The Story Behind the Mural

A Common Thread That Connects Us All

Music is a universal thing that brings us together. It doesn’t matter where you’re from, what language you speak, who you are, or what you do; When you hear certain sounds coming together to create an alluring melody, you feel it in your soul and it connects you to others. 

At Stage Cannabis, we connect through music. Whether it’s local musicians congregating us in one place through their reverberations, or curated playlists that join us together, we share a common thread. 

This vision is encompassed in a 20-foot mural that sprawls across the store’s wall.

A Mural of ‘Dancers’ at Stage Cannabis by Carter Shappy

Local artist Carter Shappy created an inspiring mural at the storefront here in Portland that tells a shared story while letting you create your own. The colorful shapes, or “Dancers”, are digitally extracted from his viscosotype series using a 19th-century standing book press, a wooden jib, some acrylic plates, and a specially mixed ink. 

The fractal-like patterns are produced when a gas is injected under high pressure into ink, which results in a psychedelic and fascinating sequence of prints. To Shappy, these fractals are a common thread that connects all of us. 

Peering at both the original print and at the Stage mural, your mind is able to create it’s own story. We connect through our common threads but what does that mean to you? Is it the music you hear that brings you back to a certain time with a certain someone? Is it the art that makes you feel something in your belly? A smile from a stranger? Our natural connectors are far from surface-level and allow us to come together, drawn by something deep within us that we naturally share as humans. 

The original print is a highly-detailed, intricate, and absorbing piece of work that lets your mind wander as your eyes move across the landscape. To create the mural at Stage, Shappy reached into the original piece and pulled out the Dancers to be showcased on the wall in an epic way. 

So he went from this: 

To this: 


Carter Shappy

The local artist received his BFA from the Maine College of Art & Design here in Portland and has showcased his work and collaborated on a variety of projects throughout New England. 

Shappy is inspired by interests in natural phenomena, perception, psychedelia, and everyday, mundane experiences that stimulate his compelling and brilliant work. 

You can check out his studio and more of his other projects here on his website and follow along on his journey and craft through his Instagram. To get up close and personal with his art, stop by the Stage Cannabis store in Portland and see the wonders of this mural with your own eyes. 

What story will your mind create? What’s your common thread that connects you to others? Shappy’s mural may inspire these answers, come check it out for yourself. 

Meghan Morrison

Meghan Morrison

Staff Writer

Meghan has so much to say, she just has to write it all down. A natural gift of storytelling has crafted Meghan into the content creator she is. If a topic catches her attention, she’ll make sure it grabs you too. As a copywriter at Stage Cannabis, she’s here to fill you in on what shows you won’t want to miss, artists you have to look out for, and what’s happening in the local music scene in Portland. You can check out more of her work here: