CHAMBERSBURG – While murals on the outside of downtown buildings is a recent trend, public art is not new to Chambersburg.It goes back at least as far as the 19th century, when the fountain was placed in the square as townspeople rebuilt following the town’s burning during the Civil War.It might go as far back as 1784 when Franklin County was carved out of the larger Cumberland County, or at least to the time that the county courthouse was built and a statue of Ben Franklin was placed on top. Public art is defined as art in any media that has been planned and executed with the intention of being staged in the physical public domain, usually outside and intended to be seen by the public.One local historian said this week that the historic, ornate tombstones found in local cemeteries are another example of public art. A recent controversy about a proposal by a local artist and a community organizer to paint a mural on a retaining wall along Chambersburg’s rail-trail has brought the subject of public art to the forefront, with opponents calling last year’s mosaic murals put on walls in two locations downtown “ugly” and proponents saying such projects beautify the town and provide enjoyment for many… Read full this story
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