Artist's mural lends color to home of Manchester Makerspace

New Hampshire Union Leader
October 06. 2016 12:31AM

Artist James Chase spray paints a mural on the garage door at Manchester Makerspace on Old Granite Street in Manchester on Wednesday. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)

MANCHESTER — A city artist is sprucing up the front of the new home of a nonprofit collaborative of inventors, artists and tinkerers of all varieties.

James Chase, an instructor at the New Hampshire Institute of Art, is painting a mural this week at Manchester Makerspace in the old Gaslight District.

Chase was the winner in a summer contest to design and paint a mural on a roll-up garage door at 36 Old Granite St., an old industrial building just west of Southern New Hampshire University Arena.

“I had to come up with a proposal and think about how my piece related with the energy of the workspace,” Chase said Wednesday, taking a quick break from the project.

Chase, who teaches printmaking at NHIA, said he’s getting help later this week from some of his students and the “little brother” he mentors in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program.

Chase, who grew up in Manchester, said the contest appealed to him as a way to help revive an area of his hometown and inspire others interested in the art.

“Being an educator I think it’s important to mentor and to give back,” said Chase, a 2001 graduate of Central High School. “I think Manchester as a whole — its history — has been one of resurgence and coming back many times. I used to come down here in the 90s to skateboard when this place was empty.”

Chase’s design includes plans for six panels to cover what used to be windows on the second floor. The windows were filled in with bricks years ago and painted a shade of red that doesn’t quite match the original brickwork of the building.

“It just really fit the space in terms of the idea of bringing artists from the community together,” said Dan Berube, a member of the Manchester Arts Commission and board member at Makerspace.

Chase’s mural is going on the roll-up door on the north side of the building leading to the industrial area Makerspace has set up inside. Makerspace has been in the location about three months and has grown to almost 40 members, president Dan Perrinez said.

Makerspace is a cooperative offering members a place to be creative. Members have access to the space and the machinery, including lathes, 3-D printers and an industrial welder.


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