LYNN — The city celebrated the completion of seven different art installations at public-transit stations throughout Lynn for the Art on the Move project at Frederick Douglass Park on Wednesday morning.
City officials, artists, and representatives from Art on the Move collaborators Boston BRT and Ad Hoc Industries gathered over coffee and muffins at the corner of Union and Exchange streets, where the sun shined through Sunil Gulab’s vibrant faux-stained-glass depictions of Lynn at the bus stop’s shelter.
Gulab, who lives in the city, said that he spent roughly 80 hours painting the bus shelter, at times in weather too cold for the paint he was using.
“I wanted to put my touch on the city that I love,” Gulab said. “I wanted to reveal a message to the city. It’s not written out, but you can see it through the pictures. I’ve titled the piece ‘To Lynn With’ and the first pictures are peace symbols, the other (image) represents love, and the music symbols represent harmony. It’s to Lynn with peace, love, and harmony from High Rock Tower to Lynn Woods.”
Stantec Transportation Planner and freelance graphic-design artist Whitney Burdge, whose vinyl installation can be seen at the bus stop at the intersection of Market Square and Western Avenue, said her piece was inspired by women’s empowerment. Burdge’s installation also pays homage to Maria Mitchell, the first professional female astronomer, who had ties to Lynn.
“My design is kind of centered around the female experience of dreaming and planning for your passions and how riding transit can kind of help support that,” Burdge said.
The Public Arts Commission published a call for artists to contribute to Art on the Move in July. Although artists were given free rein over their designs, Arts and Culture Planner LaCrecia Thomson encouraged artists to use the themes of transit and mobility in their work.
“Transit is a major concern and issue very much in our city. The thought was: let’s make the act of waiting for the bus, of parking your bike, looking for ways to get to where you need to be, let’s make it more pleasurable,” Thomson said Wednesday morning.
Mayor Jared Nicholson, who also attended the event, said that he was grateful to all the parties involved for bringing some art and beauty to the city’s public-transit stops.
“It sends a great message to our residents who inhabit and use these public spaces that they are cared for and we want to bring joy to our everyday lives,” Nicholson said.