EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

August 23, 2013

Art, history clash over city murals

(Continued)

He urged the council to block similar murals from going up until it can consider whether they should be regulated for their “size, type and appropriateness of place.”

Allshouse said he would not object to an ordinance regulating the work of the murals program.

“In the high school, we have the same type of protocol,” Allshouse said about the oversight school administrators provide of the murals his students paint on the campus. “The superintendent or principal has to approve (our) work because it’s public work. So its the same protocol, but now in city government. It’s just a little bit of oversight.”

City Council President Frank Moran agreed.

“I definitely believe they should be regulated, but I also believe this is a way for youth to express themselves,” Moran said yesterday. “As long as it’s not offensive, I don’t have an issue with it. But it definitely needs to be regulated.”

Cindy Davila, a 17-year-old entering her senior year at Lawrence High, said students in the murals program already understand their work shouldn’t infringe on the city’s historic architecture. She said it’s the indistinct dreary slabs of brick and cement that they want as their canvases. “If the wall is nice and the building is nice, we’re not going to make a mural there,” Davila said. “It’s not like we’re going to go through all the mills and mess everything up. We know that’s part of our history. The music mural? That’s a little ally. It was ugly before. Now it’s beautiful.”

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