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.

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn

Related Blog

Beyond Walls Weighing Options On Future Of Lynn Neon Art Installations

Beyond Walls Weighing Options On Future Of Lynn Neon Art Installations

May 18, 2023 Photo: Beyond Walls LYNN, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — The streets of Lynn will soon be a lot dimmer. Many of the vintage neon art installations that light up the city […]

Read
LYNN, SHOULD WE KEEP THE LIGHTS ON?

LYNN, SHOULD WE KEEP THE LIGHTS ON?

BY EMILY PAULS| May 11, 2023   Vintage “Egg O Mat” sign in Lynn. This sign has been taken down and others are to follow. (Owen O’Rourke) LYNN — After more than […]

Read
Considering Construction Careers, Underrepresented Boston Teens Build Inhabitable Sculpture

Considering Construction Careers, Underrepresented Boston Teens Build Inhabitable Sculpture

A curvy public installation is the culminating project for nonprofit Digital Ready’s apprentices By Johanna Knapschaefer A group of Black and Latino Boston teenagers designed and fabricated BeND, a curvy public […]

Read
KABOOM: BEYOND WALLS IS COOKING IN LYNN

KABOOM: BEYOND WALLS IS COOKING IN LYNN

KABOOM: BEYOND WALLS IS COOKING IN LYNN BY ANTHONY CAMMALLERI| July 10, 2022 (Owen O’Rourke) LYNN — Local non-profit Beyond Walls, which focuses on strengthening urban communities through parks and public areas, […]

Read
LYNN COMMUNITY GETS TO PLAY AROUND WITH IDEAS FOR PARK

LYNN COMMUNITY GETS TO PLAY AROUND WITH IDEAS FOR PARK

BY ALLYSHA DUNNIGAN| April 6, 2022 Lynn City Councilor Rick Starbard is hosting a community meeting to discuss renovations for Cook Street Park. (Spenser Hasak) LYNN — City Councilor Rick Starbard, the […]

Read
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 […]

Read
Beyond Walls, Nightshade Noodle Bar team up for safe dining experience

Beyond Walls, Nightshade Noodle Bar team up for safe dining experience

BY GAYLA CAWLEY LYNN — Nightshade Noodle Bar is the first Lynn restaurant to benefit from a new outdoor dining experience created by Beyond Walls.

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

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

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 The nonprofit Beyond Walls is producing […]

Read
Skip to content