SOUTH PORTLAND — The Art All Around public art project moved one step closer to completion Monday as the Maine Center for Creativity unveiled the painting design for the fourth and fifth oil tanks and announced plans for the final stage of its fundraising campaign.

So far, the center has raised $950,000 and remains $350,000 shy of its $1.3 million goal. At a media briefing Monday morning, campaign chairman Phil Harriman said the goal is to receive $3,000 donations from 100 businesses or individuals. The final $50,000 will come in the form of a grant.

Jean Maginnis, executive director of the Maine Center for Creativity, said two Maine companies, L.L. Bean and MEMIC, have made donations as part of the final push.

Three tanks have been completed, transforming the Sprague Energy Tank Farm. Two more, on the west side of the Veterans Memorial Bridge, near the Lincoln Street Extension in South Portland, will be painted this year. They feature the design of the Art All Around competition’s winner, Jaime Gili.

Art All Around began in 2008. In all, the project calls for painting eight complete tanks and eight tank tops. When completed, the public art project would cover 261,000 square feet. The largest public art painting now is a piece called “The Wave” in Croatia, at 111,000 square feet.

Art All Around will eclipse that record when the fifth tank is about halfway painted, later this year, Maginnis said.

“This is an important moment for this project,” she said. “We’ve embarked on the final phase of our fundraising campaign and we’re about to set a world record for having the largest public art painting.”

Liesel Fenner, public art program manager for Americans for the Arts in Washington, D.C., attended Monday’s media event and spoke about the importance of the arts in Maine’s economy.

 

Staff Writer Bob Keyes can be contacted at 791-6457 or at: [email protected]

Follow him on Twitter at: twitter.com/pphbkeyes