In recognition of three new public art installations in downtown Lynn, Raw Art Works, The Downtown Lynn Cultural District, LynnArts and Visionspace Gallery will host a celebration of public art on Friday, November 7th, 3pm – 7pm in Central Square. Visitors will have the opportunity to visit all three public art sites, meet some of the artists and enjoy refreshments.
The three public art projects are:
- The Lynn Mural Project by David Fichter, Yetti Frenkel and Joshua Winer
- The 200 foot mural of the Ignite – Create – Connect project, by youth of Raw Art Works
- ART WAY by Jason Cruz. Visitors will have a chance see artist Jason Cruz and his associate artists working on ART WAY during the celebration
The Lynn Mural Project
At 3:30 pm on November 7th, David Fichter, Yetti Frenkel and Joshua Winer will formally unveil The Lynn Mural Project, outside the LynnArts complex. The design of the mural took on two phases: in phase one Fichter, Frenkel and Winer worked with Lynn Public School students to create the bottom third of the mural; in phase two the artists designed and completed the upper two thirds of the mural featuring notable Lynn figures including Frederick Douglass, Hutchinson Family Singers, Elihu Thomson, Harry Agganis, Lydia Pinkham, Maria Mitchell, Alonzo Lewis, Vincent Ferrini, Jan Matzeliger, Mary Baker Eddy, and Hiram Marble. Competitive project grants from the New England Foundation for the Arts and the Massachusetts Cultural Council supported the creation of the Lynn Mural Project. Additionally, on November 15th from 10 am – 11:30 am, the Downtown Lynn Cultural District will host Artists TALK: a conversation with the Lynn Mural Project artists at the Lynn Public Library. The event will include a moderated discussion and slide presentation. Fichter, Frenkel and Winer will also answer questions from the audience. Light refreshments will be served.
This 200 foot mural HONORS and THANKS the community of civic-minded artists, writers, business owners, creative entrepreneurs, teachers, nonprofit leaders, committed city officials and youth who make the City of Lynn thrive. On the occasion of RAW’s 25th anniversary, young artists from Raw Art Works, aged 7-18, took photos of the faces of Lynn, and inspired by these photos, created 500+ portraits. Included are self- portraits of the 150 young artists who created this body of work. This project is a partnership between Raw Art Works, the MBTA, and the Lynn community. The 500+ original portraits will also be able to be viewed and those who had their portraits taken will be able to receive the original prints on the 7th from 4pm – 7pm.
ART WAY, aka the Union Street tunnel, is designed to engage the public with vivid, eye-catching art that everyone can relate to. Art is a medium that crosses all boundaries and can inspire each of us in countless ways. ART WAY hopes to add some spirit and inspiration to the day of all those who travel it.
During the celebration on November 7th, artist Jason Cruz will be working on completing the installation and guests are welcome to watch Mr. Cruz at work.
Centerboard’s Visionspace Gallery collaborated with the MBTA on the planning and installation of ART WAY. The Gallery received a grant from the New England Foundation for the Arts and utilized the funding to create and install the project with the help of local artists and vendors.
Public Art in Downtown Lynn on the Rise
The number of public art in downtown Lynn have increased in recent years. In addition to the three projects celebrated on the 7th; Raw Art Works’ Good2Go public art program designed and painted electric boxes throughout the central business district, starting in 2011. Visionspace’s Public Art Series, an annual installation of art created by emerging visual artists recently celebrated its fourth iteration in June of 2014. The project was a unique collaboration between the Lynn Museum & Historical Society, students from Raw Art Works’ Real to Reel Film program and Visionspace.
Additionally, over the summer the City of Lynn Council unanimously approved an ordinance establishing a Public Art Commission for Lynn – a first in the city’s history. The Public Art Commission is charged with encouraging more public art throughout the city.
About the Artists
David Fichter has been creating community murals for over 30 years in schools, libraries, health centers, universities, outdoor urban buildings and other public spaces. He has worked in all regions of the United States, including Atlanta, Los Angeles, Michigan, and Washington State. The murals are colorful, figurative, and lively, often exploring themes of history, multiculturalism, social justice and the natural environment. He has worked with youth of all ages on over 300 permanent murals, in addition to another 70 commissioned projects. Project highlights include: a twenty year award winning environmental science mural about the Mystic River in Somerville, MA, working with high school students from Somerville High School; “Further the Dream: The Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King”, a mural with students at the King and King Open Elementary Schools in Cambridge, MA; “The Potluck”, a mural in Central Square, Cambridge about the surrounding multi-ethnic neighborhood; “Lifeline: Creating a Healthy Community”, sponsored by S.P.A.R.C. in Los Angeles and painted on the outside of a neighborhood health clinic. One of his recent projects includes “Native Waters”, a 350 ft. mural on DeKalb Ave in Atlanta Georgia, which was painted with over a 100 community volunteers. This environmental mural traces the journey of the rivers and watersheds of Georgia from the location of the mural, which is on the Eastern Sub-Continental Divide. David Fichter studied art and art history at Harvard College. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Frenkel began her career painting scenes of everyday life on the North Shore of Massachusetts. Her images depict small moments of drama; the mistrust between riders on the subway, the intimacy of friends, the loneliness of a child in the schoolyard. Many of her later images are autobiographical, including scenes from the Big Apple Circus where she spent a season working as a groom, and documented the performers and animals that she knew.
Ms. Frenkel has painted murals for nine public libraries in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Other projects include history murals for Brookline, East Boston, and Lynn.
She has worked as an artist in residence in numerous schools, creating murals, mosaics, and books of poetry and stories with children of all ages.
Ms. Frenkel’s story “The River” was published in Cricket Magazine, and she is the illustrator of Andre the Famous Harbor Seal, published by Down East Books. She is the author and illustrator of: Trudy and the Captain’s Cat, The Big, Blue Lump (Children’s Choices Selection), Libby and the Cat ( a KIND Honor Book selection of the National Association for Humane and Environmental Education).
In 2010, Ms. Frenkel began to create sculptural work. Her mosaic sculpture titled Bunny Bench is currently on display at the Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton through February 15, 2015.
My specialization is the creation of visual art that is integrated into architectural settings. My primary media are painted murals and mosaic murals. In the thirty years I have created more than 100 murals, mosaics and works of public art in the Boston area as well as in cities across the United States. I often collaborate with other artists, as well as work hands-on with community groups and schools to make the finished artwork.
My educational background includes a Degree in Fresco Painting from the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (1976), a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from Yale University (1978), and a Master’s Degree in Architecture from Harvard University (1986). I became a licensed architect in 1989. The combination of art and architecture grounds my public artwork.
Another important facet of my art involves creating murals and mosaics with students for their schools. I often work through the STARS Residency Program of the Massachusetts Cultural Council as an Artist-in-Residence in local schools. The experience of working with younger artists in their school communities is rewarding and highly creative.
I am grateful and proud to have collaborated with Yetti Frenkel and David on ‘The Stories of Lynn’. Yetti and David are amazing artists and wonderful friends. We have unfied our talents and energies in this visual celebration of the history an community of Lynn. To see more of my work, please visit: www.joshuawiner.com and www.schoolmosaics.net
Raw Art Works
Over 150 young artists ages 7-20 participated in creating over 500 portraits. These artists were from 20 of RAW’s groups representing youth from over 60 schools, including those involved in our Fecteau-Leary, Fallon Elementary School, and SOAR school programs.
Owner, CRUZ ART
Clinical Supervisor, Raw Art Works
Jason was born in Puerto Rico and immigrated to Florida with his family at the age of five. He graduated from Jacksonville University specializing in studio art, photography, and film and went on to earn his Masters degree from Lesley College in Expressive Art Therapy where he received the Outstanding Achievement in Graduate Studies Award given by the faculty and the student body. In 1996 he joined Raw Art Works where he currently works today.
Jason has presented lectures and workshops on art education, behavioral issues, learning differences, race and culture and young men’s issues at venues including the Lynn YMCA, Endicott College, Harvard University, and Lesley University. In 2005 Jason received the Isaac Monroe Award for Service to Youth in recognition of his dedication to the at-risk youth of Lynn. In 2010, he was honored by the Bank of America as a Local Hero, as part of their international Neighborhood Excellence Initiative. At RAW, he currently leads two boys’ groups, co-leads RAW Chiefs, and provides family outreach and crisis intervention as needed. As RAW’s Clinical Supervisor Jason provides guidance to all program staff on the therapeutic issues that arise in their groups and plays a major role in program development. Outside of RAW, Jason has his own art and photography business, CRUZ ART. He serves as a youth minister at St. Stephens Episcopal Church in Lynn and is cofounder of Build a New America (BANA) Fellowship that address racial and social issues through action.
Visionspace Gallery is located at 16 City Hall Square in downtown Lynn. Its mission is to provide residents of the North Shore an opportunity to see quality art from emerging artists while providing a spark to Lynn’s creative economy.
About Raw Art Works
Raw Art Works (RAW) believes that every kid should be seen and heard. Our mission is to “ignite the desire to create and the confidence to succeed in underserved youth” transforming lives one young artist at a time. We deeply engage kids as they create art in response to challenging questions and bold art concepts. They build a culture of belonging and connecting, and are a vital part of a creative community that truly cares. We strive to lift the aspirations of children and teens and help them to develop the tools and confidence to make positive, life-affirming choices that include staying in school and choosing healthy and positive lifestyles.
About Downtown Lynn Cultural District
Established in 2012, The Downtown Lynn Cultural District engages Lynn residents and visitors in a revitalized urban experience that has arts and culture at its core. The District is the result of a productive city – wide collaboration. These artists, residents, business owners, non – profit leaders and city officials know downtown Lynn as a vibrant cultural hub, where the city’s creative voice is shared with local residents and regional tourists.