MONTGOMERY — A new mural is under way at BridgeValley Community and Technical College’s The GRID makerspace.

After a request for proposal search process, The GRID chose artist Nichole Westfall’s proposal to illustrate The GRID’s mission of driving positive change and growth for the community of Montgomery and West Virginia’s future.

“Nichole was chosen because the selection committee was amazed by her artwork,” said GRID Manager Cynthia McComas. “We hope the vibrancy and whimsy of this mural will brighten the spirit of Montgomery and attract attention to passersby so they may seek to explore all that Montgomery, and The GRID, has to offer.”

Westfall’s mural is focused on joy, movement and wonder. It depicts a person riding a large caterpillar in the forefront, fireflies, and another person who is peering through a telescope on top of a praying mantis.

“This painting looks at our resources from a different perspective,” Westfall said in her proposal. “By magnifying things that we are used to seeing as small, we are invited to rethink everything for a moment. Both bugs, the praying mantis and the caterpillar, suggest movement and growth — embodying these ideas literally and metaphorically. The butterfly is often used to show transformation, but the caterpillar is the one who undergoes the process. The fireflies are included to suggest a destination. They light the path by harnessing the sun; this creates a sense of hope. They also work as a line to follow — guiding the viewers’ eyes back up and around the entire piece.”

A native of Clay County, Westfall’s work looks at the impact of social interactions and stereotypes on the formation of “self” through the relationships of color and shape to space. She has public murals at GarCo Design Works in Rifle, Colorado, Ripley High School in Ripley, Davis Fine Arts Building in the Institute and Artist Alley, Ristorante Abruzzi in the West Side, Juliet Art Museum, Kin Ship Goods and Gallery 64 in Charleston, as well as paintings at MESH Design and Development, Covenant House, Kin Ship Goods and Charleston Bread Company in Charleston.

The project is being funded through The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation. Work on the mural began on Oct. 17 and is expected to end on Nov. 13 when a free reception and meet and greet is scheduled for 5 to 7 p.m. at The GRID, 807 2nd Ave. in Montgomery.

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