Bath seeks artist to turn Vine Street wall into gateway mural

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BATH — Maine Street Bath is seeking proposals for a mural to decorate the wall at 13 Vine St. in a way that reflects the city’s history and spirit.

People entering downtown from the north are now greeted by a gray, cinder block barrier and a weathered “Bath/City of Ships” sign.

“When it was originally painted, it was probably beautiful, but time has taken its toll on it, and it has faded,” Jake Korb, director of the nonprofit economic development organization, said last month.

“That exit (off Route 1) really welcomes you to downtown Bath, and to Bath in general,” he said. “And it’s a good opportunity to maybe make that little doorway a little more welcoming.”

Korb said the hope is to “make it a real gateway … and a public art piece. … We are trying to encourage that feel throughout the entire community, and this is one of the ways that the Design Committee of Main Street Bath is doing that.”

Main Street Bath is open to ideas. “We want to see what people can come up with, and see how they can represent Bath,” Korb said, adding that “there will definitely be an element of maritime culture involved in it.”

A few parties had expressed interest as of last week, he said.

According to a request for proposals posted at, the mural is to include components directing visitors to Bath’s downtown, waterfront and visitor information center, as well as acknowledgement of Main Street Bath as the project’s sponsor.

The artist will receive $5,000, which includes expenses. The mural is to be 20 feet wide and 6 feet tall, and will cover a convex surface.

Pre-qualification submissions, due Dec. 15, begin the process. Interested artists should submit their phone number, email address and website, a resume, examples of similar work, an artist’s statement and a list of professional references.

A selection committee composed of Main Street Bath members, city councilors and local artists will narrow the applicant list to a group that will submit final concepts by Feb. 15. Those concepts include renderings, sketches, photographs, or other media to show the design; specifications of materials to be used, with degree of durability noted, and assurance in writing that the artist will comply with the installation schedule.

The selection committee is scheduled to choose the final design by March 15, 2016, with a contract to be executed within 15 days and the mural completed by June 30.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

Main Street Bath is seeking proposals from artists about how to improve the aesthetics of this wall that greets many city visitors.

A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.