The unveiling of the Sargent Street mural last Thursday brought back a lot of memories for those who grew up in West Revere and for those who remember Revere’s rich agricultural roots.
That’s exactly what artist Deb Barrett-Cutulle was reaching for when she planned the mural with the help of the Revere Society for Cultural and Historic Preservation. The project also had the support of Mayor Brian Arrigo and Ward 6 Councillor Charlie Patch.
Barrett-Cutulle is locally known as one of the sand sculpture artists at the Revere Beach competition. Elle Baker, project planner with the city’s Office of Strategic Planning and Economic Development, and Revere Community Liaison Priscilla Nickerson had tried three times to get the project off the ground and finally did with Barrett-Cutulle.
“They wanted an old-style look to it with a historic piece of what used to be here in West Revere,” Barrett-Cutulle said, of the mural hung the length of the Sargent Street underpass to Route 1.
“We also reached out to residents for old photos and stories,” Baker said.
She poured over hundreds of photographs and settled on those that would work, including one of an older boy and his dog. After a little research the boy turned out to be 97-year old Vin Cammaratta, who attended the unveiling with his extended family.
“Since the days as he is commemorated here he has served his city well,” said Mayor Brian Arrigo.
“West Revere is the best Revere,” Cammaratta said.
“Most of all I wanted to show the farm lands,” Barrett-Cutulle said, incorporating vegetable and pigs farm signs in the mural.
She said the whole project took over a year to complete, using special, durable materials and encapsulating the artwork to last for years.
Also working on the project was the Revere DPW and the Mass DOT. Helping to fund the project were proceeds from the Santa Walk. The Revere Cultural Council and Revere on the Move also awarded grants to fund the project.
“There were a lot of hands involved in this,” Barrett-Cutulle said.
The mural begins with signs from a pig farm and a “film-strip” is incorporated to draw in the fields and farmlands, a seaplane flies in the middle and concludes with more farm signs. The film reference reflects back on the days of the drive-in theater.
Barrett-Cutulle said she will begin painting the mural for the other side of the underpass this week.
“I look at this magnificent artwork and truly marvel at how creative minds such as Deb’s. It’s a little drab and dreary under here and she turns it into a place of public beauty,” said Arrigo. “I applaud the work of the West Revere Neighborhood group and the West Revere Mural group.”
Arrigo said this is a first of several murals planned for the city. He also noted that the public art extends to the city’s utility boxes.