Several volunteers have turned out to help with the mural project going on at the Gem Theater. By Tuesday afternoon each of the theater’s four walls had at least some paint on it. Bethel Citizen photo by Samuel Wheeler

 

The side of the building facing River Lanes when complete will have the words “we go together” blended in with the several different colors painted on the wall. Bethel Citizen photo by Samuel Wheeler.

BETHEL — A mural containing several vibrant colors with the words “we go together, we grow together,” and “we are all family,” blended in will soon be complete at the Gem Theater. All four walls of the building are being painted different colors and three of the four walls will have words on them.

Throughout the week volunteers have been hard at work on each wall, with the wall facing Cross Street getting the most attention so far. The project has received more positive than negative feedback, but some of the volunteer artists have had insults shouted at them by people driving past the theater. A Facebook post was shared Monday evening asking supporters of the project to stop by throughout the week to provide artists with additional support.

“We feel that with more supporters physically on site, we can rebuff the intimidation coming from those few loud voices. To help us move forward with this project, we are asking community members to simply show up, hang out and be present in support of the artwork.”

On top of getting verbal feedback, there has also been plenty of discussion about the project on Facebook. Those in support of the project have called it “progressive” and think that the bright colors, along with the words mixed in will help deliver a positive message to the town.

People have also countered negative comments by saying that the building’s new look is still better than having another chain restaurant come to the area. Those opposed have argued that the colors do not fit with Bethel and have suggested that the mural be focused more around the towns mountainous landscape. One individual suggested  simplifying the overall design down to a family of trout and keeping the words “we go together, we grow together.”

A few people simply called the buildings soon-to-be look an “eyesore.”

Overall though, the positive comments far outweighed the negative ones, according to Cathy Lane, who combed through the discussion on Facebook. Lane’s been heavily involved in the mural project from the start and was the one who shared the design on the Team Bethel Facebook page.

Gem Co-Owner Wade Kavanaugh said at a select board meeting earlier in the month that he is open to having a civil discussion with anyone about the project.

 

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