By Jesse Scardina
KITTERY, Maine — A mural being painted on a Route 1 building is art, not a sign. That’s the opinion of Kittery town attorney Duncan McEachern, siding with the property owner who rejected an order by the town’s code enforcement officer to halt a painting project.
According to the attorney, the mural at 230 U.S. Route 1 does not violate the town’s sign ordinance because it does not advertise any of the businesses on the property.
“From my understanding, it does not advertise a business, a particular location or the use of a company,” McEachern said. “It’s unlikely the mural qualifies as a sign under this ordinance. It’s more of a form of art.”
Portsmouth-based digital artist Barbara Rita Jenny commissioned the mural for the property she and her husband recently purchased, located near where the road forks toward Interstate 95 northbound and the outlet stores. After receiving an email from the town’s code enforcement office last week asking the painting to stop, she chose to have work continue on the mural by Portland-based artist Ryan Adams. Jenny said the $4,000 mural is expected to be completed over this weekend.