This Lynn nonprofit is known for its murals. Now, it’s making hand washing stations

PHOTO CREDIT: Lynn Vocational Technical Institute students Thomas Molea and Antonio Morales, both 16, constructed one of Beyond Walls’s aesthetically pleasing wash stations.BARRY CHIN/GLOBE STAFF

By Andy RosenUpdated July 29, 2020, 3:36 p.m.

LYNN — In a downtown punctuated by giant murals from artists around the world, it’s easy to overlook the sleek, stainless steel hand-washing stations that have been popping up near social service agencies, shelters, and outdoor restaurant spaces.

But to Beyond Walls, the Lynn nonprofit behind both the colorful outdoor paintings and the more functional sanitary installations, both are examples of design with a purpose: bringing people back into downtowns whose economies are in desperate need of business.

Since 2016, Beyond Walls has made a name for itself helping communities to organize and commission public art projects by well-known creators — first in Lynn and recently in Cambridge, Beverly, and Peabody. But the COVID-19 pandemic has made such efforts difficult. So Beyond Walls is looking for a new niche that can help outdoor restaurants, construction companies, and community organizations keep their patrons’ and employees’ hands clean.

“As much as we believe in the power of art, we wanted to lean in and put our muscle behind trying to figure out solutions in whatever way we could to the health crisis and what was going to have to be a focus on economic development,” said Al Wilson, chief executive of Beyond Walls.

In Lynn alone, Beyond Walls has been involved in about 60 art projects, including public lighting projects, neon signs, and murals including modernized portraits of historic figures, textured patterns, and cultural representations created by artists from the Boston area and around the world.

But there are impediments to continuing that work during the pandemic. Grants and philanthropic donations are harder to come by — Wilson notes that they are sorely needed for other purposes — and the community conversations that go into planning the huge installations can’t be easily held in person.

So Beyond Walls has shifted much of its attention to developing its “WaSH” stations, along with a a companion product called “FoLD,” a folded stainless steel alternative to the concrete Jersey barriers that protect newly created outdoor dining spaces along urban streets. Get it? Wash and fold.

By Danielle Bell
March 3rd, 2022

Related Blog

Finding Hope on Lynn Walls

Finding Hope on Lynn Walls

PHOTO CREDIT: Artist Evoca1 descends from the roof of a building on Union Street in Lynn after working on his mural for “Truth be Told…” Photo by Spenser R. Hasak BY GUTHRIE SCRIMGEOUR| October 21, 2020 “Truth be Told…” a new public art installation from Beyond Walls, aims to capture the experiences of Lynn children […]

Read Blog
Beyond Walls: Payette Lights Up Lynn with Pro Bono Display

Beyond Walls: Payette Lights Up Lynn with Pro Bono Display

Photo Credit: Beyond Walls image by Warren Jagger Photography BY ERIC BALDWIN | January 01, 2020 Architecture and design studio Payette designed an underpass lighting project for Lynn, Massachusetts. Lynn is one of 26 Gateway Cities in Massachusetts, urban centers that anchor regional economies and are facing social and economic challenges. The project brightens and activates with dynamic, […]

Read Blog
Colombian artist DAST UNO completes mural at Lynn YMCA

Colombian artist DAST UNO completes mural at Lynn YMCA

Photo Credit: Colombian muralist DAST UNO stands in front of his mural at the Lynn YMCA. DAST UNO completed the mural with the help of local artists and the outdoor community arts organization Beyond Walls (Beyond Walls) BY ALLYSHA DUNNIGAN| October 3, 2021 LYNN ―The city and outdoor community art organization Beyond Walls invited Colombian […]

Read Blog
New Art Installation Will Connect Lynn Youth With Mozambique

New Art Installation Will Connect Lynn Youth With Mozambique

PHOTO CREDIT: Artist Kevin Ledo’s mural, “Facing the Future,” a 50-by-70 foot exterior wall installation, was made as as part of the Paint Outside the Lines APTart project in Beirut, Lebanon. By Allysha Dunnigan September 3, 2021 LYNN — Beyond Walls is partnering with international art exchange, The One Blue Sky Project, to create a new […]

Read Blog
‘It says we’re here’: Mural project celebrates Lowell’s Latinx community

‘It says we’re here’: Mural project celebrates Lowell’s Latinx community

By Cindy Cantrell Globe Correspondent,Updated February 4, 2022, 11:06 a.m. A crowd of people participating in a “Mural Stroll” saw the launch of a Davis Zayas’ mural on the side of 207 Market St. | HENRY MARTE OF MARTE MEDIA   Every time Sophia Mirabal sees people stop and look at the two large-scale murals in […]

Read Blog
‘It says we’re here: Mural project celebrates Lowell’s Latinx community

‘It says we’re here: Mural project celebrates Lowell’s Latinx community

PHOTO CREDIT: A crowd of people participating in a “Mural Stroll” saw the launch of a Davis Zayas’ mural on the side of 207 Market St.HENRY MARTE OF MARTE MEDIA By Cindy Cantrell Globe Correspondent,Updated February 4, 2022, 11:06 a.m. Every time Sophia Mirabal sees people stop and look at the two large-scale murals in downtown […]

Read Blog
Lynn Public  Schools

Lynn Public Schools

LYNN PUBLIC SCHOOLS The Lynn Public Schools is currently the fifth largest in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and serves ~16,000 students across the district’s 26 schools. According to 2018-19 data from the Massachusetts Department of Education, the student population here is largely of color, bilingual, and economically disadvantaged, with the district’s English learners representing over […]

Read Blog
The Launch

The Launch

THE LAUNCH In May 2017, Boston-based landscape architecture and planning firm Brown, Richardson and Rowe began a year long process to update Lynn’s waterfront open space plan. The team organized an inclusive process with area residents, local business owners, elected leaders. Compiled data suggests that local residents desire the following public amenities: Waterfront opportunities for […]

Read Blog
Sky5: Teens make ‘Black Lives Matter’ mural reality in Lynn

Sky5: Teens make ‘Black Lives Matter’ mural reality in Lynn

LYNN, Mass. — An 18-year-old’s dream come to life on the streets of Lynn inspired by similar “Black Lives Matter” murals he’s seen pop up across the country. The idea coming from 18-year-old Carlos Prudencio Who wondered why there wasn’t a Black Lives Mural in his city. He joined with 19-year-old Damianny Garrido to get […]

Read Blog
Beyond Walls and Harbor Voices to open installation in Lynn

Beyond Walls and Harbor Voices to open installation in Lynn

By Allysha Dunnigan LYNN — Beyond Walls — the creative place-making nonprofit dedicated to activating public spaces to strengthen communities — teamed up with public art collective Harbor Voices to create an immersive installation featuring the voices of 100 youths from Lynn. This interactive exhibit and audio documentary installation, dubbed Truth Be Told, was funded by […]

Read Blog