"The Mystic River Mural was how I got my start in painting. I had the opportunity to explore the local environment, all the while sourcing photos for the project, learning about the Mystic’s history and ecosystem, and then bringing that to life with the help of David Fichter, who has been painting the Mystic River Mural since 1996 for the Somerville Arts Council.
I remember being a bit nervous yet excited the first time I met Gregory Jenkins and David Fichter to show them my art and just how happy I felt when I got the job. [As part of the summer youth job program with the Mystic River Mural project] Getting a chance as a young artist to create environmental public art was immensely enriching. I wanted to celebrate the 25 years of the Mystic River Mural by painting a commemorative switchbox right on the corner of Shore Drive and Mystic Avenue, a couple blocks from the apartment I grew up in. I cannot thank the Somerville Arts Council, enough for the formative experience that the Mystic played in my artistic career.
The box itself shows a wrap-around view of the river landscape on a bright summer day, complete with a few ducks sitting in the water. While painting it, I heard lots of words of encouragement from community members passing by on foot or driving in their cars. It was an absolute joy to paint."
Anthony Araujo-Amaral, 2021