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Mela Lyman
Anxiety of Beauty: Revisiting the Fountain of Youth
Mural, completed 2009
Paine Park

Mela Lyman's mural in progress

In 2002, artists and longtime Cambridge resident Mela Lyman, created a mural for Paine Park (St. Mary's Road). She incorporated the drawings of young neighborhood children into a "euphoric landscape" by physically attaching the drawings to the mural. Subsequent deterioration of the drawings and fading of colors led the artist to re-imagine her mural anew in 2008. Read more about the 2002 mural by Mela Lyman.

Involving the public again in re-creating her mural, in 2008 Lyman transformed the CAC Gallery into her studio. The Arts Council designed programs such as children's story hours, food tastings, artist talks, and other events to encourage an on-going dialogue between the artist and the community. The artist also worked with high school and college students to use Photoshop to experiment with the mural's composition and record its stages of development between February 2008 and January 2009.

Local filmmaker Fred Woods documented the entire process of creating the mural. Sections of the film were shown on a small screen in the CAC Gallery, allowing the public to view the earlier stages of the mural's development. The premiere of the documentary in its entirety was shown to the community on an outdoor screen in Paine Park on August 13, 2009.

Mela Lyman's work has been featured in numerous museums and galleries nationally, and has been reviewed in ARTFORUM, Art New England, and New Art Examiner, among other magazines and newspapers. She received her fine art degree from Tufts University and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, where she is currently an instructor. In addition to the Paine Park mural in Cambridge, MA (2002 and 2008), her public arts commissions include a painted interior frieze at the Water Shuttle Terminal, Logan International Airport, Boston (1994) and Simpkin Swim Center, County of Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA. (2002).

Press
Boston Globe, "Weekdays at the gallery with Mela: An unusual work in progress, with the artist in action", 2/24/08