The City of Boston commissioned Curtis Williams to create this mural as part of the third round of the Transformative Public Art Program. The Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture allocated more than $1 million toward murals at 10 sites across nine neighborhoods as part of the program. The budget for this project is $20,000. The mural is located at the Faneuil Branch of the Boston Public Library (419 Faneuil Street) in Brighton.
The Faneuil Branch underwent a $14 million renovation. The renovations included:
- accessibility updates to the entrance and restrooms
- upgraded technology
- a community room that will cater to a range of programming needs
- a new children’s space
- sustainability enhancements to the building, and
- updated interior finishes and furnishings that still preserve the historic character of the space.
The branch serves Brighton residents, workers, students, and community organizations. It is known for its excellent children’s programming, author talks, musical performances, art exhibitions, and more. The artwork is located on a wall in the children's space of the library.
Curtis worked with the project partners on two engagement sessions with the community, including:
- an artist talk with community members and library staff, and
- a kids drawing workshop at the Oak Square YMCA that took place during spring vacation.
Curtis collected images of the children's artwork developed during the workshop. A Faneuil Branch librarian also provided Curtis with an image of artwork by Jairam Rao, a Brighton teenager who passed away in 2019. Curtis incorporated several of these pieces into his final design.
For this digital mural, Curtis wanted people to be able to see and remember things from when times were simpler. He also aimed to inspire creativity and joy with things like cartoons and childhood icons, dinosaurs, toys, and outer space.
The artwork is printed on a high-performance vinyl wrap and is installed on a 18’3” x 8’ 11 ½ wall.
"This piece to me represents the vast expansion of our imaginations and how anything we set our mind to can be possible. Everything starts off simply as an idea and the more you believe and work toward it, it becomes reality. I was so inspired by the art day I had with the kids and being able to see the works they created. No hindrance, just pure creativity. So when starting my design I wanted to capture some of that energy and incorporate some of their works into the final work."
- Curtis Williams, Artist