Sunday with Zin: Construction Art

The building is being renovated to become the Preble Street Resource Center’s new Joe Kreisler Teen Shelter. But the mural is actually a collaboration between Wright-Ryan Construction and this year’s freshman class at the Maine College of Art.

LiveWorkPortland, 10/1/12

Hello I am Zin and this is the prettiest construction site I have ever seen! And it is right down the street from me!

The art panels suddenly appeared on the construction wall this summer! The construction company had to build a false facade so they could do the renovation of the street level, and they decided it would be nice to have something pretty instead of just ugly old plywood!

And it just so happens the Maine College of Art (MECA) has a Public Engagement program intended to get students to “take action as citizens, artists and designers. As a result, each student gains the entrepreneurial skills and confidence to directly impact their culture and society during and after college.”

So they joined forces and the freshmen at MECA painted the panels to represent all the different nationalities of students at Portland High School!

After a group brainstorming session, the students were divided into groups of two, each of which was assigned a letter, as well as a language commonly spoken in Portland to act as a visual prompt for the painting of their letter. The mural is divided into 4’ x 4’ squares, each containing one letter, and the individual artworks that developed around each of these letters is based on the students’ extensive research into the visual language of the assigned cultures.


It is gone now, in early December they took it down since the building will open soon and the building is now glass and brick, but the construction wall was very beautiful and I was happy to see it every day when I went out! I will miss it but I will remember it every time I walk past the building! That is what art is for even if it is temporary!

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