Artist Paige Speight looks back for a photo while painting a photo of Acadia National Park onto a wall at the Villager Motel in Bar Harbor. ISLANDER PHOTO BY NINAH REIN

Bar Harbor’s new mural comes to life



Paige Speight’s mural at the Villager Motel in Bar Harbor.
PHOTO COURTESY OF VILLAGER MOTEL

BAR HARBOR — A building-sized mural was painted in town last weekend. 

Portland-based artist and island native Paige Speight is the artist behind a new mural on Main Street in downtown Bar Harbor that was two years in the making. 

The mural, which took Speight just a few days to complete, was requested by Villager Motel Manager Rebecca Brann, who wanted to have a landscape painted on the motel’s brick wall for curb appeal. Brann ran the idea by motel owner David Witham Jr., who was on board.  

“We didn’t have a lot of curb appeal,” said Brann. “We just had a lot of pavement and concrete, so we wanted to have more landscape and floral to match with an Acadia National Park background.” 

Shortly after Brann’s idea was made public, Bar Harbor Motel Manager Jack Speight put in a good word about his daughter Paige, who had experience creating both temporary and permanent murals. “Paige’s art was the perfect match,” said Brann. 

Speight has spent several years in Portland freelancing as a painter, illustrator and graphic designer. The Villager mural is not her first large-scale artistic undertaking in this area. In 2020, she created a temporary mural for the YWCA of Mount Desert Island that depicted community connections. 

Speight and Brann brainstormed different landscapes of Acadia National Park to be painted on the wall. “We wanted to display an iconic area which makes this place special, and Bar Harbor lacks street art,” Brann said. The two came to a decision to paint a landscape of Jordan Pond’s Bubble Mountains, which they ran by Witham. 

Murals and signage need approval from the town. Brann submitted required paint samples and a conceptual drawing along with the application. The project then had to get approval from the Design Review Board. “The town is very particular and specific with signage,” Brann said. 

By the time the mural was set to be painted in 2020, the pandemic hit and the project was delayed for two years. But the colorful mural is now visible to Main Street, and a flower bed planted by A.C Parsons Landscaping blends with the wild lupines of the mural. 

According to Brann, it is the first mural in town since the 1970s and the second mural ever to be painted on a building in Bar Harbor. 

“Rebecca was hugely instrumental in getting this project done, so she gets all the credit for making it happen,” said Speight, who was happy to be able to help. 

For more information about Speight, visit www.paigespeight.com 

ISLANDER PHOTO BY NINAH REIN

Ninah Rein

Ninah Rein

Writer at Mount Desert Islander
Ninah Rein, an MDI native, covers news and features in the Bar Harbor area. She is glad to be back in Maine after earning a bachelor's degree in San Diego from the University of California.
Ninah Rein

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