Art students brighten up dock area with murals

Post date: Sep 13, 2017 7:31:0 PM

In the late afternoon of August 7th, nine former Wells High School AP Studio Art students and their teacher, Vanessa White-Capelluti, gathered on the dock at Wells Harbor for a group photo in front of murals painted by them in June. They were also there to sign the murals and attend a celebratory dinner at Hobbs Harborside Restaurant in recognition of their accomplishment.

Also present for the photo op and dinner was Wells Town Manager Jonathan Carter and founding member of the newly formed Friends of Wells Harbor, Ryan Liberty. Both Carter and Liberty greeted students and offered comments with thanks to the group for their artistic contributions.

The idea for the mural project took shape earlier in 2017 when Liberty met with Wells Harbor Master Chris Mayo to discuss various ways his organization could contribute to the dock area. One of the ideas Mayo suggested was creating three large murals to cover the bait coolers that occupy space near Mayo’s office.

Liberty took the idea to Carter to see if the town would support a contest to generate student designs to cover the coolers. With assurance of town support for a contest, Liberty proceeded to Wells High School with the idea eventually meeting with the school’s art teachers White-Capelluti and Emily Knight who, in turn, sought design submissions from students. About two months later a judging committee of Liberty, Mayo and Carter met. They selected three designs submitted from White-Capelluti's AP Studio Art class by Nick Maynard, Savannah Martin, and Olivia Sciulli. In June, all students in the class collaborated on the job of painting the murals from the winning entries.

Today, sea gulls, a large whale and other creatures live in these latex colored paintings for tourists and other harbor visitors to enjoy and have their pictures taken in front of.

According to Sydnie Sayward, she and the other students often received encouraging comments from fishermen, workers on the dock plus visitors as they painted away on the murals. “Oh this is such a nice touch to the harbor,” was a comment Sayward recalled hearing from one.

Nick Maynard, a current senior at WHS, was one of the students to work on the mural project. “We had a lot of help,” said Maynard. “We are all thankful for how much everyone has participated; because if this was not a group effort, then it would not have been done on time.” Those part of this group effort included Harbor Master Mayo who furnished the materials for the murals and art teachers White-Capelluti and Knight, who helped guide the project to completion.

The question remaining is how long will the murals last. “The life of the murals may depend on how they survive the elements,” commented White-Capelluti. “If they deteriorate over time, I'm sure we will replace them with new ones.” And that, according to Ryan Liberty, may result in future art contests at WHS.

At left is Emma Mercier and Savannah Martin signing two of the three student-created murals now located for all to see on the dock at Wells Harbor.

On the dock at Wells Harbor is a recent class of WHS AP Art students who created the murals behind them in the spring and early summer of 2017. They are (front row, left to right) Vanessa White Capelluti, Sam Livingston, Wells Town Manager Jonathan Carter, Emma Mercier, Olivia Sciulli, Wansley Demos, Savannah Martin, Elana Fortin, Sydnie Sayward, and Nick Maynard. In the back row (l to r) are Channing Wang and Friends of Wells Harbor member Ryan Liberty. Other students who contributed to the mural project but not present for the photo and dinner included A.J. Connolly-Pelletier, Alyssa Loukola, and Blair Tweed. Also absent for the photo was Emily Knight and Wells Harbor Master Chris Mayo.