By Andrew Manuzca
LOWELL -- The recent renovation of Drum Hill Ford is not only giving prospective car buyers a pleasant car-buying experience, but it's also giving UMass Lowell fine arts students a great opportunity to strut their stuff.
Following the $1.5 million construction project, the dealership was left with a large blank space at one end of the showroom, and employees suggested this space would be great spot for a mural.
So in the spirit of partnership, Drum Hill Ford asked UMass Lowell art students to paint a mural capturing the city's industrial heritage, rather than hiring a professional muralist.
Drum Hill Ford owner Bernie Ristuccia agreed to underwrite the entire project, including supplies and an honorarium for the students.
The student artists -- Carlos Pujols of Methuen, Josh Rondeau of Salem, N.H., and Courtney Lemay of Billerica -- began their project one afternoon earlier this week.
The mural will depict a transformation of sorts: the city's industrial part, evolution of the industrial process and adaptation to emerging technologies.
The mural is expected to take a few weeks to complete.
Drum Hill Ford's business manager, Robert T. Provencher, invites the public to come see piece when it's finished.
"You don't have to buy a car to visit and enjoy the mural," he said.