PERU – Peter Precourt began painting a stylized depiction of children on a swing ride at a county fair midway on Monday. Nearby, his studio assistant, and one of his students, Ian Blethen, helped by monitoring the finished creation on a laptop computer.

Precourt’s work, and the work of three other Maine artists that will be created in the new $14 million Dirigo Elementary School, is part of the state’s Percent for Art program.

Precourt, of Winthrop, is an assistant professor of art and gallery director at the University of Maine at Augusta.

His is the first work to be created at the new school. Precourt plans to have the artwork, painted on a 12- by 15-foot wall and part of a wall leading down a flight of stairs, completed by Friday.

Titled “Sway,” it is a semi-abstract painting done in shades of black with acrylics and other media.

The computer Blethen monitors shows the completed artwork, while Precourt works on each section of it.

Other art planned for the school includes a work by Mike Stiler of Monhegan Island showing a father and child canoeing down the Androscoggin River, which will be on display in the lobby. Three stainless steel sculptures symbolizing land, river and sky, created by Thomaston artist William Barriss Martin will be hung in the library. A stylized four-panel depiction of connected roadways in the district’s four member towns by Whitefield artist Natasha Mayers will also be shown at the school.

The state set aside $50,000 for the school’s art.

Each work is expected to be completed by the end of spring vacation in April.


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