Posted December 18, 2008
Mark Wethli began creating murals in 1999, when he was called upon to teach a visual arts course in mural painting. Inspired by his students’ examples—the murals outside Dayton Arena and inside Druckenmiller Hall, he went on to create murals for Mid Coast Hospital, Yarmouth High School, and Knox County Courthouse, among others
He returned to teaching Public Art in 2007, where he and his class were given the opportunity to create a mural to mark the fifteenth anniversary of Woodside Elementary School in Topsham. Following discussions with the Woodside fifth graders, each student in the Public Art class submitted a proposal, from which designs by Lindsey Bruett ’09 and Lyndsey Colburn ’08 were selected. Featuring colorful silhouettes based on photos of student acrobats from Woodside, the mural was completed a year later by members of the spring 2008 Public Art course. This collaboration helped to raise the younger students’ sights while affording Bowdoin students the joys and rewards of mentorship.
In the spring 2008 Public Art course Mark also mentored Carina Sandoval ’10, who created “Quilt Squares,” the installation in the McKeen Center, and who also designed the center’s logo.
“Enhancing public spaces and building a community identity are the outward goals of public art projects. A less visible, yet equally important outcome, is in the interaction of two educational communities working side by side.”