SHREWSBURY, Massachusetts – On Sunday October 6 at 2:00 P.m., the Artist Guild of Shrewsbury will unveil four murals to be donated to the Shrewsbury Public Library. The murals, which depict four scenes from Mark Twain’s classic book The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, were created to commemorate Shrewsbury’s community reading project, which occurred this spring. The Big Read project offered a variety of activities for children, teens and adults, designed to encourage reading of this classic book.
Last winter Library Director Ellen Dolan met with members of the Artist Guild to explain plans for The Big Read, and inquired if the Guild wished to participate by creating a Tom Sawyer themed mural for the courtyard adjacent to the library’s children’s room. A team of five guild members immediately signed up to help. They decided that they would create large mural boards, depicting four iconic scenes from the story. Marjorie Needels chose a scene of Tom Sawyer and Becky Thatcher lost in the cave. Cynthia Staub decided on the image of Tom, Huck and Joe Harper rafting across the Mississippi River in the middle of the night. Robert Wilson and Pamela Haynes decided to create a mélange of well-known images from Mark Twain’s novel. Mary Dunn beautifully portrayed the classic image of Tom bartering for “treasures” in exchange for the “privilege” of whitewashing Aunt Polly’s fence .
After researching techniques and methods for creating murals that could withstand exterior conditions, the artists began their work in February 2013. Following many months of planning, sketching, and painting, most of which took place in the library itself, the team is ready to formally gift the murals to the library and unveil them at a public reception on October 6.
The unveiling ceremony will take place in the Memory Place courtyard, which is adjacent to the Children’s Room, at the Shrewsbury Public Library, 609 Main Street. Light refreshments will be served, and a small gift for children in the audience is being made by the Friends of the Shrewsbury Public Library. All are invited to meet the artists and view the formal presentation ceremony.