FORT KENT – During the farmer’s mural unveiling ceremony held on June 24, members of the planning committee and town officials spoke to the large, expectant crowd before cutting the cord holding two blue tarps over the painting.
Fort Kent Town Manager Don Guimond said, “This mural is of particular significance to the community as it depicts our agricultural heritage, in particular the way life was here in the Fort Kent area during the 60s and 70s. As the method of farming changes… one thing remains constant, and that is the connection that agriculture has with nature and our community.”
He added, “This newest addition to our community will be a legacy for years to come.”
Planning committee member Bob Lozier said, “Reno [Lagasse] has a profound love for the town of Fort Kent.”
Lagasse thanked all the people, the merchants, the workers, including the artist Darren Connors, and the committee members, including Bob Lozier and Jim Bourgoin, who helped to make the project possible.
He said the project is not 100 percent complete yet. He anticipates a spotlight for the painting at night, and local contractor Bob Pelletier will be finishing the painting by adding a white border around the edge.
He said the names of the farmers on the list were restricted to people who had farmed within the town boundaries. The planning committee did their best, but some names were inadvertently left off.
“Hopefully we’ll get them up there,” he said.
The entire project has cost $21,000 so far.
“I go to bed thinking about it, I wake up thinking about it,” he said, chuckling.
Artist Darren Connors said, “I’m very, very happy with this thing. Judging by the size of the mural, it’s safe to say the people of Fort Kent like to think big.”
Lagasse said about the anticipated impact of the painting in the future, “Driving up to Market Street, they’re going to have something to look at.”