MANCHESTER, NH – Chris Pothier is sitting on a folding chair in the noon-day swelter next to one of the remaining walls inside the old waterless Dupont swimming pool, pencil in hand, earbuds locked and loaded with inspirational music-to-work-by as he does his thing.
Pothier refers to his Mac Book frequently, as he carefully frames one of the murals he’s created, designed to add artistic flair to one of the city’s most ambitious recreation projects to date.
When the old pool reopens in a few weeks as the Dupont Splash Pad Park, Pothier’s murals will make the overall kid-friendly feel of the mini water park even more inviting.
Pothier, an artist and former instructor at NHIA now living in Portland, Or., was hired by the New Hampshire Institute of Art through a benefactor, to create the murals. He will be working with a few NHIA students as a mentor to complete the project.
The initiative is part of a collaboration between NHIA, and the city’s Parks & Rec department in conjunction with the city’s Cultural District.
Pothier says the most painstaking part is outlining the murals, which have to be just right. Once the painting begins, the project will flow quickly.
“As an artist and you have an idea and concept, but then the question is how do you translate it to whatever the canvas is, in an efficient way,” says Pothier. “Once I have everything mapped out, the painting will go quickly.”
The interior wall will feature a rippling water effect on the top of it, says Pothier.
City Parks & Rec Director Don Pinard said the murals will add the finishing touch to the splash pad area.
“This is great stuff,” said Pinard.