Pat Perry, a Michigan-based artist, put the finishing touches on a giant outdoor mural in downtown Biddeford on Tuesday, completing a project that has connected children in two countries.

The mural of a young boy at 15 York St. covers a two-story wall at the Pepperell Mill Campus and is one half of an international work of art organized by the One Blue Sky Project to connect fourth- and fifth-grade students in Biddeford with students of the same age in Sulaymaniyah, Iraq. The project includes two paintings by Perry — one in Biddeford of a young boy and one in Iraq of a young girl, both speaking on a telephone.

A Iraqi student paints on a mural in Sulaymaniyah, Iraq, as part of the One Blue Sky project, which paired the mural with one in Biddeford, both painted by artist Pat Perry. Photo courtesy of Samantha Robison

Both panels of the One Blue Sky mural incorporated the students’ ideas about friendship and, while more than 5,000 miles apart, share themes of communication, understanding and acceptance. Perry volunteered to paint the murals.

The connection between Biddeford and Iraq was made with the help of Engine, a local nonprofit focused on bringing art to the community, and the One Blue Sky Project, which was founded by Laura Rodgers, executive director of The Good Works Foundation in Boston. The foundation financed the project as a way for children from the different communities to find similarities between them.

The mural in Sulaymaniyah, Iraq, painted by Pat Perry to pair with a mural created in Biddeford this week. Both incorporated students’ ideas about friendship. Photo courtesy of Samantha Robison


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