It was late July in 2021 where local graphic designer, Paulina Garcés Reid, and sculptors Sam Castner and Lindsey Dean joined forces with Carla Torres, a New York City-based muralist and illustrator to begin a long-awaited public art project on the east side wall of the Once Again Shoppe in Penn Yan.
The mural took the team around 10 days from start to finish, but hours of work was done in advance. “This was a labor of love. We spent months preparing for this. From concept, to research, community forums, village audiences and permits, to sketching and collaborating with Carla who was the expert muralist with whom we collaborated with to make this project come to light,” said the mural team. “It was a dream team effort for sure,” they added.
The plaque installation accompanying the mural was the final component to complete this public art project. The plaque is meant to be an educational piece for residents and visitors; displaying the purpose of the project, and the meaning of the mural which pays homage to various historical figures and roots that created the foundation for Penn Yan.
You can also read about the unfinished mural created by local artist and teacher, Bob Gillespie, and students on this same wall for many years – something the artists wanted to make sure was honored during this process.
“I love this community who has embraced me and made me feel at home. Art can have a huge impact on communities and their economic development. We hope this is the start of many,” commented Garcés Reid, noting that they couldn’t have done this without the Tourism Advisory Committee (TAC) grant. “I highly encourage all those interested to inquire! We were so thankful to have had a wonderful board that supported our vision,” she said.
The aspiring team of artists hope to be able to work on another project in the near future.