Downtown Barriers

The Rochester Museum of Fine Arts (RMFA) has partnered with the City of Rochester’s Economic Development Department to commission a vibrant new art project. Volunteers from the RMFA have transformed the city’s temporary outdoor dining areas on North Main Street with a stunning display of painted jersey barriers.

Conceived by artist Mike Durkee, the design features a continuous five-color gradient mountain range and skyscape across more than 20 cement barriers. Working closely with Durkee, the RMFA designed a concept that would be both colorful and fun, while also being easy for volunteers to execute. The result is a vibrant display that enhances the downtown dining experience and attracts more people to local shops and restaurants.

“The option for outdoor dining was critical to the success of my restaurant over the past year,” said Chef Kris Enis, owner of Fallen Leaf Bistro. “I love that the barriers were painted. It makes such a difference!”

The jersey barriers were originally installed in 2020 as part of the city’s response to COVID-19. At the time, the lack of indoor seating would have been detrimental to most restaurants. City staff worked swiftly to install outdoor dining options within two weeks, according to Jennifer Marsh, Assistant Director of Economic Development, City of Rochester.

The painting project was supported by the City of Rochester’s Economic Development Department, with Director Michael Scala citing the success of similar projects in Nashua and Manchester. Scala notes that the painted barriers are not only functional, but they also enhance the overall visual landscape of the downtown area.

“This is exactly the kind of vibrancy we need to attract more people to our downtown shops and restaurants,” said Amy Regan, Rochester Museum of Fine Arts. “We are very pleased with the results.”

Related Posts

Waypoint Teen Drop-in Center

The Rochester Museum of Fine Arts (RMFA) is pleased to announce the completion of a vibrant mural featuring a colorful, graphic mountainscape. The mural is located on the backside of the Waypoint Center, on Wallace Street, in downtown Rochester. According to RMFA co-founder Matt Wyatt, project planning began in May 2023. However, the design, created…

Downtown Murals & Obelisk

In late 2021, the Commission for Arts & Culture of the City of Rochester embarked on a bold project to apply stunning works of art onto several downtown municipal buildings. By collaborating with a diverse group of talented New Hampshire artists to commission new art, they created a Public Art Walk that incorporates existing murals…

Bianca Mireles

In 2020, the Rochester Museum of Fine Arts enlisted the talents of Bianca Mireles, a skilled artist based in the seacoast area, to create a large-scale mural in the Recreation Department at the Rochester Community Center. Mireles’ impressive portfolio includes exhibitions across various cities in the US, including Los Angeles, CA, Birmingham, AL, and Big…

Durkish Delights

The Rochester Museum of Fine Arts (RMFA) has announced the commission of a large mural by graphic and mural artist, Mike Durkee. The mural is located in the main entrance of the Rochester Community Center and features a diverse group of people centered around the theme of community. Durkee, who resides and works out of…

Josh Dannin

The Rochester Museum of Fine Arts is pleased to announce the installation of a new vinyl mural at The Ridge Marketplace, located between Moo-yah Burgers and 110 Grill. The mural was designed by artist and printmaker Josh Dannin and was commissioned by the museum in 2020. Dannin’s work primarily focuses on the intersection between modern…

Nathan Walker

In late 2019, the museum commissioned artist Nathan Walker to create a large metal sculpture made entirely of recycled metal. The sculpture, a nearly 8ft tall Katydid, now stands prominently near the main entrance of the Recreation Department. According to Michael Scala, City of Rochester, “We recognize that art not only adds to the quality…