A wall that until recently had graffiti on it now has a new coat of paint – one which captures the fabric of the Watertown community.
The mural project is the second collaboration between Roxbury artist Gregg Bernstein and students from Watertown High School’s art program. Last year, students put up a mural on the wall along the Community Path between Whites and Waverley avenues (see more here).
The project is different in many ways from the one painted last year. Last year, the mural mural was on a quiet path and focused on places and life around Watertown. This year, the mural sits on a wall right near the middle of the busiest intersection in town, and has a different focus.
“It is called ‘Tapestry of Cultures.’ We used textiles and patterns from countries and cultures around the world to represent the diversity of Watertown.”
People have taken notice as the mural has taken shape.
“The feedback is great for the kids,” Bernstein said. “People park and get out of their car and say, ‘A mural. This is great!’ Some of them even ask some questions”
Emily Hart, who will be a junior next year, came back to work on the mural for the second year in a row. Last year the students got community service credit, but this year they get a different kind of compensation.
“It was a really fun experience, and we are also getting paid,” Hart said. “The idea for the mural came from a mural we did at the high school. So this is sort of Tapestry of Cultures 2.”
The money comes from a grant awarded by the New England Foundation for the Arts, Bernstein said.
She worked on a flower that was represents an Asian textile. There are at least 20 patterns and cultures represented in the mural, Bernstein said.
Senior-to-be Alain Mondesir worked on a pattern with a Middle Eastern flare.
“I love art, so my art teacher told me about this,” Mondesir said. “It’s fun and I get to paint all summer. I saw (the mural painted last year) – it is awesome. That is one of the reasons I decided to work on it this year.”
Bernstein expects the project to be completed soon, and a celebration will be held for the project. He hopes to come back next year for a third mural project in Watertown.