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The Off-Main Experience at Mill River Park: An Art Festival For All

Updated: Oct 4

The Off-Main Experience Emerges [Again]! On Saturday, (NEW DATE) October 28, 2023, Stamford Murals is hosting its second Off-Main Experience, a free festival for art appreciators, creatives, and families of all kinds from 12:00 – 5:00 P.M.

Where Will the Public Art Event Take Place? Blending the beauty of nature with the benefits of art, the event will take place at the award-winning Carousel Pavilion in Mill River Park in Stamford, Connecticut.

What Does the Off-Main Experience Offer the Public?

The Off-Main Experience is a day for fun, creativity, connection, and community. The art festival will highlight existing small businesses and introduce new establishments to the neighborhood. Live musicians and performers will add a soundtrack to the art scene, and various vendors will be in attendance. So, whether you plan to go with the intent to eat, engage, or be entertained, this event has something for everyone — including:

  • A mural competition

“The Seed” Takes Sprout in Stamford During the Off-Main Experience, artist Weverson Ponte and creative Wilson Beltran will also unveil his project “The Seed.” The launch of the public artwork will be the first of an innovative series of shipping containers. The first “Seed” in the series will grow into an interactive community paint session during the art festival. The shipping container will later be transformed into a year-round outdoor gallery and stage. “The Seed” will showcase homegrown talent and provide a platform for emerging artists and extraordinary musicians in the Stamford community. The inventive initiative springing up in Stamford is projected to attract audiences, produce public entertainment, and have the potential to propel revenue for the local economy.

Marking the beginning of a journey that will blossom into a thriving outdoor gallery, creator Weverson Ponte also sees the living art installation creating a sense of togetherness within the community. “The Seed” will be rooted in Stamford, breathe new life into the neighborhood, and contribute a solid foundation for the local arts and culture scene. Providing participants with opportunities for connection, engagement, and prosperity, the venue is sure to plant the seeds of a vibrant community to come.

What Does the Off-Main Experience Mean to Creative Makers? An avid explorer of visual phenomena like the Pareidolia effect, muralist Chris Gann enjoys diving deep into the complexities and dualities of his art. Chris will be attending the Off-Main Experience and painting a live piece for all who gather.

People can underestimate the power of public art, and sometimes public art can ignite unexpected reactions,” Chris illustrated. “As a muralist, I enjoy people's reactions to what I’m making throughout all stages of the process — from cleaning the wall, priming, and sketching to the first few strokes of color.” “My paintings are an expression of what I see when I close my eyes; it’s very therapeutic for me,” he disclosed. “If I were totally alone, painting live would be a daunting task, but when there’s a team of support, like creative friends and The RiseUP Group to back me up, I feel like I can create anything.” A Window into an Artist’s World

Muralist Lauren Clayton is also scheduled to paint live during the Off-Main Experience.

When painting in front of a public audience, artist Lauren is all too familiar with the process of producing outside with onlookers. Allured by the creative spontaneity of live painting, she finds that her initial notebook sketches quickly turn into refined renderings in real time — considering color, scale, composition, and the mural's impact on its surroundings as she creates. “Live mural painting is fun and challenging,” Lauren stated. “You have to make quick decisions about your art as people watch — but it's also invigorating,” she shared. “I love connecting with observers who give feedback, a compliment, or share a story on why they connect with the piece.” “Artmaking is often a private act with an artist and their canvas,” Lauren explained. “I think bringing the artist out of the studio and into a public space gives people a sense of awe — like a window into a creative world.” When asked about the art festival, “The Stamford Murals’ Off-Main Experience takes the art off display and into action,” she illuminated. “At the event, creatives can engage in their community in a meaningful way by encouraging artists and inviting others to rethink art as a lifestyle and not just’ a thing you do.’ “Stamford is overflowing with amazing artists, sculptors, photographers, musicians, and imaginative souls. The Off-Main Experience is a celebration of those people and an invitation for the public to be inspired, connect, and join our creative community.”

Check out the footage from last year

Save The Date & Create! Make a meaningful difference! Every dollar raised for the Off-Main Experience (up to $7,500) is matched by the Sustainable CT Community Match Fund. Don’t delay — donate today! Want to show your support? Partnership, sponsorship, and volunteer opportunities are available. Register today to contribute to the arts and the greater creative community! Who Made it Happen? A special thank you to our generous partners who’ve helped to make this event possible:

Mill River Collaborative


The Stamford Chamber of Commerce

The Studio

Wellbuilt Company

City of Stamford

Matilda Realty

Sustainable CT

Downtown Stamford

Carmody Law

Greenwich Catering

Northeast Company

Stamford Toys

Delmar Electrical

And many more!

About Stamford Murals In 2021, Alissa Siegal launched Stamford Murals and partnered with the state-wide non-profit RiseUP for Arts to provide communities with expressive artwork and engaging placemaking. Stamford Murals proudly designs and produces paintings and projects with purpose and serves businesses, developers, and not-for-profits — splashing color and strengthening communities across Fairfield County. Also functioning as an essential youth development program for emerging artists, Stamford Murals empowers and encourages young creatives to put action behind its meaningful mission of bringing positivity to public art. Stamford Murals revealed its first work titled “Blaze Your Own Trail” in November 2021, and its community-building success continues.

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