Cary Wendell, 73, pulls down a tarp Oct. 14 to unveil his new mural at Alice E. Emery Town Square in Norridgewock at 67 Main St. Wendell’s mural is meant to appear as four postcards, each representing a different season of the year and a different part of Norridgewock’s history. Dylan Tusinski photo

NORRIDGEWOCK — A crowd of about 50 people gathered Saturday morning at the Alice E. Emery Town Square to see the bright blue tarp covering the town’s newest public art piece come down, revealing a vibrant celebration of community.

The mural’s painter and designer, Cary Wendell, 73, says the piece is designed to tie Norridgewock’s present to its past. Each of the mural’s four panels represents a different season of the year and a different era of the town’s history, Wendell said.

“I decided to make them a little off-kilter so that they’re independent, but ultimately the horizon stays consistent, the river is consistent,” Wendell said Saturday.

Hidden within the painting are both subtle and overt nods to Norridgewock’s heritage. Chief Bomoseen’s signature on the landmark 1713 Treaty of Portsmouth is woven into the current of the Kennebec River. A train carrying Grasmere Corn thunders through the third panel. Horse-drawn buggies carry travelers past the town’s historic Grange. Each detail is intentional, Wendell said, as he wanted the painting to captivate the viewer and provide a sort of visual treasure hunt for onlookers.

Cary Wendell, 73, points to Chief Bomoseen’s signature and explains its significance in his mural to a Norridgewock resident Oct. 14. Wendell says the signature, which originally appeared on the landmark 1713 Portsmouth Treaty, was included to pay homage to indigenous communities who lived in the area now called Norridgewock. Dylan Tusinski photo

Wendell has been painting the mural since July, he said, and had been working on it in some capacity since last December, when he was first approached by the town about the project.

Norridgewock Town Manager Richard LaBelle said the unveiling was the culmination of a months-long process. Alice Emery, who donated the land the mural sits on to the town, said before her passing that she wanted a mural in the space, LaBelle said. The mural is meant to be a cultural touchstone for Norridgewock’s residents, LaBelle said, and its placement in the newly built town square along the town’s rail trail is representative of Norridgewock’s push to rejuvenate its community through public projects.

“Really, it’s a big win for our community,” LaBelle said. “And we’re hoping that it’s going to be a place where people will stop by on the rail trail, take a picture, and see us in the bright light that maybe they don’t think of us in.”

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