• Worcester now home to several colorful murals as kids go back to school

    By: Bob Dumas

    Updated:

    WORCESTER, Mass. - Over the last week or so, the city of Worcester became a canvas of sorts as more than two dozen colorful wall murals were created.  

    This effort was part of a program known as “Pow Wow”, an international mural festival designed to promote public art. 

    A total of 29 walls have been covered across the city.  Many of the murals are on schools, designed to welcome kids back from summer vacation.

    Artists Yu-Baba and Key Detail are former architects from Belarus who now travel the world creating the wall murals. 

    “I love it,” Yu-Baba said.  “Because it gave me freedom. I can paint whatever I want.”

    Over several days, they labored over their wall, meticulously covering every square inch.

    They had to count bricks and carefully mark the wall to make sure their plans were properly executed.

    Their mural has a musical theme and is on the side of the Elm Park Community School. 

    “When you fill it in with color,” Yu-Baba said. “Everybody always has a good reaction. So, everybody is happy. And I am happy too.”

    “The hope is that people come out and appreciate the art. You don't necessarily have to like it, but just appreciate that someone came in, potentially from another city, or state or country, continent, and just sort of blessed the city with a beautiful piece of public art," Che Anderson, who coordinated the project for the city, said 

    Brooklyn-based Stash started his career as a subway graffiti artist back in the 1980s. 

    “For me, getting to provide the art is the real pleasure," Stash said.

    Before any color was added to his wall, He coded the wall for his design of cherry blossoms on a branch. He chose that theme thinking it would provide a sense of peace and tranquility for the school. His hope is that public art can be a catalyst for conversation. 

    “If we get people talking and it motivates people to communicate and to stop looking at their cell phones, and look at each other in the eyeball, and you know actually engage each other as human beings, it’s a very good thing,” Stash said.

    For the project, Pow Wow Worcester raised $50,000 thru crowdfunding.  

    They also got some grants and corporate sponsors which allowed them to draw artists from outside the area.

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