At its May 14th meeting, NEWRA (North End/Waterfront Residents’ Association) enthusiastically supported a proposal by local artist Nathan Swain to put banner murals on the NStar power building on Salem Street. The vote was 33-1 in favor of the murals.
Swain explained that he changed his proposal from paint on the building itself to banners/posters that will be installed using grommets on the windows and doors of the building. The change was due to a fear of paint peeling over time and the high cost of long-term scaffolding to complete the project. The banners can be painted off-site and quickly installed. The banners can also be easily replaced or removed in the future.
NStar has provided its support for the project. Swain still needs to finance the project and will be looking to raise money from residents that want their cat or dog painted on the mural.
One resident questioned whether the proposal was in keeping with the 1909 architecture of the building but several others supported contemporary art for the project. NEWRA did include the provision that the artist submit specific designs and future changes to the association.