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Randolph taking steps toward mural walk

  • Artist Phil Godenschwager's concept drawing for a mural to be painted on the Winslow Block in Randolph Village as part of a Mural Walk. (Courtesy of Phil Godenschwager) Courtesy photograph—Courtesy photograph

  • Artist Phil Godenschwager's concept drawing for a mural to be painted on the Winslow Block in Randolph Village as part of a Mural Walk. (Courtesy of Phil Godenschwager) Courtesy of Phil Godenschwager

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 9/10/2020 10:29:08 PM
Modified: 9/10/2020 10:28:56 PM

RANDOLPH — Randolph, already home to the famed Whale Dance sculpture — which features two whale tails diving into a plot of grass off Interstate 89 — may soon be home to a new mural walk in the village.

“We envision it as it really being a very colorful artistic celebration of community, but we also anticipate that it will be a tourist attraction, that it’ll bring people into the area and engage them with the village and engage them with the community,” said Tom Ayres, a member of the Selectboard who serves as the chairman and Selectboard liaison on the Randolph Arts and Culture Advisory Committee, which was formed last November.

The committee is launching a fundraiser for a proposed Mural Walk in Randolph Village. On Friday, local band Trifolium will perform from 5-7 p.m. behind Huggable Mug Cafe on Pleasant Street. The performance can also be livestreamed on The Underground Recording Studio’s Facebook.

The town committee has already secured a $6,000 pledge from the Jack and Dorothy Byrne Foundation and depends on matching donations from local sources. As of Thursday, around $1,500 had been raised toward the $6,000 goal. The project will be entirely funded by grants and donations; no taxpayer dollars will be used, Ayres said.

Randolph-based muralist and glass artist Phil Godenschwager has been chosen to create the first of five to seven murals. There are plans to put it on a northeastern-facing wall of the historic Winslow Block, Ayres said. Godenschwager’s planned mural features bees; apple blossoms; and a pastoral, working farmland setting in a nod to Randolph’s agricultural heritage.

“We talked broadly about a five-year plan with the installation of the first mural next spring kicking things off, and then it would depend on how future fundraising goes,” Ayres said. “We do envision the murals being a combination of painted murals, which this first one will be ... but it may well be that some of the murals will be large-scale photographs as well. They key thing is all the murals will reflect some aspect of Randolph history and social and cultural life.”

The committee plans to put most of the murals on privately owned buildings and is working with property owners to choose locations.

The second part of the committee’s plan is to augment the Mural Walk with sculptures at various sites in the village.

“In a sense, it would be an outdoor gallery that we hope would draw tourists from all over Vermont and the region,” Ayres said.

Editor’s note: Those who wish to make donations can make out checks or money orders to the Town of Randolph, with the For/Memo line reading “Randolph Village Mural Project.” Contributions should be mailed to or dropped off at the Randolph Town Manager’s Office at Town Hall.

Liz Sauchelli can be reached at or 603-727-3221.

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