Public invited to participate in Haverhill library mural project

Mike LaBella - Eagle Tribune

February 4th, 2022

HAVERHILL — Do you carry around an object that is important to your life in Haverhill? Is there a special place that reflects your love for the city?


If so then the Friends of the Haverhill Public Library invite you to submit photos and stories of Haverhill and its residents to be featured in a mural on a wall above the fountain at the center of the building.


The Friends group is looking to create public art that is fresh, exciting and colorful and maybe even a bit abstract to spark the imagination, said artist Alexander Golob, who responded to a call for artists and was chosen by the Friends. Golob came up with the theme, “The Stories We Carry.”


Members of the public are asked to submit photographs of a place, object or moment that says what Haverhill means to them, including things people carry in their purses, backpacks, cars or pockets as well as places in the city they have an emotional bond with. The project is open to residents and non-residents.


“Libraries are the center of communities, exploration and democracy and this piece is about elevating peoples voices, sparking curiosity and creating a kind of expansive vision of what Haverhill is,” Golob said. “The beauty of this project is that by sharing individual stories, we can create a more holistic vision of Haverhill that is more expansive than any one person might know on their own. I’m hoping this will bring a bit more zest in life and color to this library space as we want to showcase the stories of people in Haverhill and have it be as exciting as the books you can find in the library.”


A Cambridge native now living in Washington, D.C., Golob previously created several large pieces of public art in the city.


“I’ve been creating murals for the community on a pretty regular basis,” he said.


First it was a mural on the side of one side of the Garibaldi Club on Washington Street. The colorful mural unveiled in 2018 honors the city’s immigrant history


Golob, who is inspired by the people in the communities where he creates public art, next focused on the side of a building at 217 Washington St. The mural, which he unveiled in 2020, celebrates inclusion and equity at the gateway to the diverse Mount Washington neighborhood.


Then came a third mural that he created last year on the side of MakeIT Haverhill at 301 Washington St., with the help of student artists. He described it as a visual expression in support of justice, diversity, equity and inclusion.


“For me, it’s important to find as many ways as possible to bring art to where people live, rather than ask them to attend a gallery,” Golob said about his work. “When you create little bits of public art, it becomes part of the environment and a celebration of human expression.”


Cindy Cavallaro, president of the Friends, said that during the early parts of the pandemic the library staff decided they wanted to create something exciting and reflective of the city on a 15-by 40-foot wall above the fountain on the library’s first floor.


“The theory behind the theme is every person has a story about Haverhill and what is familiar to them,” Cavallaro said. “Items such as a library card or a phone or a key or the river or a bird or a tree and Alexander will incorporate those images into the mural.”


Golob and his girlfriend artist Sasha Kedzie will be creating the panels in their workshop in Brentwood, Maryland, which is just outside of Washington, D.C. Golob said he plans to return to Haverhill in June or July to mount the panels on the library wall.


“My hope will be to have a fun event revealing the mural,” he said.


Members of the public are invited to submit their photographs and stories now through Feb. 20.


Submission forms are available on the library’s website, at the library, or by emailing alexander@alexandergolobart.com.


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