Not all of our adventures are ones that take us out-of-town. There's a lot to see here in Nashua, NH, where the city is working to beautify the downtown areas with murals.
By definition, a mural is a piece of artwork painted or applied directly on a wall, ceiling or other permanent surfaces so that it's made part of the area. There's nearly 30 wall murals in and around the city, most are painted on outside walls, a few are inside buildings.
Nostalgia was done a few years ago in Main St to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Chase Building on which it was painted. Years ago, it contained were three theaters — the Tremont, State and Star Theaters, all of which were gone before we relocated here. Like in many areas, there's no longer a single movie theater within the city.
The mural shows scenes from several classic movies: The Blog (The Three Stooges), Gone with the Wind and It’s A Wonderful Life. We had just relocated to Nashua and watched as this mural was being created over the course of a few weeks. The level of detail is amazing.
This unnamed mural shows the former Nashua Manufacturing Company, once the city's largest mill complex, which is now Clocktower Apartments, where we reside along with over 900 other residents. The building is located just east of this mural on the side of a downtown music store. The mural was done in 2011 by Barbara Andrews, who I read was a city resident
Vivian's Dream is a massive, 40 x 35 foot tall historic mural that depicts West Pearl Street in 1909 with the Tremont House Hotel in the foreground and is painted on a wall on West Pearl St.
At the turn of the century, this street was the city's economic hub with shops, restaurants, coffee houses, grocery stores, and the city's first high school. The Tremont House Hotel was the "place to stay" in Nashua. It had numerous shops on the ground floor as well as a livery stable in back. The 2014 mural was done by Barbara Andrews and named for a friend, Vivian, who ran a dress shop in another building owned by her family just up the street.
Courtyard Garden is on West Pearl Street and Garden Street on the side of the Fortin-Gage building. It extends the small Garden Street courtyard into a European town plaza and was done in 1996 by artist Frances Nutter (couldn't locate information on the artist).
This unnamed and uncompleted mural (above) is along a wall below Water Street which is near Clocktower Apts. It shows a few current and former downtown businesses and some of the art looks unfinished. (I couldn't find information on the artist or group that created these.)
Two of my favorite murals are painted on the rear and side walls of adjacent and popular Main Street eateries, both of which we have dining in.
Martha's Muse (left) is on the back wall of Martha's Exchange and shows a woman holding a mug of beer surrounded by treats and a burst of colors. The piece was done in four weeks in over 100 hours, entirely in aerosols, or spray paint. The mural captures some of the restaurant's history, which started as Martha’s Sweet Shoppe in 1932. A restaurant with seats and tables was added and eventually a brewery.
Poseidon's Grasp (right) is on the side wall os a seafood eatery named Surf. Its location is adjacent to what will be the city's performing arts center, which is currently under construction.
Both murals were done by Manny Ramirez, artist-in-residence for Positive Street Art. This local nonprofit organization was founded in 2012 by Ramirez and his wife, fellow artist Cecilia Ulibarri. Its mission is to bring art to urban areas in a positive way. The group has been responsible for completing many of Nashua's most colorful downtown murals in the past several years.
Dance of the Herons is the newest city mural and features several images of great blue herons. This large mural is painted on a building that was formerly part of the Nashua Manufacturing Company, which is located adjacent to the Nashua River where herons have been seen.
The 120 feet long by 12 feet high mural was completed at the end of August by Columbian artist Felipe Ortiz, who is associated with Beyond Walls in Lynn, MA. The City of Nashua partnered with this nonprofit organization to enhance the downtown riverfront. This is the first of future river art to be done under the city's $15 million Riverfront Master Plan which will also add walkways and lighting, clear invasive vegetation, and install a kayak dock.
(To see some amazing wall murals, check out what Beyond Walls did in the city of Lynn, MA. A few years ago, the nonprofit group held a Mural Festival in which 20 graphic artists painted 15 walls over the course of 10 days. You'll find many of the resulting artwork online.)
This mural (don't know its name) was also done by Positive Street Art muralists a few years ago and pays tribute to service personnel. It's located on the wall of a city parking lot, appropriately nearby to a veterans housing facility.
Thanks for taking this short look of some public art in Nashua, NH. There's many more murals around the city as well as sculptures and future explorations will be taken.
Just wondering — have you also gone on local explorations where you live?