Steering Committee picks artists for Safford Street underpass mural

By James O’Brien, Staff Writer

The Safford Street underpass. Photo by Julia Guerrein/The Forum.

The Steering Committee for the Safford Street underpass make-over chose the artists for the new mural: Evie Lovett, Elizabeth Billings, and Andy Wasserman.

“They have created works of art around the state and South Royalton should feel excited about their experience and artistic talent being showcased here,” said Lucas Joseph, VLS 3L and a member of the Steering Committee.

The community had an opportunity to vote on the designs, but the Steering Committee made the final decision.

“There was almost a split in deciding between the two artist teams,” explained Joseph. “In a public community survey of the two project proposals, there was a lot more support towards Katie Runde’s design. However, the Committee chose to go with the other teams’ design, for its bold and fresh perspective that separates itself from a rural vibe by offering a more modern and thought provoking (intuitive) look.”

VLS alum Sarah Danly, who is working for the Royalton Planning Commission, says the team is currently in the middle of the design process with the selected artists. For example, the main concerns were that mirrors in the design would be too reflective for oncoming cars and that people would stand in the tunnel to read the poem, which would be unsafe.

Danly says the team is working to incorporate the feedback they received from their recent survey regarding the preliminary design. Danly also shared that the team is currently testing samples at the site itself, marking a significant step towards actual material application. As the materials continue to be tested, design modifications will be adjusted accordingly.

The project team will be meeting with the artists at the Planning Commission’s June 1 meeting, where public attendees can hear first-hand the design update and offer feedback. Anyone wanting to learn more is encouraged to attend. Danly says the project team is planning to finalize the design by the end of August. Other than the artwork itself, fundraising continues to be a main focus for the project team. Danly stated that Joseph has been working to secure more funding.  

Lastly, Danly expressed her deep gratitude for not only the hard work of everyone who has helped make this project a reality, but also for the immensely talented artists who are excited to leave their mark on the SoRo community.  

The team will be periodically sending out updated information for those interested in keeping up with the progress. Those looking for more specific information can visit the town’s website where a general plan is provided and are also encouraged to reach out to Danly or Joseph directly.

Contact information:

Lucas Joseph: peterjoseph@vermontlaw.edu

Sarah Danly: sarahdanly@gmail.com

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