We loved this work because of its difference from the traditional mural approach. The materials will weather and age naturally, presenting a changing play of light and shadow against the wall. It is more expensive to produce than a mural, so we'll be looking for lots community help to fund this project! But it will create something of permanent value for our community which can be relocated if there is ever need. 

The Junkers' approach depicts primarily our natural landscape, with some introduction of the human, built environment. Changes to the initial design will likely compress the end sections of the work to better fit the space, limiting the village section and combining it with the final panel as proposed.


From the Artists:

Artwork will be cut from 3/16 inch and 11 gauge A606 Corten Sheet Steel. The panels will be torch cut in sections, and are designed to be fastened in specific points for continuity and stability. Details can be added and subtracted as design process plays out. The vertical figures along the piece create a opposing tension, but also give the long horizontal shapes a place to attach and ‘rest’. Panels will be mounted with spacers a minimum of 1⁄2 inch from surface of wall.

(The first panel (wall sections 1, 2, 3, pictured above) evokes nature, the original designer which formed over millennium the mountains, the gorges and river basin to form this beautiful area. On our drive to Wilmington we followed the Deerfield River headwaters from State Forest roads, by Somerset and Harriman reservoirs, to the Molly Stark scenic byway into the town of Wilmington. This is an intregal part of this ecosystem, as is the abundance of water. Trees became a livelihood, bringing logging and trains to the valleys and mountain passes. Notes: The Bear will be turned around so as to be walking towards the sculpture body

The antlers of the moose will stick up above the railing, and in the summer will be surrounded by the leafy branches of the existing red-twigged dogwood shrub.

Panel 2 (wall sec 3 & 4, partially pictured left above) depicts a logging camp and train hauling logs across a river chasm, eventually leading to the crossroads of Wilmington.


Panel 3 (wall sections 5, 6, 7) The confluence of the North branch River, Route 100 and Molly Stark Trail or Route 9, from this grows the town of Wilmington as it is today. The end panel (section 7) leads the eye toward the future of the community of Wilmington. (Note: these sections will likely be combined and modified to better fit the wall space)


Payne and Elise Junker met at a craft fair in Wilmington, and have always had a deep affection for the town.  


Working out of their studio in Chester, Vermont, their work combines Elise's love of American folk art with Payne's traditional blacksmithing.


Payne's exploration of metal working began in a high school class and continued after college when he began to sell his work at craft fairs and exhibit in galleries.  Recreating the craft of traditional metal smithing and modern technology, along with design concepts from early American, Shaker , Art Nouveau to Arts and Craft traditions, Payne has created his own unique signature metal work.

Decorative American Folk Art captured Elise's imagination while in college studying for a career in dance.  She has worked in many mediums: surface painting, stencils, and textile printing.  She was Inspired by artists such as Peter Hunt, Adele Bishop and her own Grandmother, who created beautiful embroidery in traditional Hungarian patterns. She supported herself as a dancer by by selling her work at small fairs and craft shows.

Starting with an acetelyne torch, they fist made simple folk figures for weathervanes and wall art.  Together they have designed and built garden gates, chandeliers, railings, hardware and fireplace doors, as well as signature wall art and weathervanes.  The weathervane atop the Guilford Vermont Welcome Center (and corresponding VT seal at the front counter), custom chandelier for the American fly Fishing Museum , and  the Franklin County Courthouse railings are among the larger projects they have completed.  They have also won numerous awards , such as the league of NH Craftsmen 'Best in Show' award for their trout garden bench and 'Tribute to Woodstock' life size Moose sculpture.

Click here to learn more about Junker Studio

*Bear in mind that the photos of the current scale model represent a concept design proposal that will be subject to modifications in the final design; it is intended to give a sense of the finished product and the artists' intent, but is not itself a finished product!

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