RUTLAND – Rutland’s growing collection of public murals blossomed again Friday, Aug. 8, as a mural highlighting Rutland Blooms was installed downtown.
Artist Kathryn Wiegers painted the 19-foot-long mural in her Rutland studio this summer and installed it Friday on the second-floor north wall of the Green Mountain Power Energy Innovation Center on Merchants Row. The mural, best viewed from the intersection of Merchants Row and West Street, features an array of Vermont flowers, including lupines, daisies, poppies, clover and purple coneflowers, among others.
“I think public art like this can play a wonderful role in adding character and life to Rutland’s beautiful downtown,” Wiegers said. “It’s really an honor to have my work grace a public space like this, knowing how many people will see it every day.”
GMP Vice President Steve Costello said the mural was inspired by Rutland’s ongoing revitalization effort and the rebirth of downtown Rutland, which became home to more than a dozen new businesses and numerous public murals in recent years. “Between the rebirth of the city and the ongoing Rutland Blooms effort, we thought a mural of flowers was a natural fit for that space,” Costello said. “We hope it will not only brighten up that wall, but encourage others to get involved in Rutland Blooms.”
Rutland Blooms is a grassroots beautification project started by GMP in 2013, part of the company’s ongoing effort to support the revitalization of Rutland. The effort has included the planting of millions of wildflowers in and around Rutland, numerous gardens, and 76 flowering crabapple trees along the western gateway to Rutland on West Street. GMP and Rutland Blooms are also working with the city to install four new “Welcome to Rutland” signs that will have flower gardens built around their bases.
More than 50 organizations have been involved in Rutland Blooms so far. Each organization has chosen its own role. Some have promoted the effort to members and clients, planted gardens, or given away flowers, bulbs or seeds. Others have made significant cash donations, which are used to purchase plants, seeds, topsoil and related planting materials, while volunteers have provided extensive labor on various projects.
“We are thrilled to have the Rutland Blooms mural added to the collection of public art in downtown Rutland,” said Mike Coppinger, executive director of the Downtown Rutland Partnership. “These projects speak to Rutland’s future and represent a commitment to that future – which I think is as bright as the flowers in this mural.”