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December 26, 2012

Bringing Rockport history to life

Artist's series of murals at high school brings rave reviews

The entrance to Rockport High School has been transformed from a nondescript off-white wall to one that brings local history to life — and in living color.

Tina Lamond, a Rockport artist, a mother of three, and essentially her own beautification committee, was commissioned by school officials to create a mural — actually a series of scenes — from one end of the entrance to the stairways that lead to the middle school and high school. And her work is now being praised by students and adults alike.

After Lamond finished painting all four walls of the elementary school science room into the fauna and flora from around the globe, she was approached with the idea of painting at the secondary school, and she sketched out a few ideas. The design option chosen features selections of local history that highlight unique aspects of the town.

“When I first arrived, I always thought that wall would be a great place for a mural of ‘historic proportions’ that would show the students, the community, and our visitors the pride we have in our school and our community,” said Philip Conrad, principal of Rockport High School and Middle School.

Working completely from scaffolding, Lamond started in June, working intermittently when time permitted, most often in the evenings, and just finished the project last week.

She started with the theme of the Vikings — the school mascot — and painted a viking and viking ship. The background features an expansive ocean with all kinds of sailing vessels, from those carrying granite, once a thriving industry in Rockport, to fishing vessels.

She noted that granite was used to build the sea wall, of which only a portion of the wall can be seen from shore. The wall never was completed after the interruption from World War I after which the federal government cut off its funding. The sea wall would have made Rockport one of the largest harbors in the region.

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