Colorful components of peace signs in the making.

NORWAY — Political messaging in Oxford Hills has seen its share of drama over the last couple of weeks but Oxford and Norway Police Departments report that no additional vandalism to any signs has been reported. Both departments are continuing their investigations, with Oxford Police Chief Michael Ward confirming that he has received leads that include descriptions of a vehicle and persons of interest.

Oxford artist Amanda Pauliks has made seven signs promoting peace since her original design was vandalized.

Artist Amanda Pauliks repaired and restored the original “sign for hope” that she made Melinda Blair of Norway and is now trying to catch her breath as she deals with the response from the Oxford Hills community and beyond.

“I’ve cut and painted all kinds of new ones,” said Pauliks. “Immediately after word got out about Melinda’s sign I had orders from three people in Norway who wanted signs for their own yards. And since last week I’ve gotten requests from people in South Paris, Norway, Leeds and even Vassalborough.”

Pauliks is not looking to make money on her messages of peace, but she is accepting donations from those placing orders to help defray the cost and time to install them. Others have offered to provide paint and lumber to the effort. And a local contractor even reached out to her this week to let her know he is willing to collect scraps and left-over materials as he works.

Blair is just happy to have her sign back and with the response from her neighbors and beyond.
“We have received two letters from people in the area reaching out to let us know of their support,” Blair said. “My mother told me she saw a sign similar to mine, same wording but not in a rainbow on the Route 117 in Buckfield. She said it was on the left right before the big ‘Welcome to Buckfield sign.'”

“In this house we believe,” the headline for signs of hope and social justice Supplied photo

“At first it was all just overwhelming to me,” Pauliks said. “But suddenly the excitement of making a difference kicked in and I’m so happy that something hateful has turned into something so nice for everyone.

“Melinda and I have been reading comments from the coverage it has received. There have been some that are unkind, but we just decided to read over those and keep going. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. And I am just going to continue forward and focus on the positive.”

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