“Every summer since 1996, high school students from Somerville have explored the Mystic River Watershed and painted what they saw, adding their artwork to the now 1,000-foot-long Mystic River Mural…. Nearby residents and passing motorists can view the beautiful summer scenes at any time of year as they walk or drive along the busy roadways. Birds and butterflies, trees and wildflowers, fish and turtles and other wildlife, as well as people canoeing and fishing and exploring the watershed are portrayed in vibrant, colorful, larger-than-life panels that enliven this urban area.” (quote from Don Lyman’s Field Guide for Boston Sunday Globe, September 11, 2019)
Read more of Don Lyman’s words from last fall to know why the Mystic River Mural Project, directed by muralist David Fichter, should continue somehow,* no matter what setbacks have stalled almost everything for everyone everywhere this spring (2020).
Also view a few of several hundred photos I saved of students absorbed in successive stages to complete last summer’s panels of pollinators, plants, and scientific investigators. For each photo of artists’ activities below, you can match plants, animals, and people integrated into the 2019 mural panels above.
Along with these brief glimpses, imagine participants engaged in field trips on and around the river, plus all the sketching, photography, discussion, planning, technical skills, creative decision-making and innumerable learning opportunities. You will feel the persisting powers of the Mystic River Mural Project! (* Here’s a happy update 7/23/20: This summer’s project is now underway.)
“The Mystic Mural Project panels from 2019 explore the themes of plants and their pollinators, as well as continuing our fantastic display of fungi (mushrooms and lichen) in the Mystic River environs. Starting at the left, a monumental skunk cabbage flower is depicted. …….. The flora display in the mural follows the season from early spring to late fall, along with the associated pollinators.” ( quote from David Fichter on 5/18/20 post with mural photos on Mystic River Mural Project)
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