PEPPERELL — A mural of historic Pepperell by Pepperell artist Nan Quintin now graces a stairway wall at Lawrence Library. Fittingly, the stairway leads the way to the Library’s History Room.
The painting was presented to the public at a reception July 31.
The mural depicts scenes and landmarks from Pepperell, past and present. Places depicted include the library, Town Hall and the covered bridge, plus places now gone such as a shoe factory and a paper mill.
“I tried to make each element into a gem because each thing is important to somebody,” Quintin said.
Quintin said she has received many positive comments about the mural so far, and that many have thanked her for painting it. She tried to use the mural to reflect the history and spirit of the town.
“Pepperell is a great community. The people here help each other and I have a feeling it’s always been that way,” she said. “And the history is fascinating.”
Quintin usually paints miniatures. In this larger endeavor, the work took about 10 weeks to complete, plus a month of research and design before she began to paint.
Resources from the Library’s History Room were used, she said, as well as outside sources to determine which locations would be integral to the mural and complete the sketches.
A computer program was used to enlarge her sketches, and then transfer them to the wall using transfer paper. She painted the individual items first, before filling in the background.
Library Director Deb Spratt said the mural exceeded her expectations.
“She really captured everything,” said Spratt. “I especially love the tease of the future with the little car in the corner, down to including our stuffed dog, Lucky, who has become the library mascot. He has become such a part of the fabric of the Library that he needed to be included. Details like that are special,” Spratt said.
Spratt asked Quintin to do the mural, she said, in the hope that it would draw people up the stairs to explore the newly renovated History Room.
“Part of what I’m most excited about is that it’s a permanent piece of history that also includes the future. It shows the past, present and future of a dynamic community and a dynamic library that will withstand the test of time,” Spratt said.
Library patrons Martin Dudek and his daughter Sophie, 8, came to see the completed mural on one of their regular trips to the library.
“It turned out fabulous. It depicts the history of important landmarks now and those that have been lost and keeps those memories alive,” Martin Dudek said.
Sophie Dudek said she liked seeing paintings of landmarks she recognizes, like the clock in Railroad Square and the bike path.
She said she comes into the library often to get books, and will enjoy looking at the mural when she comes from now on.