Michener Murals Paint County History

Visitors crossing Cambridge Creek on Maryland Avenue will now be welcomed to town by two magnificent murals created by local artist Michael Rosato. Commissioned in honor of James Michener’s Chesapeake, the second of four public art installations planned for Dorchester entitled “The Watermen,” was unveiled December 6 at the J.M. Clayton Company.

“Dorchester’s rich history, unique Chesapeake culture and expansive landscapes are known by people around the world thanks in part to Michener’s seminal work,” said County Tourism Director Amanda Fenstermaker. “These inspiring works of art help tell our many stories to visitors and residents.”

Fenstermaker and Rosato were joined by community leaders to officially unveil the 25’ wide by 15’ high mural depicting a great blue heron with a soft crab in its beak over an underwater scene of the Chesapeake teeming with marine life.

Fenstermaker believes the murals’ Chesapeake landscapes inspire visitors and promote further exploration. Her office has two more Chesapeake Country corridor artworks planned in 2014 for Church Creek and East New Market.

The Chesapeake Country Scenic Byway weaves together the multifaceted layers of nationally significant maritime and agricultural heritage to reflect the distinct sense of time and place Michener captured in his novel Chesapeake. The murals were funded in part by a $100,000 grant from the National Scenic Byway Program.

The first mural was unveiled on September 20, at Trenton Street, and portrays a flock of Canadian geese taking flight from a farm field. It is located on the east side of Maryland Avenue on the trolley next to Powell Realtors. (The mural is featured in DCED’s ‘water moves us’ campaign.)

Church Creek resident Michael Rosato, whose art graces museums, offices and private homes, was commissioned to create both murals based on designs he submitted in response to separate RFPs. Rosato moved his studio to Cambridge to take advantage of the tax benefits offered to artists as a result of the city’s arts and entertainment district designation.