---- — HAVERHILL — The monumental Essex Street Gateway Community Mural is fast becoming a regional landmark and tourist attraction.
Sponsored by Team Haverhill, with the participation of dozens of local businesses and hundreds of Haverhill residents, the 3,000 square-foot artwork titled “Hues of the Heart” is helping to put Haverhill on the map.
The renowned Saligman Studio of Philadelphia designed and executed the project, with extensive community participation. Featured on WCVB’s “Chronicle” program last summer, and on ABC’s “The View” on Feb. 1 of this year when Tom Bergeron was a guest, the mural project will soon be showcased at the prestigious Creative Communities Exchange regional arts event in Portland, Maine, on June 6 and 7.
This conference is sponsored by the New England Foundation for the Arts and featured projects are selected through a competitive process. Team Haverhill Vice President Eric Karlstad will lead lead the presentation team in Portland. While the giant mural focuses on Haverhill history and culture, it has drawn considerable attention and tourism from surrounding communities. In January, an art class from the Brooks School in North Andover took a mural tour and attended a presentation on the artistic process by local artist Jeff Grassie, who collaborated in the mural’s creation.
At the suggestion of Congresswoman Niki Tsongas, Grassie plans to discuss the mural at the Chelmsford Library. On April 11, Team Haverhill President Alice Mann and member Kalister Green-Byrd led a special tour of the mural for the Women of the Tewksbury Congregational Church. The event in Portland will culminate with the recognition of two outstanding creative economy projects selected for NEFA’s Creative Economy award. Visit online at www.teamhaverhill.org.