This mural was started last fall, a combined effort of recent Ti High graduate Maura Jebb and local artist Joan Pulling, pictured. It was completed this spring with the addition of flowers, loons and a heron. The wall is 140 feet long and tapers from a height of one to 12 feet. Not surprisingly, it is the largest painting either artist has ever worked on.
With the assistance of Sharon Reynolds of PRIDE, a mural project started last summer with the receipt of a $550 grant from the Essex County Arts Council awarded to Ticonderoga Revitalization Alliance with the stipulation it be used this year.
After successful completion of the mural on the side of Ti Barbershop next to Jay’s Sunoco, the mural team was willing to pursue another.
Over the course of a few weeks, several locations for the next mural were considered and at the recommendation of Vincent Smith, the retaining wall on 9N/Wicker St. was selected. It was initially believed the wall was the property of Inter-Lakes Health but that was not the case. Mike Parent of the Town Highway Dept. informed the committee the wall is the responsibility of New York State Deptartment of Transportation so they were contacted and an application to paint a mural was obtained.
The application was completed and submitted with the Town of Ticonderoga, Supervisor Malaney and Ticonderoga Revitalization Alliance as co-applicants. The proposed image was required at the time of application. The original image is a collaboration of Maura Jebb and Joan Pulling, a local professional artist and mentor to Maura. The completed application was submitted in late September and NYS DOT returned approval in two weeks, allowing work to begin.
Before an image can be applied, the DOT and Ti Highway Department cleared vegetation away from the wall, which included a surprisingly large tree that was hanging over and another growing out from the base of the wall. With permission from neighbors Doug and Robin Trudeau to use their outside water source, Art Hatfield and Jim Beaty power washed the wall to remove dirt and mold from the surface.
The long Columbus Day weekend provided perfect weather for two coats of a protective water sealant to be applied by Maura and her parents, Paul and Maureen Jebb, friends Mark Donohue and Marcus Moser, with the help of Art Hatfield, Jim Beaty and Chattie Van Wert. The sealant was tinted a sky blue which will act as the base for the sky and water.
“I would like to offer special thanks to our Artists Joan Pulling, Maura and Maureen Jebb for their fine work and their willingness to tackle a project of this magnitude,” Van Wert said. “It is a beautiful, uplifting image and inspires positive feeling for anyone passing by. I would also like to recognize two Ticonderoga businesses who were so helpful in offering their expertise and generous with material donations. Anne Charboneau of Ticonderoga Paint & Decorating, donated half of our paint supplies for the wall. Al Mattison of Aubuchon Hardware provided recommendations on the best water seal product to use which Aubuchon provided at their cost. Their expertise ensured the best materials to extend the life of the project and their donations allowed the project to be completed within the amount awarded by the grant. Please support these local businesses that do so much to help our community.”
When the time came, it felt good just to start painting,” Jebb said. “Mrs. Pulling has been amazing in teaching me the tricks of the trade. She’s taught me so many little things that only experienced painters would know. She has made the process effortless and for the most part stress free. Her trained hand has added a lot of energy to the mural, I wouldn’t be able to provide. My mom and friends have been incredible. They sped up the process exponentially. My mom painted with Mrs. Pulling and I even during the lousy weather. She’s the best.”
“I would like people to know that the sketch was done the old fashioned way – by eye,” Pulling said. “I don’t like leaving a job unfinished, but, the wait will be worth it. Spring is not that far off. This was a large project so, I’m proud that three women were able to get the mural this far.”