ELLSWORTH — Heart of Ellsworth is beginning the first phase of downtown Ellsworth’s first outdoor public art mural. Seed money was received from an anonymous donor through a fund managed by the Maine Community Foundation. 

The first phase will include research, promotion and a call to artists. A committee of dedicated community partners has mapped a path forward. Additional funding is needed for the second phase which will include the actual painting of the mural. Heart of Ellsworth is exploring all funding opportunities through grants and community support.

Heart of Ellsworth is partnering with community members and businesses to plan and execute this inaugural public art project. Public art is on the rise in Maine, drawing attention to its diverse culture and history. Public art is known to strengthen community identity, increase cultural awareness, improve the aesthetics of public spaces, and contribute to local economies. The current pandemic has underscored the value of public art that can be accessed outdoors and engage citizens even when we are unable to gather together. This project seeks to strengthen arts access in our community by facilitating collaboration on the design and installation of a mural in a highly visible, walkable area of downtown Ellsworth. 

Cara Romano, Heart of Ellsworth’s executive director said, “Our ambition is that this project will kindle the community’s support for future public art, leading to a richer cultural experience and economic development in downtown Ellsworth.” She continued, “It is our intention to involve the community in not only the design, but also the actual painting of the mural.”

Ultimately, the painting of the mural will be overseen by a Maine artist, with the help of local art students and community volunteers. Through a call for proposals and jury review (with community input) preference will be given to Hancock County artists with proposals that acknowledge aspects of the region’s history while looking toward our future.

Heart of Ellsworth welcomes community support for the project through volunteer and monetary contributions. For more information, to donate or to express interest in volunteering for this project, visit heartofellsworth.org.