Fred the Ferry boat lives on.
Todd Pinkham, an art professor at Cal U, and student members of the Art Club are creating a mural depicting the Fredericktown Ferry – aka “Fred” – which navigated the Monongahela River between Washington and Fayette counties.
The boat operated from1948 until 2013, when a bridge was built nearby as part of the Mon-Fayette Expressway.
The mural is going up on walls below a Route 88 bridge over the Fredericktown boat launch. It’s part of a new park being developed by East Bethlehem Township.
The Mon River TownsProgram, which provides funding to promote towns along the Monongahela River as regional assets, gave the Art Club $5,000 and paid for materials so Pinkham and his students could complete the project.
Their concrete “canvas”consists of two walls roughly 14 feet tall and 85 feet long. The style is impressionistic, Pinkham says. He sketched out the scene in black-and-white, using marine-grade paint that can be applied only with rollers.
“It’s going to be atmospheric and colorful,” Pinkham says. “I’m going to focus a lot on the water. We’ve added some horizon lines to give depth to a flat surface. It’s a bit of a period piece.”
Art is an important component of community revitalization, says Cathy McCollum, River Towns program director.
“Art beautifies communities,” she says. “It makes a first impression: Does this place look nice? Does it feel cared for?
“The overpass is an entrance to both the town and the river, and we really wanted to beautify it.”