Phoenix Books Burlington Unveils Kid-Friendly Mural | Live Culture
Pin It
Favorite

Friday, May 5, 2017

Phoenix Books Burlington Unveils Kid-Friendly Mural

Posted By on Fri, May 5, 2017 at 1:00 PM

click to enlarge Mural by Kristin Richland at Phoenix Books Burlington (detail) - MARGOT HARRISON
  • Margot Harrison
  • Mural by Kristin Richland at Phoenix Books Burlington (detail)
Ludwig Bemelmans' Madeline marching in front of Edmunds Middle School. Frog and Toad in City Hall Park. Dragons who love tacos catching a bite on Church Street. Stephen Huneck's Sally getting a walk — from a cat! — near the Winooski Bridge.

These are some of the whimsical details that careful observers will spot in the mural by Underhill artist Kristin Richland that was officially unveiled last night in the children's section of Phoenix Books Burlington. It's part of Children's Book Week (May 1 to 7), which the store will also celebrate with a special story time on Saturday devoted to Adam Rubin and Daniel Salmieri's Dragons Love Tacos.

"I'd been thinking about murals since we opened the store," said co-owner Michael DeSanto, who opened Phoenix in 2012 with his wife, Renée Reiner. But it wasn't until he visited Bemelmans Bar in New York's The Carlyle, and saw the beloved illustrator's murals of Central Park splashed across its walls, that he said, "That's what we want to do!"
click to enlarge Kristin Richland, atop her scaffolding - MARGOT HARRISON
  • Margot Harrison
  • Kristin Richland, atop her scaffolding

DeSanto asked Richland, whom he had known "for quite a while," to show him some drawings. The artist, 40, had never done a mural before, but her fanciful prints of animals, which she sells under the name Sweet Enemy Art, have made "people say I should illustrate children's books," she said.

Richland designed the mural last summer and began painting in October, perched atop a scaffolding 10 to 12 feet high. She took a break for the busy holiday season and finished by March.
click to enlarge Some of Richland's sketches for the mural, displayed at the May 4 reception - MARGOT HARRISON
  • Margot Harrison
  • Some of Richland's sketches for the mural, displayed at the May 4 reception

Although she's not really finished — a mural of a fiery phoenix for a different wall is still to come. And Richland is now on the Phoenix staff, as a bookseller at the local chain's Essex store.

Winding across the three walls enclosing the store's section for younger readers, the mural consists of six separate scenes. Two are pastorals, in which animals enjoy books with views of trees and Camel's Hump. The others depict prominent Burlington locations: the Winooski Bridge (with the Champlain Mill, once home to DeSanto and Reiner's store the Book Rack and Children's Pages, in the background),  City Hall Park, the Church Street Marketplace and Edmunds Middle School.
click to enlarge Mural by Kristin Richland at Phoenix Books Burlington (detail) - MARGOT HARRISON
  • Margot Harrison
  • Mural by Kristin Richland at Phoenix Books Burlington (detail)
In the Church Street panel, protestors in front of City Hall bear signs touting the importance of reading and supporting indie stores. It's a fitting message for 
click to enlarge More drawings for the mural - MARGOT HARRISON
  • Margot Harrison
  • More drawings for the mural
Phoenix, which has expanded to two more locations (in Rutland and Chester) since the Burlington store opened and was a finalist for Publishers Weekly's Bookstore of the Year award in 2016.

"You read it like a story," said Richland of her mural. "I'm basically illustrating a book right here."



Tags: , , , , , , ,

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

Pin It
Favorite

Related Events

  • Whole-Book Approach Story Time @ Phoenix Books Essex

    • Tots learn how words, pictures and book design work together to complete a narrative....
    • Saturdays, 11 a.m. Free.

Related Locations

About The Author

Margot Harrison

Margot Harrison

Bio:
Margot Harrison is the Associate Editor at Seven Days; she coordinates literary and film coverage. In 2005, she won the John D. Donoghue award for arts criticism from the Vermont Press Association.

More by Margot Harrison

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Keep commenting classy! Read our guidelines...

Note: Comments are limited to 300 words.

Latest in Live Culture

Social Club

Like Seven Days contests and events? Join the club!

See an example of this newsletter...

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative
newsletters:

All content © 2017 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401
Website powered by Foundation