Tara Goreau has painted murals all over the Northeast Kingdom—at the Cellars at Jasper Hill, Pete’s Greens, High Mowing Seeds, the Galaxy Bookstore, and even at a farm insurance business in Newport. Sterling College has two of her murals—one of the campus community at the lower dorms, and a “salad-scape” that hangs in the Dunbar foyer.

The inspiration for the second mural, she said, was the edible landscape of Sterling. “Every time I went to Sterling, I was always amazed by the food that was grown right there,” she said recently. “Besides the people at Sterling, that was always my favorite thing to see, people carting vegetables back and forth.”

The mural was designed by her as well as alumni Matt McClenahan ’14. “He was really fun to work with,” Goreau remembered. “He was really good at the details of the roots of the birch trees, and the plants. We got a lot of inspiration walking through the woods and on the farm.”

Other students who helped with the painting were Matthew Haarklou, Jessy Lee ’15, and Grace Costin ’15. All was well—until deadlines loomed. The mural was scheduled to go up before the first day of Fall semester 2013. McClenahan and Goreau spent all night finishing the mural and installing it in the foyer. “It was hard to install because we didn’t have scaffolding,” she said. “I was very glad Matt was acrobatic. He did a very good job getting it up there—we really defied gravity.”

Goreau is able to walk by her mural more often, as this semester she taught Art and the Language of Environmentalism. This summer, she’ll be teaching a short course in mandala murals.

Filed Under: Community Environmental Humanities Newsroom