Marblehead Public Art Committee unveils new mural outside Arnould Gallery & Framery

The Marblehead Public Art Committee officially unveiled its newest installation, “Marblehead Gaze” by Marblehead artist Grace Menslage (center). Joining her at the celebratory reception in her honor are her father, John, (left) and her brother Luke (right). The mural will be on display for the Marblehead Festival of Art and through July 11 on the outside wall of Arnould Gallery and Framery at 111 Washington St., in Marblehead.

The Marblehead Chamber of Commerce’s Public Art Committee has officially unveiled its newest art installation – “Marblehead Gaze,” a temporary mural by Marblehead artist Grace Menslage.

Displayed on the exterior wall of Arnould Gallery and Framery at 111 Washington St., the white canvas mural features a series of eyes painted in black.  

“Grace’s artwork explores the male gaze and what it means to feel safe as a young woman today,” explained Peyton Pugmire, chairperson of the Public Art Committee, at the June 15 celebratory reception held in Menslage”s honor.

Menslage’s project began last December when Marblehead resident and artist Colin McGuire, announced he would be teaching a unit on public art and design at The Academy at Penguin Hall in Wenham. McGuire encouraged and mentored Menslage through the project. Menslage is a 2022 graduate of The Academy and will be attending Lesley University in Cambridge this fall.

Celebrating with Grace Menslage at the reception held in honor of the unveiling of her mural, “Marblehead Gaze,” are (front to back) Molly Martin, founder and president of The Academy at Penguin Hall where Menslage was a student until her graduation this spring; Menslage’s public art and design teacher at Penguin Hall, Marblehead resident Colin McGuire, and Peyton Pugmire, chairperson of the Marblehead Public Art Committee that sponsored the installation in cooperation with the Marblehead Chamber of Commerce. The mural will be on display at Arnould Gallery and Framery, 111 Washington St., in Marblehead for the Festival of Art and through July 11.

“Public art is for everyone and its meaning is to be interpreted by you, the viewer,” Pugmire said. “What does Grace’s mural mean to you? And how does Grace’s own meaning inspire your interpretation? Once we connect with these questions and answers, we then have the conversation that can have lasting affects beyond the life of the public art.”

The mural will be on display during the Marblehead Festival of Arts and through July 11 when it will return to The Academy at Penguin Hill.

About the Marblehead Public Art Committee

The mission of the PAC is to promote and support the planning and implementation of public art in Marblehead, Mass. for the sake of enjoyment and accessibility for all.  Under the auspices of the Marblehead Chamber of Commerce, volunteer members of the committee work together and in collaboration with artists, Chamber of Commerce board and staff, and Marblehead town officials to select, organize, fund, and promote public art projects throughout the community. Committee members are Patti Baker, Marblehead Artist; Jeremy Barnett, Marblehead artist; Lauren McCormack, Marblehead Museum; Peyton Pugmire (Chair), Creative Spirit, LLC, and Kiki Taron-Kinney, Marblehead Festival of Arts.

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