The town of Mansfield voted on Tuesday to give their support to the Route 106 Mural Project.
The Mansfield Mural Committee, The Mansfield Music and Arts Society and the Keep Mansfield Beautiful Organization support the project, which has been the subject of debate in the past.
The main issue behind opposition to the mural in the past has been graffiti. Scott Brigante, of the MMC, said that the project will not only discourage graffiti, but also help prevent it.
“Research suggest that murals discourage graffiti that taggers people who like to go out and do graffiti prefer to respect the work of other artists and don’t tag them,” he said. “They tend to target blank spaces and blank walls.”
He added that the mural will also have a special coating once completed, that will allow any paint put on it to be washed off easily.
Brigante said that the concept for the mural is always ongoing. A survey released in mid 2011 took in received over 531 responses. Of that, over two thirds of the responses were positive. The only real negative responses received on the survey stated that it does not encompass enough history of the town.
“A number of people who have been in the town a long long time, resident historians, have pointed out that there were missing elements of the history of the town in the design,” he said. “We’re continuing to incorporate those because we think it’s important that this mural demonstrate the unique character, the unique history for the 200 plus years that we’ve been around that many people, especially our young people, do not know about.”
The project will be funded by donations. Several local companies have already pledged support. Volunteers will perform the painting and maintenance itself.
“When the mural is up, that’s not the end of the project,” Brigante said.
One of the other detractors for the project was the impression that the mural while driving on Route 106 may distract people. Brigante said that since the mural is not at street level, it is unlikely to cause any accidents or additional congestion.
“With the advent of text messaging and cell phone use and other devices in cars, that is really our primary concern,” he said.