August 30, 2013


Mascots meld in artist’s colorful mural

Cortland High grad paints vibrant scene on D.P. Dough wall

MuralBob Ellis/staff photographer
Local artist Elisabeth Sprague paints a mural inside DP Dough Friday afternoon. She has been working on the mural, which incorporates local school mascots: the Homer High Trojan, Cortland High Purple Tiger, the SUNY Cortland Red Dragon and the Tompkins Cortland Community College Panther.

Staff Reporter

A practicing artist since the seventh grade, current Tompkins Cortland Community College student Elisabeth Sprague, 19, just completed her most recent commission.
A blend of the ethereal, the familiar and above all the colorful, her mural covers a 9 by 8 wall of D.P. Dough at 132 Main St. in Cortland and captures the eye even before walking through the door.
“He said he wanted something related to the community,” Sprague said of D.P. Dough owner Ed Southworth, who commissioned Sprague to design and paint the mural. “I suggested using the mascots of all the schools.”
“Elisabeth showed me some things that she had done,” said Southworth. “I was very impressed with her portfolio.”
The mural consists of a fantastical scene, showing, in elaborate prominence, Cortland High School’s purple tiger, SUNY Cortland’s red dragon and Homer High School’s Trojans, the last of which is in the act of enjoying one of D.P.’s calzones while leaning in ecstasy against a stack of empty boxes, all of which, conceivably, held calzones in the not to distant past. Even Tompkins Cortland Community College’s panther can be seen lurking in the grass.
After 20 preliminary sketches trying to capture the scene, Sprague finally struck gold.
“I did one I really liked, and I showed it to him to make sure it was what he wanted,” said Sprague, who graduated from Cortland High School in the spring.
When Southworth consented, Sprague began the process of turning her sketch into a wall-size mural.
Sprague estimated that it took between one and a half and two weeks for her to fully render her initial sketch and make her acrylic mural a reality. She was aided in her task by the use of an overhead projector, which superimposed the image of her sketch onto the wall.
The finished the work at the end of last week.
The young artist, who wishes to teach art in the future, said that she was overjoyed with being able to show her work in so accessible a venue and for years to come.
“I’ve been commissioned in the past, but nothing so public though,” Sprague said. “It’s pretty cool. I’m proud of it.”
Southworth said she did a “wonderful” job.
“I’m very impressed with how she incorporated all of the elements into one piece.”


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