CT Checkup: Art students, nonprofit honor Cromwell, story of teamwork during pandemic with murals on dugouts in Pierson Park

Middlesex

CROMWELL, Conn. (WTNH) — A group of art students, a local nonprofit, and the town of Cromwell have teamed up to add some color to Pierson Park, repainting four of the park’s long-standing baseball dugouts. 

“The students spent over 150 hours painting these murals over the course of the summer,” said James Demetriades, chairman of Cromwell Creative District, the nonprofit behind the project. 

The project has been in the works for just under a year and the plan was always to paint the murals in June, which happened, just a little differently than planned. 

The National Arts Honor Society students, along with CCD Resident Artist Erin Trousdale, worked in pairs, wore masks, and took shifts. 

“The fact that they were still able to accomplish this under this virus situation and do all four of them and complete them in the manner in which they did, I think it’s exceptional,” said Cromwell Town Manager Anthony Salvatore.

Each of the four dugouts has a different theme to represent the town and activities that people enjoy around the park, such as baseball and summer movie nights in the field. 

One of the murals is a memorial for a young Cromwell resident who passed away. The other three themes are Cromwell, Sports, and Cinema. 

Kaya Anderson and 15 of his classmates painted the murals. Their names are now permanently marked on the ‘Cromwell’ dugout. 

“I think it’s nice to be able to spruce back up the park and add something to someone’s morning jog or somebody taking their kid to baseball practice,” said Anderson, a recent graduate of Cromwell High School and former National Arts Honor Society president. 

And while this was always the goal of the project, Demetriades says it has even more meaning now during these tough times. 

“You’re going to see these murals,” he said. “And you’re going to reflect on how our town and community came together during this pandemic to make these beautiful pieces of art.”

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