To encompass the hardships that this past year has brought into one painting is no easy feat.
However, Troy-based artist Rachel Baxter rose to the challenge with “Still Life, With Gratitude,” a recently unveiled mural that will be on display at several locations throughout the greater Capital Region through April 3.
“I just felt the weight and the importance of the piece . . . I want it to be for anyone who needed it,” Baxter said.
It was created in partnership with United Way of the Greater Capital Region and Albany Center Gallery. Baxter began working on it earlier this year and it took about five weeks to complete.
“It was a really lovely, reflective and peaceful process,” Baxter said.
It features a bouquet, all symbolizing different aspects of what people have felt and experienced during the pandemic: echinacea representing strength, lilacs standing for remembrance, zinnia for endurance and mullein for healing. There are also orange tulips, representing Albany.
The 8 by 8-foot mural is also interactive. Viewers are invited to write messages, notes and thoughts and stick them on the mural.
“The piece is going to continue to grow and change and I hope it offers a moment of healing for people,” Baxter said. “There’s so much loss and darkness in this last year and I wanted this piece to be beautiful and vibrant but also acknowledge that loss. So I hope that they get to look at something beautiful but still let themselves feel everything they need to feel from this past year.”
“Still Life, With Gratitude” is available for viewing from 1-6 p.m. daily at the following locations:
Thurs., March 25 – Fri., March 26
The Arts Center for the Capital Region
265 River St., Troy
Sat., March 27 – Sun., March 28
Corina Contemporary Jewelry
10 Washington St., Ballston Spa
Mon., March 29
CREATE Council on the Arts
398 Main St., Catskill
Tues., March 30
327 Warren St., Hudson
Wed., March 31
Kelley Farm & Garden
259 West Main St., Cobleskill
Thurs., April 1 – Fri., April 2
Albany Institute of History and Art
125 Washington Ave., Albany
Sat., April 3
The Crossings of Colonie
580 Albany Shaker Road, Loudonville