Flowers, Whales And Brilliant Blues: New Murals Color Rutland Skyline

Sep 15, 2014

It’s hard to miss a painting that’s more than three stories high. In Rutland, a growing number of over-sized murals are coloring the downtown skyline.

Persi Narvaez’s painted his first Rutland mural, a bright yellow splash of food and flowers, two years ago. He just finished his second, even larger work this month.  This one in brilliant blue highlights the city’s architecture.    

Persi Narvaez's 40-by-65-foot mural highlights the architecture of downtown Rutland.
Credit Nina Keck / VPR

West Rutland’s Erin Robbason sees it every time she drives into the city and calls it stunning. “The colors are so gorgeous, I just love it and I love that they’ve taken downtown Rutland architecture and brought it into a brighter light and it just highlights how really gorgeous it is downtown.”

Margaret Barros, executive Director of the Chaffee Art Center, says the push to erect murals in city was begun four years ago by the Downtown Rutland Partnership. She says local property and business owners have come together with the arts community to find artists and fund them.

"The colors are so gorgeous, I just love it and I love that they've taken downtown Rutland architecture and brought it into a brighter light ... It just highlights how really gorgeous it is downtown." - West Rutland resident Erin Robbason

To make room for Narvaez’s latest work, a mural by Kathryn Palmer-Wiegers of a farmer heading to market was taken down. But Barros says the artist is expanding that painting and it will be installed in a new location this fall. 

Another mural by Palmer-Wiegers adorns the side of Green Mountain Power’s Energy Innovation Center.

Brian Sylvester's painting was sponsored by the Rutland Downtown Partnership.
Credit Nina Keck / VPR

Shrewsbury resident Scott Garren likes them all. “I love the murals and I think they’re both a product of the rebirth that Rutland’s going through and a sign of energy from reinventing Rutland," he said.

Barros says she hopes to involve area high school students in producing a mural at the Vermont fair grounds next year.