New Vision Heron Mural unveiled at City Center building


Artist James Thatcher’s New Vision Heron Mural was a shining star at 3rd Friday in downtown Salisbury June 20, as it was unveiled with a festive ribbon cutting at the City Center building.

The community is familiar with the 54-year-old artist’s original painting of a graceful heron silhouette, a highly visible landmark that, in recent years, faded and fell into disrepair.

The artist created it 20 years ago, as he grappled with the death of his wife, who died when the couple lived in Salisbury.

Local businessmen noticed the poor condition of the well-loved work of art, and Thatcher created a new version of individual birds, each on a single panel, in greens and blues, arranged vertically. It’s 30 feet high.

Thatcher, 54, hadn’t seen all the panels assembled, because he didn’t have the space in his Cobleskill, N.Y., studio. It took him six months to finish, so he compared seeing the completed version to “a 6-month-old knot in my stomach unwinding.”

Painted with the original heron in mind, the multi-image mural is bright and highly varnished, a touched he said lent richness.

The mural is expected to last 20 years, Thatcher said.

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