By Innes Herdan, Editor
Despite the snow that recently provided a white coat over Farmington; Ronald Passerello, local artist, has added a mural with an explosion of color to the local grocery store, Trantens.
Ronald Passerello, in addition to being an artist, is also a crew member at the restaurant, Soup For You, in downtown Farmington. Through a friend who works at Trantens, Passerello was approached about the possibility of creating a mural in the supermarket. “The owner had been interested in having something like that for some time. It was their idea,” said Passerello in a phone interview, “ I had to show them my portfolio.”
Though Passerello was unsure what to expect, his mural was not given many constrictions by the owner. “I was given a lot of liberty to be creative with the mural. When they first approached me, I wasn’t quite sure what it would be. I am happy they allowed me to do what I wanted to do,” said Passerello. “I was given liberty with time as well… They were awesome, they were amazing. ”
Before beginning this expansive piece, Passerello considered what aspects of art he wanted to be displayed. “ I wanted to put up something prosthetically beautiful; that was my first objective. I wanted to put something that would entertain people and intrigue them,” said Passerello. “ I showed my portfolio to people in galleries and I noticed that people were into large anatomical paintings. I wanted it to be very colorful.”
Passerello utilized some older drawing from his portfolio to save time, which contributes to about a quarter of the mural. In general, Passerello wanted this mural to entice many different generations. “I tried to put a bit of everything for the different age groups. Some surrealism, some traditional,” said Passerello. “I wanted to incorporate smaller images which ended up being on the bottom of the mural for the kids; so that they would be entertained.”
Passerello’s piece of art has even caught the eye of some of the University of Maine at Farmington (UMF) students. “ The amount of time and work that the artist put into the mural shows. There’s so much color and intricate lines…my eyes can’t help but be attracted to the sight every time I enter the store.” said Tim Bushika, a UMF sophomore. “ If there’s any message [to the mural] it’s that Farmington is a town for artists – and having a space set up where an independent artist can practice their craft and have it shown off to the fine people of this town, is great.”
The message that Passerello was aiming to broadcast is conveyed in the middle of the mural. “In the middle of the mural…[there is a] image with a couple bodies coming into each other with birds, butterflies, leaves,” said Passerello. “ It’s supposed to represent sacrifice and compassion.”
Passerello was excited with the chance to work with such a grand canvas. “Currently I am making a graphic novel and I would say that is 15 times more complex than a mural. I loved working that big; I found it very freeing. I usually work very small. This was almost easier,” said Passerello.