The murals portray a variety of Biblical scenes, including the Three Wise Men. Jane Vaughan / Lakes Region Weekly

GRAY — The First Congregational Church is searching for a way to celebrate the “quite extraordinary” murals that adorn the interior of its Parish House.

The murals, painted by a local artist who wishes to remain anonymous, were created 10 years ago to decorate the Parish House’s empty hallways and depict biblical scenes, including the resurrection.

The murals are “quite extraordinary,” said Pastor Richard Hyde. The artist volunteered to paint the murals, which snake around the hallways in the back of the House, so they “didn’t cost us a cent.”

The murals wrap around corners and down hallways. Jane Vaughan / Lakes Region Weekly

Although the artist declined to be named, church member Nancy McMinn said, “I do know she did them with a very deep appreciation of the Bible.”

“She tells me of the enjoyment that she had as she painted these,” McMinn said. “She is very pleased that they are being enjoyed by the many folks who come through the Parish House and see them.”

While Hyde said church members love to see the artwork, “no one (else) knows it’s here.”

He would like to have a celebration honoring the 10th anniversary of the murals’ creation, perhaps at the beginning of Advent, so the public can appreciate them.

“It would be nice to have some occasion to commemorate having these,” said the Rev. Natalie Blake of East Baldwin Congregational Church. “(The artist) had an extraordinary vision.” 

The murals were done mostly using leftover house paint from the Gray transfer station, and Hyde said they have not required any upkeep.

The Parish House doorways were painted to look like old barn doors. Jane Vaughan / Lakes Region Weekly

They are notable for the level of detail in each scene, including individual pieces of hay, brightly-colored campfires and multiple kittens. The church has also accented the murals with props, including a trunk and a pitcher. The artist also painted the doors in the hallways to look like old barn doors so that the entire scene is continuous.

“There’s even an old corner with a palm tree that goes onto the door,” Blake said. “She carried the theme above all the doorways. It’s really terrific. Nothing is out of character.” 

Blake said no other local churches have art quite like this: “This is very unique. The detail is absolutely wonderful. (The artist) did an extraordinary job.” 

 

The murals have adorned the Parish House for a decade. Jane Vaughan / Lakes Region Weekly

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