Street Artists Bring New Life to Norwich

There are two new murals in downtown Norwich. A nonprofit is hoping to use street art to help create change in the community.

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Vibrant colors are bringing new life to Norwich. Artists just completed two new murals in the heart of downtown.

The murals, both spanning entire city walls, are located on Franklin and Broadway. The Norwich Street Art Collective, a new nonprofit, brought in two artists from out-of-state to complete the projects and transform blank walls into works of art.

"The purpose of the Norwich Street Art Collective is to give artists, street artists, an opportunity to have self expression and to create with freedom in public spaces," said Suki Lagrito, a member of the collective.

The collective is hoping to show the community just how impactful public art can be.

"It is a big opportunity for our city to bring hope, but also spur economic development, job creation," said Peter Helms, founder of the collective. "Because this attracts people."

Carlos Alexis Rivera, who goes by Carlitos Skills, came to Norwich from Puerto Rico to paint the mural on Broadway. He said that it is the tallest mural of his career and, completing it over the course of several days, one of the quickest he has painted.

"I think art has the power to change the world, a little drop of paint at a time," Rivera said. "This is all about inspiration. You pass by and you don't see dead walls. It gets you inspired - it makes you feel that everything is possible."

Golden, an artist from Miami, completed the colorful mural on Franklin. Using his name, the words "Stay Golden" are painted on the mural.

"Stay good, be nice," Golden said. "Be golden."

The murals are close in proximity and the artists are hoping they have a big impact on the city. The Norwich Street Art Collective said they already have future murals planned.

"This is just the beginning," Lagrito said.

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