July 17, 2019 by Carol Britton Meyer
The recently-completed colorful, historically-themed mural on the side and back of the Hennessy News Building on North Street was a true labor of love by well-known Hingham artist Susan Kilmartin and local art students from Hingham High School and the South Shore Charter School in Norwell, under the guidance of their art teachers.
Kilmartin designed the mural, which depicts colonial life circa 1840 on Hersey Farm in Hingham. The toy and box factory -- which had been locked up and hidden by vines and vegetation -- was recently uncovered and found to be completely intact by members of the Hersey family (still in residence on the farm). The toys and tools inside were also intact after 100 years.
A painter's palette that belonged to Kilmartin that is affixed to one of the walls lists all who were involved with this vibrant project and expresses appreciation to Hennessy News owner Joe Ierardi for his willingness to allow the artists to paint the historic scenes on the building; to Leo Kelly for preparing the walls; to Shirley Rydell for coming up with the initial idea for the mural; and to Peter Hersey for sharing his "invaluable family memories."
Participating artists besides Kilmartin were: Marianne Buckley-Curran, HHS art teacher Mike Doherty, Christine Bodmar, Jackson Carroll, Olivia Harvey, Theo Mitterando, Mabel White, Hannah Mullen, Honora Sullivan, Gwen Moyer, Isabella MacNaughton, Adam Saich, Maren Saich, and Brendan Saich.
The cost of the paint and other supplies the students used throughout the project was covered by Greenbush Historic Preservation Trust grants. The purpose of this fund is to preserve and maintain historic assets and streetscapes along the Greenbush commuter rail right-of way and the surrounding area to enhance downtown Hingham. (The back of Hennessy's News abuts the tunnel cap.) "I'm very grateful for this grant," said Kilmartin, who donated her time to the project.
On an unrelated note but also involving the energetic Kilmartin, who is always giving of her time and talent to worthwhile projects, she and Author Ann Suzedell recently created the captivating children's book, "Carina, the Carousel Horse at Paragon Park." Proceeds from the sale of the book benefit Friends of the Paragon Carousel, located at Nantasket Beach. "We need to raise more than $1 million [to keep the Carousel going, including related repairs and other costs]," Kilmartin said. "Let's keep our Carousel!"
Visit http://carouselhistory.com/paragon-carousel-land-lease-jeopardy/ for more information.