Art on the Wall

  • Vicky Tippawong
  • Posted on August 29, 2022

Bigger than life, and oh, so easy to find — the large-scale outdoor murals in North Central Massachusetts offer an intriguing glimpse into the creative minds of local artists.

They also spotlight the history and culture of the region — so take an easy walking tour of downtown Fitchburg to learn about its past and enjoy some thought-provoking art!

There’s a lot to see: On the side of the Putnam Street garage, a towering five-story mural features a portrait of local civil rights activist Adrian Ford. At 2 Boulder Drive, a retaining wall holds images of five city youths and inspirational phrases, including, “Our dreams have power,” while just up the street, another colorful mural “celebrates the power of art and creativity as a force of inspiration, healing and innovation.”

On Summer Street, you’ll be met with four unblinking pairs of eyes — reflecting the city’s connections to four historic figures: Suffragist Lucy Stone; local industrialist Alvah Crocker; Booker T. Washington, a leading African American intellectual of the 19th century; and Fitchburg native Charles Judson Becker, an early black educator.

Stop by 15 Main Street, to be introduced to bicycle maker Iver Johnson, another key industrialist from the city’s past. Continue your walk to Riverfront Park, just off Boulder Drive, where a mural created a few years ago looms over the Nashua River — a tribute to Marion Stoddart, an environmental activist whose relentless determination over decades led to the cleanup of the once-polluted river.

Enjoying your outdoor art tour? Hop onto Route 2 to Gardner, and as you take the Route 68 exit, you’ll notice a mural of a hard-working furniture maker — representing the city’s fame as the Chair City. A second mural at that rotary is on its way… so be sure to visit often!