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New mural adorns supermarket in Solebury Township

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Intrigued by the murals he saw gracing the sides of buildings in Philadelphia, Bucks County developer Chris Chandor decided to commission one of his own – on the east side wall of the Giant Market on Route 202 in Solebury Township.
 
His family partnership had developed the Logan Square Shopping Center, where the Giant is located, in the mid-1990s and then enlarged the Giant and added three new buildings to the shopping center in 2010.
 
“That brought people around the back of the center,” he said. “I kept looking at the east-side wall and thinking, ‘That would be cool to have a mural.’”
 
When his plan came to fruition recently, with the mural painted by Philadelphia artist Jared Bader, Chandor said he also decided to host a contest, inviting people to identify the people and places or entities on the mural – all from Bucks County and Lambertville, N.J. – for the chance to win Visa gift cards.
 
“Once we’ve got a reasonable supply of correct answers, then we’ll do a drawing,” Chandor said. First prize will be a $1,000 gift card; second place will be a $500 gift card; and then there will be approximately 30 winners of $100 gift cards, he said. He is planning to run an ad in the Herald, with the entry form, and entries can made be made by mail or email, via the addresses provided in the ad.
 
“We got excited about doing this almost as a community service,” Chandor said of the artwork. “There’s not a lot of murals up here.
 
“I’ve been thinking about it and wanting to do it for about 10 years,” he said, adding he decided to move forward with the idea last year.
 
“Our family did it as a community thing, just to give people a little pleasure,” Chandor said. “We had no idea we were going to be doing it during this nasty time."
 
Chandor said he sought out Bader after seeing a mural the artist, a graduate of Tyler School of Art, had painted in Quakertown. Bader started out painting murals with the Mural Arts Program in Philadelphia but quickly branched off with projects in other cities and states.
 
Chandor said he and his wife, Whitney, and Bader worked for three months to design the scenery and the people. “We wanted to incorporate people who were well-known or at least made a mark” in Bucks County, specifically, the New Hope-Solebury area, and Lambertville.
 
“He really did a great job,” Chandor said of the mural adoring the Giant wall. “He sketched it out on a computer.” Like an architect Chandor had worked with, Bader was adept at “translating what was in my head” without adding his own spin to it.
 
Bader said he has “always tried to create designs that most inventively and uniquely explore the ideas and images I was asked represent. ... Among my top goals as a public and private artist is the potential to fulfill the needs and wishes of the surrounding community and the project committee.”
 
Chandor said Bader painted the mural in his basement, completing it in 5-by-5-foot sections on acrylic sheets over a three-month period. Then, utilizing a rented electric lift, he applied the sections to the wall and covered the entire 65-foot by 25-foot mural with a clear protective material.
 
“You just don’t know it’s there,” Chandor said. “It literally looks like it was just painted on the wall.”
The mural is signed by Bader and his 16-year-old son, who assisted him.
 
“Hopefully it will be enjoyed by a whole lot of people,” Chandor said.
 
jarthur@buckscountyherald.com


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