Mural Festival coming to Keene next year

By MEGHAN PIERCE
Union Leader Correspondent
April 01. 2018 9:43PM

A group of muralists from around the world, who call themselves Walldogs, are gearing up to hold their Magical History Tour Mural Festival in the Keene next year. courtesy photo 

KEENE – A group of muralists from around the world, who call themselves Walldogs, are gearing up to hold their Magical History Tour Mural Festival in Keene next year.

The festival is being planned to take place in Keene in June 2019.

Over the three to four day festival 12 to 15 murals will be painted around the city to highlight Keene’s history, Keene sign artist Peter Poanessa said.

Poanessa and his wife Mary McCord, who own Keene Signworx of Swanzey, got the idea to bring a mural festival to the Elm City after joining the Walldogs and participating in other mural festivals in other communities.

The murals will be designed in the style of old-fashioned advertisements, Poanessa said. The subject matter will be left up to a committee of Keene residents now forming. Poanessa said the festival committee is looking for mural ideas ranging from historical figures, businesses and events that shaped the city. He has already received numerous ideas for the murals, he said.

“We’re forming a committee right now for all the details of the festival, and the subject matter will be a big part of it. I think we will probably have more ideas then we can use. … We’ve already had a lot of people come forward with ideas,” Poanessa said, such as Mount Monadnock, Civil Rights hero Jonathan Daniels and the city’s former toy making business Kingsbury Toys.

“There’s usually at least one mural from some oddball character in some area, who wasn’t a politician or had a business or anything, but had some major effect on the community,” he said.

The mural festival also plans to revive the Coca-Cola sign on Winter Street. Walldogs actually works closely with Coca-Cola, Poanessa said, so the colors will match Coke signs of the year that mural was originally painted, he said.

Poanessa said he and his wife were driving home from one of the Walldogs mural festivals when they had the idea to bring a festival to Keene.

The have meet with city officials and members of the Cheshire County Historical Society, garnering a lot of support in the process, he said.

After the festival the murals can be used by the city for a walking history and or art tour. The art will last up to 50 to 75 years, he said.

You can learn more about the festival and how to get involved at www.walldogsinkeene.com.


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