By James O’Brien, Staff Writer
In June, the Royalton Planning Commission secured a $5,000 grant from The Vermont Arts Council to have a new mural painted on the Safford Street underpass in South Royalton. The project is currently in motion, but like any community-wide project, it’s taking the time to make sure it’s done collaboratively and with careful consideration as to what the final product will be.
This project was first brought to the attention of the VLS community when VLS alum Sarah Danly pitched the project during an SBA meeting in October. During this meeting, Danly provided the ins and outs of the project and was seeking to get the VLS community involved. In particular, she was looking for a current Swan to be on the Steering Committee. Lucas Joseph, a 3L SBA Senator, jumped at the chance to get involved.
Joseph admits one of his main reasons for getting involved was that for the last two years when he looked out of his apartment window, he saw a dilapidated and neglected part of town that desperately needed help. He also said he wanted to get involved because he saw this as a perfect chance to beautify a common space frequently seen by residents and visitors.
With this motivation, Joseph took a position on the Steering Committee to act as a liaison between the project team and the VLS community. Joseph has provided frequent updates and attended multiple meetings about the project. He ultimately hopes to use his unique position to acquire a donation from VLS for the project as a way for the school to directly give back to the community that has welcomed its students since 1972.
As far as the speed of the project, Joseph said things are going about as fast as they can. The Committee is currently in the process of waiting for applications from artists who are submitting their design proposals. The Committee began reviewing these applications on Dec. 1. The Committee will then select their finalists and hold a public meeting on Feb. 2, 2021 to select the artist who will complete the project. Ideally, the artist would be able to begin working shortly after the snow melts and complete the project by late spring or early summer of 2021.
For anyone interested in getting involved or learning more about the project, the town’s website includes a site description and the general plan of the project. Additionally, there is a Facebook page dedicated to the project that is frequently updated. Students are also encouraged to reach out to either Joseph or to Danly directly for more information.
Lucas Joseph: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sarah Danly: email@example.com