New Hampshire Donut Mural

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Artist: Local high school students

Year: 2022

Date of Action: Summer 2022

Region: North America

Location: Leavitt's Country Bakery, Conway, New Hampshire

Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion

Medium: Public Art

Confronting Bodies: Town of Conway, NH

Description of Artwork: Local high school students in Conway, New Hampshire got permission from bakery owner, Sean Young, to paint a mural on the facade. Although Leavitt's Country Bakery is highly favored among locals, the bakery had always been rather bland looking. Young allowed the students to paint whatever they wanted onto the building. The students executed a mural with a New England mountain landscape made of baked goods, including muffins and donuts.

The Incident: The mural was well-received by Young and other local community members. However, the town's zoning officials insisted the mural be removed. They justified this request by claiming that the mural does not constitute as art, rather a sign. The sign, they claimed, was larger than what the town's sign code allows. They explained that this qualifies as a sign rather than a mural because the painting advertises the baked goods that Leavitt's Country Bakery sells.

Results of Incident: This arbitrary distinction between mural and sign has led Young to fight back against the local government officials. In January 2023, Young began collaborating with the Institute for Justice in filing a federal lawsuit that challenge's the town's sign code. Young hopes to preserve the mural exactly how it stands now.