Violet Frizzle, a Brunswick High School senior, talks about her experience painting Fort Andross during the pandemic for a new art exhibit that opened in Merrymeeting Plaza on Tuesday. Hannah LaClaire / The Times Record

A spectator views the paintings on display in a new public art exhibit in Merrymeeting Plaza. Student artists showcased Brunswick’s landmarks and history in “Brunswick Perspectives: Our Past Informs Our Future.” Hannah LaClaire / The Times Record

A year ago, 10 student artists were tasked with painting something “iconic and special” to Brunswick for a new public art exhibit titled “Brunswick Perspectives: Our Past Informs Our Future.”

Students from Brunswick High School, Southern Maine Community College and Bowdoin College painted roughly 4-foot canvases, each showcasing something special to Brunswick. Their choices ranged from the picturesque, featuring a snowy Crystal Spring Farm or the swinging bridge, to landmarks like the Fat Boy Drive-in or Fort Andross.

Violet Frizzle, 17, chose the Cabot Mill at Fort Andross, as it’s the first thing a person sees when crossing into Brunswick from Topsham. The project, started in the middle of a global pandemic, gave her experience working with acrylics, consistency and a greater appreciation for her hometown, she said.

Artist Nathanial Barter, a student at SMCC, took a different approach and created a mixed-media painting of Colonel Benjamin Church, who led a bloody expedition in Maine in 1690 that resulted in the deaths of several retreating and captured Native Americans. It was important to recognize the less savory parts of Brunswick’s history, he said, because even though uncomfortable, it is crucial to acknowledge all parts of history.

The exhibit, sponsored by Brunswick Public Art and WS Development, opened Tuesday and the paintings are on display at Merrymeeting Plaza, where they will remain for the rest of the year.

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