October 21, 2021

Work finished on Cortland mural

Colin Spencer/staff reporter

The mural on 181 1/2 Main St., Cortland, as seen on Friday. The mural, which pays homage to Cortland’s agricultural past, was completed recently.

The south side of Main Street in Cortland recently got some more color as after 17 days of painting in June, the mural on the front of 181 1/2 Main St. has been completed.

Work that began on June 7 finished June 24, artist Nico Cathcart said Friday.

The mural, part of the Cortland Mural Project, was funded through a donations campaign that raised $10,000 and had Cathcart paint a mural that highlighted Cortland’s agricultural history, according to a June news release from Laura Gallup, the marketing coordinator for Main Street Farms, Head and Heal and New York Hemp Oil. The buildings are used by Main Street Farms, Head and Heal, and Catalpa Flower Farm, Robert “Bobcat” Bonagura, a co-owner of Main Street Farms, said Friday.

“I think the mural is great for the community,” he said. “It really brightens that end of town and it’s cool to see some agricultural representation in the city.”

Cathcart, who grew up in Homer and went to SUNY Cortland but has since moved to Richmond, Virginia, said Friday it was great seeing old friends and family stop by as she was painting.

“One day I turned around and my high school art teacher was there,” she said. “That was awesome.”

As Cathcart sees it, public art has a great power to begin conversations.

“I hope the community keeps up the conversation about sustainability, in both agriculture and choices in one’s daily life,” she said.

Cathcart also said she hopes that more, large murals like hers can come to Cortland, which, throughout her painting, has shown support for such art.

As for what’s next, Cathcart will be heading back to Virginia. She will be painting other murals across the country this fall and will have canvases of works displayed at a gallery in Ohio and in China.