Impact Report: Downtown Bangor Wheatpaste Mural Project 2021

Public art in Bangor has been an evolving scene over the past decade, and in the Spring of this year Launchpad had the opportunity to revive a project that had helped frame the conversation around the benefits to outdoor art in the Queen City. Inspired by a similar project with origins in Gardiner, Maine; the mural project has helped strengthen community identity, increase cultural awareness, improve the aesthetics of public spaces, and contributed to our local economy. It was a natural transition for Launchpad to take on this micro-project as a continuation of our mission. 

A theme of “Unity” was selected for the 2021 project. Artists were challenged to create pieces that elicit conversation and inspiration around uniting and connecting our community. Over 50 submissions were received, and 12 final designs chosen for installation. Despite the challenges presented by COVID-19, the pandemic has also underscored the value of accessible, outdoor public art and its power to engage citizens even when we are unable to gather together.

Each mural was accompanied by a QR code that allowed individuals to use smartphones to access further information about the artwork, the artist and navigate them to other installations placed throughout downtown. These temporary installations provided an innovative way to increase awareness for the value of public art, increase vibrancy, and provide artists recognition for their work.

Some quick facts: 

  • 54 designs were submitted from 32 artists
  • 12 final designs were selected for installation
  • 3 local news outlets covered the installation day
  • Our seeking submissions announcement on Facebook reached over 850 individuals and 350 engagements or shares
  • Our post revealing the installations on Facebook reached over 1,200 individuals and had 200 engagements or shares 
  • The unique QR Code accompanying murals was scanned 765 times by 734 unique individuals between May and October. Unique individuals scanning the QR code came from the US, Canada, and Romania. The top cities, where unique users who scanned the QR code came from, were New York, Chicago and Boston