Beyond Walls, the award-winning, place-making and public art organization based in Lynn, announced its 2019 projects that include the creation of outdoor spaces where Lynn residents and visitors can gather; enjoy colorful, large-scale murals by local and international artists, and celebrate the city’s historic connection to the waterfront.
According to Beyond Walls Founder and Executive Director Al Wilson, this year’s efforts will reinforce the nonprofit organization’s overarching mission.
“With support from the City of Lynn, elected officials, our funders, local arts organizations and community members, Beyond Walls continues to present public art in urban spaces that are often overlooked,” he said. “Equally important, we remain committed to presenting programs that are inclusive, accessible and relevant.”
During this year’s Street Art Festival, July 22 to Aug. 3, Beyond Walls, in collaboration with the Essex County Community Foundation Creative County Initiative, will launch PATIO, a new initiative that will transform underutilized urban spaces into a series of three pop-up “parklets” in the Downtown Lynn Cultural District. Through this effort, curbside parking spaces and larger walkways will be reimagined, featuring temporary seating, a platform for performances, and opportunities for food and drink pop-up shops. Deployed throughout the summer, PATIO will make its debut during the Beyond Walls annual Street Festival, with diverse programming continuing through the fall including “el ROLOTON,” a friendly “battle of the downtown barbershops,” informal “Living Room” conversations with local political candidates, and sidewalk sales that support Lynn-based entrepreneurs.
Since its inception in 2017, 44 Beyond Walls artists from around the globe and the region have produced 46 large scale artworks on buildings located throughout Lynn. As part of Beyond Walls’ diverse offerings, 600 feet of dynamic LED lighting illuminates three MBTA underpasses and 12 pieces of vintage neon art adorn buildings within a five block area of the city. In addition, Beyond Walls has overseen public art projects in both Peabody and Cambridge and— as a “prequel” to its 2019 Festival— will work with two international artists to create murals in Beverly in partnership with the iconic Cabot Theatre.
Congressman Seth Moulton is a long-time supporter of Beyond Walls.
“Beyond Walls is so much more than the works of public art that illuminate downtown Lynn,” Moulton said. “It has brought people together from all walks of life and shined a spotlight on what many of us already know—that Lynn is an incredible, diverse, proud city that is on the rise!”
Among its most ambitious ventures, Beyond Walls is partnering with the Economic Development Industrial Corporation of Lynn (EDIC/Lynn) to activate a vacant site adjacent to the Lynn Ferry Terminal located just off Route 1A/the Lynnway. Beyond Walls is working to redesign this three-acre waterfront parcel as a seasonal seaside park, which offers commanding views of the Boston skyline. Plans for this expansive site, dubbed The Launch, feature shipping containers that will delineate the parcel’s perimeters, serve as a waiting area for the ferry, canvases for art and house a revolving series of pop-up shops, beer gardens and cafes. A playground and climbing structures will border a self-guided outdoor fitness circuit and a multi-purpose court that can be used for basketball, volleyball and Futsal, a fast-paced variation on soccer. Plans for the site also include a stage for live music and theatrical performances. “Our primary goal is to connect downtown Lynn with the waterfront by creating a vibrant destination, offering multi-generational programming, performances and versatile facilities,” said Parke MacDowell, Project Architect, Payette, who collaborated with Beyond Walls on the lighting installations and will once again serve as a pro-bono partner.
Later this summer, in-demand artists from as far away as Australia, Colombia and Portugal, along with homegrown talent, will paint 12 murals and create several pieces using mixed media such as tile, paper, and found objects. “At the conclusion of this year’s Street Art Festival, more than 60 pieces will continue to attract, engage and inspire community members and out-of-towners,” said Wilson.