Renowned artists unveil vibrant, large-scale murals in Chicopee

Despite the recent rainfall and thunderstorms, artists working over in Chicopee have finally completed two colorful, large-scale murals.

 

Published: Jul. 15, 2023 at 10:00 PM EDT

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) – Despite the recent rainfall and thunderstorms, artists working over in Chicopee have finally completed two colorful, large-scale murals.

On Friday, Chicopee City Hall held a highly anticipated ribbon cutting ceremony for one of the city’s new murals.

The artwork was completed by renowned Portuguese artist Vhils, whose mural is now located between 244 and 258 Exchange Street.

“It speaks to the immigrant labor that really came here and was the backbone of the mills, right? That was the work force,” said Al Wilson, founder and CEO of Beyond Walls.

Last year, Chicopee applied to be one of the cities for “Beyond Walls,” a non-profit organization that would display their artwork.

For the second year in a row, the group joined forces with local businesses, educators, and other nonprofits to bring to life these colorful, large-scale murals.

“Different groups, different backgrounds culturally, different backgrounds socio economically, meeting in front of a wall, and starting a dialogue, starting conversation” expressed Wilson.

Founder and CEO of the organization, Al Wilson, told Western Mass News the new murals are meant to reflect the vibrant and diverse community we have in western Massachusetts.

Along with Chicopee, more than 10 murals will be installed in Holyoke over a two-week period beginning on July 15.

The mural designs will celebrate the city’s Afro-Caribbean, Latinx and European cultural communities, something Wilson believes will draw in the crowds to the paper city.

“Hopefully they will walk around and spend some money,” said Wilson. “They go into that bodega, they go into that coffee shop, they take in more art, and they decide to grab a meal. That’s the need for this community and that’s the hope of this project.”

Bezt is the artist behind Chicopee’s new mural on Center Street. He said the meaning behind his artwork remains in the eyes of the beholder.

“You have to come and check for yourself, have your own idea about it and your own story about it,” added Bezt.

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