After three weeks of work, Newcastle artist Jenny Arter recently completed a giant mural on the side of the Oysterhead Pizza Co. building in Damariscotta.
The mural encompasses the side of the building that faces downtown Damariscotta and includes a large rendering of the restaurant’s logo, which was designed by Crystal McLain Creative.
Oysterhead Pizza Co. owners Alex and Rachel Nevens approached Arter earlier this summer about painting the mural. She previously worked for the couple when they managed Coveside Restaurant and Marina in South Bristol and currently works at Oysterhead Pizza.
Arter is a student at the School of Art Institute of Chicago, where she will be a senior this fall. Her focus is primarily on photography, so the mural provided her an opportunity to branch out, she said.
“We love the art that she’s done already, so she was the first choice to ask to do this,” Rachel Nevens said.
Arter drew her inspiration for the abstract mural from Maine and being underwater, as well as other sources.
“Alex really loves Phish, and there’s a lyric that goes, ‘On the way upwards the colors come back, but all on the bottom is blue, gray, and black,’ so that was part of it too,” Arter said.
After designing a smaller mock-up of the mural, Arter began painting on July 21. The mural took shape over five sessions, drawing interest and compliments from customers and the community.
“She really did an excellent job, and we couldn’t be happier,” Rachel Nevens said.
After signing her name at the bottom of the mural, Arter said the work was complete Aug. 11.
“It would be super easy to keep going and go too far,” Arter said. “If my mom (artist Debra Arter) has taught me anything, it’s to trust your gut when it sits right, so that’s what I’m trying to do.”
Customers and visitors are encouraged to tag Oysterhead Pizza Co. and use the hashtag #oysterheadpizzaco on Instagram when taking a photo of the mural.
For more of Arter’s artwork, follow the account @jjen.art on Instagram.