By Associated Press - Saturday, July 15, 2017

BETHEL, Vt. (AP) - The public has been invited to help paint a mural on a retaining wall Saturday to help highlight the White River and revitalize downtown Bethel.

The Bethel Revitalization Initiative won a $15,000 grant this spring from the Vermont Arts Council to fund three public art projects. The Valley News reports one is an extended 200-foot mural featuring rainbow and brook trout that will cover a retaining wall at the intersections of routes 12 and 107.

Jericho-based artist Mary Lacy designed the mural as part of her 10-city national tour that includes animals in each project.

The other projects that are part of grant are sculptural benches for downtown green spaces and colorful banners for light poles.

“They are all designed to celebrate the river and highlight it from Main Street and call attention to this great asset in town,” said Rebecca Sanborn Stone, a Randolph-based consultant working on the project.

The public was invited to help paint the mural Saturday, during a “Paint and Picnic” party.

“Art has the power to accomplish many goals - from slowing traffic to beautifying downtown, from supporting businesses to creating more accessible public spaces,” said Lylee Rauch-Kacenski, the artist coordinator for the three art projects and a member of the Bethel Revitalization Initiative.

The arts projects also have been assisted by the town and the Vermont Agency of Transportation, which helped with permitting and engineering issues, organizers said.

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