In 2006, I was commissioned to create murals in the North Museum, Lancaster, Pa., to complement their Natives of the Susquehanna exhibit room. The commission was to create a view of the Susquehanna River without any manmade structures.  I visited the river around Marietta and  and various perspectives to familiarize myself with the area in order to paint an interpretation, rather than a literal rendition. I chose to feature Spring, because of the interesting native plants only visible at that time of year. The mural was painted over cinderblock wall and wall board.

My concept was a 360 degree view for the mural. Standing in the middle of the exhibit room, I imagined the mural entered on a hilly incline, headed down to the river bank, into some marshy areas and boulders in the river, then rise into the hills again.  The project took place from late spring until fall. As the mural progressed, I was approached by numerous children, with parents or on camp trips and talked about the mural. During these talks, I developed the idea to make the mural interactive for the kids. The museum was very receptive to my thoughts of creating a scavenger hunt. I made a point to include a good variety of birds, insects, native plants, anphibians, snakes, nests, otters, petroglyphs and Indian artifacts. In all, I believe there were about 200 articles to find, and kids were given a list to check off their discoveries.  They really did enjoy looking into the murals for their treasures and learned a lot about native flowers.

Unfortunately, the lighting was not the best to take photos, and I don’t believe the North Museum took professional photos even at the opening of the Natives of the Susquehanna show.

Here are photos that include before views of the exhibit room.

Before photos:

Work in Progress:

Finished Murals:

Detail Photos