October 26, 2021

Artist chosen for ag mural

SUNY Cortland grad to work on Main Street project

Colin Spencer/staff reporter

Nico Cathcart, a SUNY Cortland graduate, has been selected by the tenants of 181 1/2 Main St., Cortland, to paint a mural on the building (shown above) to reflect Cortland’s agricultural history.

As a public artist, “there is a responsibility to talk about the issues impacting us today,” said Nico Cathcart.

Two of the largest issues Cathcart talks about through her paintings are climate change and social justice.

Climate change and sustainability, will be some of the themes Cathcart will use in her painting of a Cortland building after she was chosen recently to be the artist for the Cortland Mural Project.

The project will have Cathcart paint a mural on the wall of 181 1/2 Main St. reflecting the county and the city’s agricultural history, said project organizer Adrianne Traub on Friday.

A fundraiser was started in January to raise $13,000 to pay for an artist, Traub said previously. It had raised $7,263 by Friday, according to the project’s Facebook page.

“We’re really excited about it,” Traub said.

Traub, an employee with Main Street Farms, said her employer is one of the building’s tenants. Main Street Farms uses the building to wash and pack produce.

Cathcart said she was born in Toronto but later moved to Homer with her family. She attended Homer Central High School before receiving her bachelor’s of fine arts degree from SUNY Cortland. She moved to Richmond, Virginia, in 2009 and has lived there since.

She has been a professional mural and sign painter for about 10 years.

Colin Spencer/staff reporter

Nico Cathcart, a SUNY Cortland graduate, has been selected by the tenants of 181 1/2 Main St., Cortland, to paint a mural on the building (shown above) to reflect Cortland’s agricultural history.

“I am overjoyed to be spending time in one of my ‘home towns’ and have been absolutely floored by the outpouring of support that has happened since the announcement,” she said. “It’s really exciting to be able to get back to my roots a bit, especially after having a lot of work canceled over COVID. This will be my first mural ‘on the road’ since the shutdown, and to have it be THIS one is so special to me.”

Traub said four tenants chose Cathcart for her talent and experience with murals, and organized the fundraiser:

  • Traub of Main Street Farms.
  • Karli Miller-Hornick, the CEO of CBD oil company Head and Heal.
  • Carly Dougherty, the co-owner of Food and Ferments.
  • Lindsey Jakubowski, owner of Catalpa Flower Farm.

To help

To donate to the mural, visit the project’s Facebook page at tinyurl.com/7r96rvmy.


Additionally, Cathcart’s themes of environmentalism and feminism were themes Traub was looking to have incorporated into the mural.

Cathcart said the mural will focus on modern agriculture and the importance of pollinators.

“This naturally falls into my focus on environmental concerns” she said. “Sustainable agriculture is an important aspect of the future, and we are having discussions about that right now.”

Cathcart said she expects to begin painting in June.