History, patriotism and community service converge at Smethport’s Bucktail Park, making it a fitting place for the soon-to-be-unveiled Bucktail Art Mural.
At 12:15 p.m. June 26, a new entryway into the park and the new mural will be unveiled in a special ceremony.
The park is located near the Good Growing Gardens Poor Farm Barn on U.S. Route 6 in Smethport, next to the McKean County 9-1-1 Center.
“The art mural was completed through an art program at the 3G Poor Farm Barn administered by 3G staff and well-known local artist Julie Mader,” reads a release from President Judge John Pavlock.
“It’s beautiful,” Mike Barnard, 3G coordinator, told The Era of the mural. “It’s four mosaic pieces about 12 feet long, 16 or 18 inches wide.
“The subject matter is the Pa. Bucktails. There’s a large eagle, and Bucktail soldiers. It’s all cut glass.”
The 3G program provides community service opportunities as a sentencing alternative emphasizing rehabilitation and training, and is overseen by the adult probation department of the county.
Barnard explained the mural was around a year in the making, with 18 sessions with Mader. The program participants were a bit hesitant when the project began, but seemed to really enjoy it, he explained.
“In the first session, they were a bit afraid they couldn’t do it. The sessions went on and Julie showed them the steps,” he said. And pretty soon, the two-hour sessions turned into day-long sessions instead.
“It’s glass and everybody got cut several times,” Barnard said, adding with a laugh, “I ran out of band aids.”
The project started last winter and continued into the spring.
“We got a carpenter who was good about framing things up,” he explained. “We built four structures down in the field (in the park) with little roofs over them, to keep them out of the weather.
“In the summer, the mural will be displayed in the Bucktail Park,” Barnard said. “There’s a pond, and we added some old military fencing, like you’d see at Gettysburg. There are more things to come” at the park, too, he added.
The mural will be taken down before winter, and will be displayed inside the barn.
“We’re very excited about this,” he said. “We have it up already and covered up.”
Barnard said there are a lot of good things happening in the 3G program, and cited several awards it has received, like one from the Pennsylvania Wilds program.
“All this program, that is all Judge Pavlock’s dream,” Barnard said, “and I happen to be the lucky captain of the ship every day. I want to make it successful.”