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June 2, 2022

Millboard Memories

The 2022 Millboard is finished and is on display on the 4th floor of Mill No. 5. The Brite Lite Adventure was created by Frank Casazza and is painted in his characteristic Eyeformation style. This latest mural brings the project full circle for Frank, having painted the first mural six years ago.
 
In 2016, The Millboard Project was created in partnership with Ellen and Frank Casazza bringing together the artistic powers of Curation 250 and Eyeformation, as a way to bring contemporary curated murals to downtown Lowell. At that time, murals were essentially illegal as there were no official rules or regulations within the city on how they were to be created or where they could be located. Having murals created within the downtown core but housed in a private location such as Mill No. 5 was a logical compromise for the city and a win for the art community.
 
Working in collaboration with Jim Lichoulas, owner of Mill No. 5, they began the project working with a 16’x8’ mounted frame on the 4th floor. That first Eyeformation mural was used as a foundation piece to request further grant funding to continue the project, allowing for future murals. The Lowell Cultural Council funded the project for four seasons, finishing in 2021 and was able to fund artists, Ryan Adam’s from Portland, Maine, followed by Portsmouth/Lowell artist Donny Maker and then Los Angeles based artist, Cache, all creating their own murals within Mill No. 5.
 
This Mill Board project was originally slated as a one-year project but continued to be funded until 2021 as it was extremely well received by the patrons of the Mill and the city of Lowell. So what if any future projects are planned for the Millboard?
 
As of this point the future of the Millboard project is unclear but that doesn’t mean the project has reached its creative limit. Both Frank and Ellen have loved this project and working with the artists. Having the artists paint live at the Mill brings a certain amount of fun to the hallway and it supports artists. While it started as an indoor project, they always had a bigger vision of taking it to another level, such as buildings and billboards in the community. A new round of funding for the project could be crowdfunding or auctioning off the murals to the community.
 
Frank says, “The Millboard has been a fun ride and there are many people that had a part in keeping this going. Many thanks to Lasandro and his crew for their efforts as well as Jeff Merl, Ellen Casazza, the LCC, Maxine Farkas and Jim Lichoulas.”
 
Six murals are on display on the 5th floor so the public can continue to enjoy them. The rest are stored in a safe place. The history of Millboard artists is as follows 2017: Eyeformation. 2018: Ryan Adams, Donny Maker, Cache One. 2019: Evoker, Adam O’Day, Ian Tartasky. 2020: Amanda Beard Garcia, Sophy Tuttle. 2021: Bee Daniels, Rachel, Gloria Adams. 2022: Eyeformation. Photo above by @shootandscram

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