Artist Maura Jebb gets help from Marcus Moser, left, and Mark Donohue in sealing a retaining wall that is now a mural on Wicker Street in Ticonderoga. The project will be completed in the spring.
A retaining wall on Wicker Street in Ticonderoga is becoming a work of art.
Work has started to paint a mural on the concrete structure near Inter-Lakes Health. It’s scheduled to be completed in the spring.
Maura Jebb, Maureen Jebb and Joan Pulling are the primary artists working on the mural, although it has been a community project, according to Chattie Van Wert, executive director of the Ticonderoga Revitalization Alliance.
It’s Ticonderoga’s second mural project. Last summer a mural was painted on the wall of the Ti Barbershop on Champlain Avenue.
“With the assistance of Sharon Reynolds of PRIDE, this mural project started last summer with the receipt of a $550 grant from the Essex County Arts Council awarded to the Ticonderoga Revitalization Alliance with the stipulation it be used this year,” Van Wert said. “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 Street was selected,” she said.
The image is an Adirondack lake being fed by a waterfall. It was designed by Maura Jebb, a Ticonderoga High School student, and Pulling, a local artist who is mentoring her.
The retaining wall is the property of the state Department of Transportation. Once permission was secure, the Ti highway department cleared brush.
“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,” Van Wert said. “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 myself. The sealant was tinted a sky blue which will act as the base for the sky and water.
“The weather had been exceptional until now and the artists worked as long as weather permitted,” she said.
The project will be completed in the spring.
“We are done with painting this year, and I can’t wait to finish it in the spring,” Maura Jebb said. “Mrs. Pulling and I tried to give it one last whack, but the weather wasn’t cooperating. The wall was just too wet.”
Pulling said the design was completed without technical assistance.
“I would like people to know that the sketch was done the old fashioned way — by eye,” she 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.”
Maureen Jebb is also anxious to complete the project.
“I’ve really loved being a part of this mural project,” she said. “It’s been so much fun and very rewarding.”
Maura Jebb thanked those who have helped with the mural, especially Van Wert and Pulling.
“Mrs. Van Wert and Mrs. Pulling have been my teachers throughout this whole process,” she said. “I’ve learned so much about team work and cooperation. I don’t know how they do it. It’s hard to work with many people. There’s so many opinions to hear and so many people to please. I’ve also learned that is takes a lot of jumping through hoops.
“When the time came, it felt good just to start painting,” she 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 me even during the lousy weather. She’s the best.”
Van Wert praised the artists for their work.
“It is a beautiful, uplifting image and inspires positive feeling for anyone passing by,” Van Wert said. “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.”
Van Wert said the project has been made possible, in part, by the Essex County Arts Council CAP Grant supported by public funds from Essex County.