NRECA Commission Update

by Susan Abbott
I'm at the Vermont Studio Center for two weeks, taking advantage of the long working walls and three good meals a day to finish my commission for the NRECA. The approach I'm using for this mural is "WPA Meets Post-Impressionism", combining a stylized landscape with vivid color shapes.

The paintings span from east to west coast, with each panel representing a different region of the United States. The architecture stands in for "the people" here, and every type of building represents a different population--rural, suburban and urban.


Power lines, a generation plant, and a dam also help tell the story of how our country was electrified. Bringing light and power to communities across the United States was a mission of Franklin Roosevelt's "New Deal", and very controversial in its time. It's hard to believe now that anyone would find it dangerous that our government would help a farmer put a light in his barn, or a housewife run an electric washing machine rather than use a scrub board, or a family listen to the radio in their lonely prairie home. But maybe our children will look back in fifty years at our fights over health care and other social programs, and wonder what the fuss was all about.