THE WICKENDEN STREET MURAL STARTED AS A NEIGHBORHOOD BEAUTIFICATION PROJECT IN 1997 BY BRENT BACHELDER AND TWO BROWN STUDENTS, LAUREN REBA AND ALICIA WOODLEY

IT WAS 16' HIGH BY 80' LONG..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE FIRST WALL WAS CREATED IN 1997 WITH VOLUNTEERS FROM BROWN AND THE BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB OF FOX POINT. I HAD GOTTEN PERMISSION FROM THEN MAYOR CIANCI TO SEEK SPONSORSHIP TO RAISE MONEY FOR THE MURAL. THE DESIGN WAS STEREOTYPES OF ART INCLUDING VINCENT VAN GOGH, GUERNICA, DAVID, THE SCREAM AND MONA LISA.

THIS WAS THE WALL BEFORE...

LOTS OF GRAFFITI AND PIGEON CRAP.

THIS WAS FIRST PROPOSED DESIGN.

THIS WAS WALL ONE DONE IN 1997.
IN 1998 DEMAND GREW AND SPONSORSHIP SOARED SO WE DID WALL TWO WITH SIX NEW ART IMAGES, THE MUMMY OF NESMIN, A BOTERO PORTRAIT, CEZANNE PORTRAIT, VENUS ON A HALF SHELL, WHISTLER'S MOTHER AND ANDY WARHOL SELF PORTRAIT.
WE SOLD MARQUEE SPONSOR ADS AT $100 EACH TO PAY FOR THE MURAL CREATIONS, UTILIZING LOCAL BUSINESSES. LATER WE WOULD DO CUSTOM LOGO SPOTS FOR $200.

VOLUNTEERS FROM JOHNSON AND WALES, RISD, RIC AND WHEATON COLLEGE, AS WELL OF FRIENDS OF BRENT PITCH IN TO PAINT IT...IT'S REALLY BIG AS YOU CAN SEE!

IN 1999 WE DECIDED TO PAINT THE COLUMNS IN BETWEEN THE TWO WALLS (WICKENDEN STREET UNDERPASS WAS THREE STREETS WITH TWO LANES EACH, AND HAD ABOUT 17 COLUMNS. EACH COLUMN WAS SPONSORED AT $300 EACH AND WERE CUSTOMIZED TO A PARTICULAR BUSINESS.
 
THE MONEY RAISED WAS USED TO DO THE FIRST MAJOR OVERHAUL OF THE TWO WALLS, WHICH HAD ALREADY STARTED TO SUCCUMB TO THE RAVAGES OF NATURE.
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THIS WAS A FUN PROJECT THAT WE STARTED WAY BACK WHEN. IT GOT A BIT CRAZY AS TIME WENT ON AND THE PIGEONS AND ROAD SALT TOOK THEIR TOLL.

 

WE REPAIRED THE WALLS AND TOUCHED UP GRAFFITI (ALTHOUGH I DO HAVE TO SAY IT WAS VERY MINIMAL, MOST PEOPLE RESPECTED THE MURAL) AND CHANGED THE SPONSORSHIP ADS WHEN BUSINESSES CLOSED.

 

WE CHARGED ENOUGH MONEY TO COVER THE TIME NEEDED TO DO NEW ADS AND TOUCH UP THE MURAL. IT WAS NEVER INTENDED AS A MONEY MAKER, BUT IT DID NEED TO AT LEAST COVER EXPENSES, WHICH IT DID MOST OF THE TIME.

 

 

AS TIME WENT ON THE WALL DETERIORATED MORE AND MORE AND KEEPING UP WITH IT AS MY CAREER SHIFTED WAS DIFFICULT. I TRIED OVER AND OVER AGAIN TO GET OVER TO THE WALL AND FIX IT ENTIRELY, BUT I NEVER HAD ENOUGH TIME OR MONEY TO DO IT.

 

A FEW PEOPLE RESPONDED TO OUR PLEA AND HERE IS THE RESULT OF WHAT WE TRIED TO DO. IT WAS DIFFICULT TO KEEP GOING AT THE SAME SPONSORSHIP RATES WE HAD STARTED AT IN THE PAST (WE NEVER ONCE RAISED PRICES FOR SPONSORSHIP ADS). TIME WENT ON AND WE DIDN'T HAVE THE RESOURCES TO THE OVERHAUL WE HAD WANTED TO DO. THEN IN 2005 CAME THE BIRD FLU SCARE AND DUE TO PIGEON THERE, WE KEPT OUR DISTANCE FOR A WHILE. BIRD FLU NEVER HAPPENED BUT WE LOST A WHOLE YEAR AND THE WALL DETERIORATED FURTHER, ALMOST TO THE POINT OF NO RETURN.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FINALLY IT CAME TIME TO SEE IF WE COULD AGAIN GET MORE MONEY TO DO ANOTHER COMPLETE OVERHAUL OF THE MURAL, A COMPLETE SCRAPE AND REPAINT WITH FRESH PAINT. WE RAISED SOME MONEY AND BEGAN THE RESTORATION.

SO AS YOU SEE WE GOT LOTS OF PRESS OVER THE YEARS, INCLUDING  BEING #1 ON THE "BEST 100 THINGS WE LIKE ABOUT THE CITY" FROM PROVIDENCE MONTHLY AND A LAYOUT IN GRACE ORMONDE'S WEDDING STYLE MAGAZINE.


IN LATE 2005 IT BECAME APPARENT THAT IT WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO BE COMPLETELY OVERHAULED ONE FINAL TIME. MY CAREER HAD SHIFTED AND MY AVAILABILITY WAS GONE. I WAS MAKING ARRANGEMENTS TO TRANSFER THE PROJECT TO MY ASSISTANT, ALLEN CAMPBELL, WHEN THE NEW HIGHWAY CONSTRUCTION STARTED CREEPING TOWARD THE WALL. WE KNEW AT SOME POINT IN THE FUTURE THE WALL WOULD COME DOWN.

 

BUT IN NOVEMBER OF 2006, GREAT STEEL BEAMS WERE WELDED IN FRONT OF THE MURAL PERMANENTLY, MAKING ACCESS IMPOSSIBLE. THE PROJECT WAS OVER.

 

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"PROVIDENCE'S NEW REVITALIZATION (AKA THE RENAISSANCE)

INCUDING THE NEW "I" WAY HIGHWAY RELOCATION

PROJECT SPELLS DEMISE OF AN EAST SIDE ICON."

HERE ARE PICTURES OF WHAT IT LOOKED LIKE IN DECEMBER 2006.

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I WANT TO THANK ALL OF MY FRIENDS, ASSISTANTS, SUPPORTERS, SPONSORS AND VOLUNTEERS WHO MADE THIS PROJECT SUCH A SUCCESS. I HAVE TRIED SIMILAR PROJECTS ELSEWHERE AND THEY DID NOT FAIR AS WELL. THIS WAS A UNIQUE PROJECT THAT I WILL SADLY MISS, IT HAS BEEN PART OF MY LIFE FOR ALMOST NINE YEARS NOW. I AM ALSO GLAD THAT MY RESPONSIBIITY FOR MAINTAINING IT IS OVER SINCE I CAN NO LONGER ACCESS IT TO DO ANYTHING MORE. THE WALL WILL DETERIORATE AND DISINTEGRATE AND EVENTUALLY BE TORN DOWN, NO DOUBT FOR SOME FABULOUSLY OVER-PRICES RESIDENTIAL APARTMENTS. SO LONG AND THANKS FOR ALL THE FISH.

BYE-BYE

THE END IS HIGH - DATELINE: FEBRUARY 2010
THE MURAL'S DEMOLITION HAS BEGUN

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LOOK WHAT I GOT IN THE MAIL! THANKS TO JOYCE SMITH
FOR THIS AWESOME MATTED PHOTO OF THE VENUS!

WICKENDEN STREET OVERPASS GONE!!!

CAMPUS LIQUORS HOMAGE WINDOW DISPLAY!

I created 5 of these scale painings. I still own one and I don't recall where the other 5 went to!

© 2020 CNC Design Studio
 

725 PROSPECT AVENUE    RUMFORD, ME 04276

 

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