Pandemic leads to delays with mural removal

By Lorentz Hansen, Copy Editor

VLS has experienced delays in removing and replacing the mural “The Underground Railroad, Vermont, and the Fugitive Slave,” located in the school’s Chase Community Center.

On July 6, Dean Thomas McHenry shared with the VLS community the administration’s decision to remove the mural. This decision came after a renewed push to replace the mural, led by 3L students Jameson Davis and April Urbanowski. The school’s Board of Trustees voted unanimously to approve that decision on July 24.

The Board’s decision also provided artist Sam Kerson, who painted the mural between 1992-93, with 90 days to remove the work, according to a Valley News article. The 90 day period expired on Saturday, Oct. 24.

In an Oct. 26 email, VLS Dean Thomas McHenry wrote that “due to the pandemic, we have had some delays in this timeline.”

On March 21, the United States, Canada, and Mexico issued a temporary restriction on “non-essential” travel between the U.S. and Canada—where Kerson resides. That restriction has repeatedly been extended, now until Nov. 21, 2020. At the moment, travel across the Canada-U.S. border is discouraged for Canadian citizens and restricted to essential travel for foreign nationals.

There are as of yet no additional details on the timeline for the mural’s removal and replacement.

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