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Mural Planned For Church Hill Road Railroad Bridge Abutment



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Newtown resident Virginia Zimmerman will soon begin painting a mural, "Welcome to Newtown," on one of the abutments of the railroad bridge that spans Church Hill Road.newtowntrainmural@gmail.com.she was then featured in a December 2015 exhibition sponsored by the cultural arts commission. "Ethereal Newtown" featured 12 of Ms Zimmerman's monoprints.

Each letter of the phrase Welcome to Newtown will contain a different Newtown icon, from Ram's Pasture to a view from Castle Hill. The project is being funded by a $3,500 grant supported in part by the Cultural Alliance of Western Connecticut in partnership with the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, Office of the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts. The project is also being partially funded by Newtown Cultural Arts Commission.

Ms Zimmerman has designed a scene that will adorn part of the cement wall to the immediate south of Church Hill Road, as well as a shorter cement wall that runs in front of Newtown Veterinary Specialists at 52 Church Hill Road.

"The train engine will be facing oncoming traffic as you come up Church Hill and will have a rooster with the 1705 date," Ms Zimmerman said. Just under that, according to Ms Zimmerman, will be the date 1711, representing the year Newtown was incorporated.

"For the wall that wraps around Newtown Veterinary Specialists, I plan a train disappearing into the landscape," the artist added.

Ms Zimmerman is looking for volunteers to apply the base paint, which will be contributed by Newtown Color Center. She can be contacted at

Sponsors of the project include Newtown Color Center, Mark Svanda Painting, who will be power washing the site, Bill Henckel Lawn Services, Newtown Veterinary Specialists, and Housatonic Railroad Company. Peter C. McLachlan, J.W. Swanberg, and Danbury Railway Museum provided access to historical documents and photographs.

"Every donation no matter the size has been instrumental in making the mural project a reality," Ms Zimmerman said. "I am very grateful for the generous support and am excited for the weather to turn so I can get started."

An art teacher at Fairfield Ludlowe High School, Ms Zimmerman is a past recipient of a grant from Newtown Cultural Arts Commission.

That grant enabled Ms Zimmerman to study with master printers at the Center for Contemporary Printing in Norwalk. In her application for the grant, Ms Zimmerman noted that she hoped to create prints that would reflect "landscape and collage in new ways."

As a result of those studies,

Newtown resident and artist Virginia Zimmerman holds a mock-up letter on the Church Hill Road railroad bridge abutment that shows the size and approximate location of part of a mural she has received approval for. (photo courtesy Newtown Cultural Arts Commission)
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