“Down on the Farm” Vibrant mural reminds all who pass of Medway’s steep farming tradition
Medway Community Farm’s storefront has been revitalized thanks to the creativity and hard work of Mike Cannistraro (aka Canman). Mike was awarded a grant from the Medway Cultural Council to create a mural in an open space in Medway, visible to all. When he found out he was awarded the grant, he approached the Medway Community Farm with the idea of using the face of the farm store to create the mural. The response from the farm members was an overwhelming yes! They loved the idea of a mural especially given the fact that it would reflect farming in the community. They specified the idea of a farm scene which reflected a diverse and inclusive society, painted in the style of Thomas Hart Benton. Benton was known for his depicture of ordinary people and his use of bold colors. CanMan ran with the idea!
After a couple of black and white, and then color renditions, the artist was ready to begin. The process to create this piece of art uses high tech as well as low tech techniques. After creating the design on the computer, he printed the art onto a transparency. He painted the farm store front with a primer and was all set to go after a bit of delay due to Mother Nature. Then, once the sun set, he projected the image onto the face of the farm. He painstakingly drew in all the details over a couple of evenings.
Canman encountered a few obstacles in addition to the rain. One of the issues he encountered when getting ready to paint was the angled slope leading up to the farm. The angled slope did not allow for the scaffolding equipment that Canman rented to sit properly. Luckily, the Town stepped in and provided a bucket truck so that the painting could continue. The bucket truck turned out to be the perfect solution for the artist to get up close and personal to his work.
In addition to working at his full-time job as the lead tattoo artist at Visions Tattoo, Piercing & Art Gallery in Medway, Mike worked tirelessly for over 40 hours to complete the mural. The public was invited to stop by the farm to observe Canman while he worked. Community members were delighted to be able to converse with Canman and listen to the story of his artistic creation. The final mural is no less than amazing and will be a reminder to all who pass it that Medway is steeped in the tradition of farming.