the building wall. That proved costly.
The building owner wanted to cover the entire 52 x 26 foot wall, requiring scaffolding and working 20 feet above the ground.
“The school couldn’t put students at risk working that high above the pavement on scaffolding, so we had to find someone else who was willing and able to apply the image,” Van Wert said. “Several artists were consulted but were either willing and didn’t have the time or had their own concerns about the height and the size of the project.
“Necessity is the mother of invention and our group became even more creative to bring art and technology to the task,” she continued. “Jim Beaty, retired engineer and a Ti alliance board member, used CAD (Computer Aided Design) to apply grid lines on a scanned image of the mural. This measured points on the wall to identify the tops of mountains, overlaps of peaks, locations of bays and the start of treetops. Selected colors were then designated for each area on the grid and we essentially had a ‘paint by number’ picture to work with.”
Jim Beaty, Seddon Beaty, Patty Hogan, Keeley Andrushko and Maryann Andrushko completed the painting in three days.
Aubuchon Hardware provided the paint at cost. Paul Connery used his bucket lift to remove an old sign, patch the side of the building and spray the first layer of blue on the entire wall, serving as a base coat and creating the color of the sky. Bill Best brought his crew to setup scaffolding for the painters and repositioned it as painting progressed. Jay Fortino moved cars from his parking lot.
Other participating the mural project were June Curtis, Al Mattison, Sharon Reynolds of PRIDE, Crispin Shakeshaft, Linda Smyth and Emily Sola.
The Ticonderoga Revitalization Alliance is a not-for-profit, local development corporation whose mission is to restore economic prosperity to the Ticonderoga region by serving as a clearinghouse for innovative ideas and resources, and a catalyst for public-private partnerships and investment opportunities. The alliance was formed in 2010 by an unprecedented citizens’ alliance.