December 4, 2021

Fundraiser to boost mural

Project to pay tribute to city’s agricultural history

Colin Spencer/staff reporter

Carly Dougherty, left, and Adrianne Traub look at the facade of 181 1/2 Main St., Cortland, on Friday. They and other building occupants are raising money to commission a mural with an agricultural theme to pay homage to the community’s agricultural heritage and to brighten up the city.

Like other buildings on the south end of Cortland’s Main Street, the building at 181 1/2 sits with a blank, gray facade.

Adrianne Traub, a worker with Main Street Farms, and others are trying to change that by beautifying the front of the building with a mural through the Cortland Mural Project.

The goal of the project is to raise $13,000 to have an artist from Central New York paint a mural that reflects Cortland’s agricultural history.

“We wanted something that would be fun, bright and colorful but also celebrate our community,” Traub said.

Traub, Karli Miller-Hornick, the CEO of CBD oil company Head and Heal, Carly Dougherty, the co-owner of Food and Ferments, and Lindsey Jakubowski, owner of Catalpa Flower Farm — who all use the building for their respected businesses came up with the fundraiser as a way to bring some pride into the community as well as bringing art into the city, Traub said.

They had raised more than $5,500 by Friday afternoon, according to the project’s Facebook page. The fundraiser began in early January, Traub said.

Eighteen artists have shown interest in painting a mural.

“I think it’s great,” said Robert “Bobcat” Bonagura, the co-owner of Main Street Farms. “It would really be a great thing for that end of town to liven it up.”

Main Street Farms uses the building to wash produce and where produce is loaded to be taken to farmers markets, he said.

“There’s so much beauty in agriculture,” Dougherty said.

“To bring that into the city and into this area that is so rich with agriculture, just to remind us all the story of the area as we’re walking by or driving by, and a hopeful message that we want this to be an uplifting thing after a really tough year.”

Traub said she doesn’t have any other immediate plans for other art projects, but would like to see more murals painted in the city.

“It’s such a good tool for civic engagement” and to be aware of the agriculture surroundings, she said.