Five years after Methuen Day visitors unknowingly had a hand in crafting the city’s first community mural, this uplifting and unifying piece has received new life — ensuring that it is here to stay!

“This one is waterproof, element proof,” said creator Jennifer Loiselle, looking on as digital-reprint panels of “The Beauty of the World Lies in the Diversity of its People” arrived at Riverwalk Park last month. “This one will not deteriorate.”

Loiselle created the original design, then asked throngs of 2019 Methuen Day guests to paint an obscure 1-foot-square canvas piece that would become part of the final product. The result is a vibrant, five-piece, 5-by-30-foot scene that includes a globe within two hands making the shape of a heart plus dancing human likenesses represented in different colors.

It took its place on the Osgood Street park’s wall, but weather took a toll on the canvas and the wall is now cracked and deteriorated.

To save the piece, it was Methuen Artists Unite’s John Hadley – a professional graphic designer – to the rescue!

“First I scanned it, then I re-drew it in Illustrator and added all the colors,” he said, noting he went through several trials to make sure the colors matched the original.

A company in Hudson then printed the design on thin-but-strong aluminum.

The plan is to temporarily hang the mural further down the wall, deeper into the park, until the original spot is repaired.

For Hadley, it was important to save the mural not only for its aesthetic value but also for its message.

“The world could use more unity right now,” he said.

To celebrate the unveiling of the digital reprint, Methuen Artists Unite organized an Art Scavenger Hunt. Spurred by clues, folks traversed the city in search of the five panels. Taking a selfie at each location earned a raffle chance. Panels were located at Riverside Assembly of God Church, Methuen Memorial Music Hall, City Hall, Pleasant Valley Gardens and Mann Orchards. After, folks gathered at Riverwalk Park for chalk art and food, and the five panels were lined up for all to admire.   

 

Methuen Artists Unite leaders (from left) Jennifer Loiselle, Dianne Moore and John Hadley stand in front of an aluminum digital reprint of “The Beauty of the World Lies in the Diversity of its People” mural at Riverwalk Park on Osgood Street. The original 2019 canvas decayed and needed to be replaced. MethuenLife photos by Melissa Fili