Thursday, November 20, 2014

Canadaigua Train Depot lives on

Canandaigua Train Depot
Canandaigua Train Depot Mural by Amy Colburn
When you're a kid, you never know what your friends are going to grow up to be.  Some become doctors, lawyers, get into politics, or become blue collar workers, for which I have the utmost respect. Some are crazy successful, some do well, and well, some never change and are just flat out crazy :)

A friend of mine from back in high school I would put in that first category.  I remember her being "artsy" back then, but now she is an amazingly successful artist and I'm blown away every time I see her work.  Sure you may think I'm bias because I know her, but take a look for yourself, you'll agree. I'd bet on it.

Obviously this is a model railroad blog, specifically my personal layout, so I'm partial to train things that relate to the empire I'm building in my basement.  I like looking at old photographs of trains, stations and run-down rail served industries in Canandaigua and the surrounding areas.  I wonder about times-gone-by and in the last few years have loved digging into the history of my own modeled railroad.  I remember reading about how this new railroad going through Canandaigua was a threat to the Erie Canal, the laws that governed its deliveries to town and what the townspeople did in reaction.   I used to think all that train history stuff was for really old train-guys.  Maybe it is, but I'm not really old (yet),  I find it fascinating, which brings me back to my friend.

What does history and pictures and model railroading have to do with my friend you may ask?

I reconnected with my friend when I stumbled across a model railroad layout mural she painted which is nothing short of stunning. 

Well, Amy Colburn is an amazingly talented illustrator. She was recently commissioned by some gracious donors to paint an outside mural of the Canandaigua Train Depo circa 1916.  Why does this excite me, other than being painted by someone I know?  Its the same depot that I have on my layout.

The original structure is situated at the intersection of Pleasant Street and Niagra, technically its address is 20 Pleasant Street  You can click the link and drop down to street view to see the "current" state of the building. I say "current" in quotes, because, well, its the state of the building when the Google car drove by :)  Its actually, as Amy mentions in her write up, now home to Beehive Brew Pub and Twisted Rail Brewing Co and I'm definitely visiting those next time I'm in that area, to see the old station of course ;-)

This mural is not only cool because it relates to what I'm doing, its cool because if you read her story, its increased awareness of the old landmark.  She mentions people coming by each day to talk, and ask questions.  Looking at the photos she's posted, and not being an artist, when I scrolled to the one of her first starting with a ruler up on scaffolding, I felt the overwhelming stress, pressure and nervousness she had to have felt.  Although maybe not, because she' good and I'm sure she had a plan.  I wouldn't know where to start. I just see a giant white building and a huge project ahead of me.

Looking at photos of the finished mural, its simply breathtaking. Her attention to detail is so realistic that I'm running out of adjectives to describe her work.  FWIW, I've typed and removed "amazing" at least 6 times already, and ya gotta give me credit for coming up with breathtaking, because it really is.  I imagine seeing the real thing will definitely be an experience.

I look forward to a time when I can sit down and talk to her in depth about this project, all the planning and hear the inside scoop of what it was truly like to do something that large, in the public eye all the time.  I'm also curious if the train kicked up debris that stuck to wet paint, just something I thought of when I saw the picture of it passing by.

If you haven't clicked a link above yet,  I definitely recommend you check out her blog and read up on her Canandaigua Train Depo mural I think you'll agree its, well, its amazing :)  I'm looking forward to visiting it, and quite possibly contacting Amy for a personal tour and photo op.

I'll say it one last time, what an amazing project both in scope, beauty and meaningfulness.  I'm proud to brag that I know her.

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