An exciting new project is underway in Downtown Danbury! From mid-September to mid-October, Mural Envy will be using the vacant Snap Fitness space at 261 Main Street as a temporary studio. Artist Toni Miraldi (that’s me!) is painting a 8’ x 16’ mural on 4 large panels of artist-grade plywood.
Since I usually paint large-scale work on-site, I do not have a space big enough to accommodate four giant sheets of plywood–this mural will not fit in my tiny basement studio! Fortunately, Danbury has many community-minded individuals and organizations who support the arts and want to bring interesting and energizing things to the city’s historic downtown. The owner of 261 Main is just such an individual, and he has generously offered the empty storefront as a pop-up studio.
I moved my equipment into the space and put an informational sign in the window just three days ago. Already people are stopping to read it and messaging me about the project. Here are the answers to many of your questions:
Q: Who is this mural for?
A: The mural is a collaboration with The Women’s Center of Greater Danbury, The Cultural Alliance of Western Connecticut, and the EndWorks project, which brings together regional artists to give voice to and increase awareness of domestic violence and sexual assault. For inspiration in creating the design, I talked with volunteers and staff at the Women’s Center, to learn about their passions and motivations, and to hear their stories of serving the Greater Danbury community. From these conversations came a clear message of hope, empathy, advocacy and diversity. The mural’s imagery translates that message into a visual language that will communicate the Center’s mission in a new, engaging way.
Q: Where will the finished mural be installed?
A: That’s a secret! The location will be revealed at the official unveiling, which will take place at The Cultural Alliance’s 12th Annual Business Supports the Arts Awards Breakfast on October 11. However, I can tell you that the location will be in a building that is publicly accessible, so everyone will have a chance to see the finished painting.
Q: Can I stop in and check out the progress?
A: Yes! The door is locked, but just knock and I will come open it for you. The studio is closed Sept 26-30, but I will resume Open Studio Hours on Monday, Oct 1, from 9:30 to about 3:00. Stop by any time.