In the heart of a working city, a new 1,000 square foot mural has been painted in Arms Park in Manchester, NH to honor and celebrate the Queen City’s history. For decades during the mid-19th century, Amoskeag was the largest textile manufacturer in the world, producing over 50 miles of woven cloth per hour.
Created by SNHU communication and design professor, Harry Umen, in collaboration with Big Sam’s Paints, the mural showcases the hard work the 30,000 laborers endured to give Manchester its historical ties. The ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held on Saturday, October 14 at 2pm in Arms Park following the Disability Justice Parade.
As part of the funding for the mural, Umen received a community engagement and activity grant from the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts. After securing the grant, it proved to be a difficult and long process of approval from the Department of Public Works.
“[The approval process took] about 6 months total,” said Umen.
After receiving the proper approval, Umen hired digital media expert Sam Weinberger to enlarge his artwork to create the Mural. At that point, two experts from Big Sam’s Paints executed the design in one week’s time. Umen chose this location because it is heavily used in Manchester for parades, festivals, and events.
The mural incorporates cubism and social realism displayed with bright colors. Umen took inspiration from Mexican painter Diego Rivera. The mural is fade- and graffiti-resistant, ensuring display for generations to see.
Umen explained what he wants viewers of the mural to think and feel.
“Through its colors and design, [I want the mural to] impress the viewer visually and emotionally and connect the viewer to Manchester’s history,” said Umen.
For more information regarding the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts visit nh.gov/nharts/. To see more work from Big Sam’s Paints, follow them on Instagram at @bigsamspaints.