A Tree Grows in Wallingford: A Community Art Project

About the Project

tree logoIn May and June, the library will celebrate the town’s 350th + 2 anniversary with a special community art project. Local artist Rashmi Talpade will lead the creation of a mural across from the Check Out Desk as a semi-permanent exhibition.

Rashmi has taught numerous art programs at the library and is best known for the Wallingford Townscape Collage on display in our front hallway. For this anniversary mural, she will paint a giant tree and help residents create decorative “leaves” with images of themselves and their families. Most images will be photographs, but self-portraits in other mediums also will be accepted. As the leaf-shaped images are designed, participants will be able to see them affixed to the tree and watch the development of the mural, akin to a tree sprouting leaves.


How To Participate

Rashmi will conduct leaf-making sessions multiple times per week. Library staff will offer photo sessions in the Collaboratory and outdoors for those who need a self-portrait. We encourage those attending a photo session to dress in a manner and/or hold an object that symbolizes an important aspect of your life (favorite sports team attire, musical instrument, etc.). Well-behaved pets are welcome at the outdoor photo session. Alternately, you may email your own photo to us at wplcollaboratory@gmail.com with “A Tree Grows in Wallingford” in the subject line or drop off a photo in the Collaboratory for inclusion in the project.

Leaf-making sessions will be held between May 3rd and June 23rd on the following dates:

  • Tuesdays: 6:45-7:45pm
  • Thursdays: 3:30-4:30 pm
  • Saturdays: May 14th & 21st and June 4th & 11th, 2:00-3:00pm

Photo sessions are scheduled for the following dates:

  • Thursday, May 5th, 3:30-4:30pm in the Collaboratory
  • Wednesday, May 11th, 5:30-6:30pm in the Collaboratory
  • Thursday, June 2nd, 3:30-4:30pm outdoors by the rear entrance

We are excited to showcase this beautiful visual reflection of the people who make up our community!


About the Artist

Rashmi TalpadeRashmi Talpade has been a resident of Wallingford for over 25 years. She is a professional artist with a Fine Arts degree from Bombay, specializing in painting and photography. Since immigrating to Connecticut in 1991, she has been involved in the local arts community as well as exhibiting her work statewide as well as in New York, New Mexico and India. She is the fine arts supervisor at the Wallingford Parks and Recreation for over 20 years and has been instrumental in building an after-school arts enrichment program for local elementary schools.

Her teaching experience also includes projects at the Wallingford Public Library, the New Britain Museum of American Art and the Mattatuck Museum.

Rashmi is best known for her collaborative community projects for which she has received numerous grants from the state of Connecticut and The National Endowment for the Arts. These projects are on permanent display at the Wallingford Public Library, the New Haven Free Public Library, Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital and Essex Elementary School among other locations.

A recipient of the 2006 artists fellowship from the Connecticut Commission of the Arts, her award-winning collages are in the permanent collection of the New Britain Museum of Art where she is currently working on her next community collage project.