October 1, 2022
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Muralists paint Donkey Kong on the Concord Building

By on September 20, 2022 0

Chris Schleyer knew that the new elevator shaft with criss-cross beams installed behind his building on South State Street was the perfect canvas for something special.

“After he ascended, we saw the steel beams crisscrossing from top to bottom and it looked like the Donkey Kong game,” Schleyer said. “It’s unlike anything I’ve seen coming up lately and it’s a nice little Easter egg at Concord.”

The beams have since been painted bright pink in a pixelated style capturing the design of the original 1981 game. At the top of the five-story building sits Princess Pauline, with Donkey Kong and her barrels below. Mario, equipped with his hammer is ready to climb.

Because the mural is housed in an alley behind the building at 5 South Street St., Schleyer said he expects residents and visitors to have fun trying to find it, and he wants to. have more painted in the future, starting with the building across the street, he said.

“I want to put a retro kid playing the game from there,” he continued. “On one side you’ll have the kid playing a video game, then when you turn around you’ll see the game he’s playing.”

But Schleyer will first have to get permission from the owner of the other building.

With the help of artists and co-founders Cecilia Ulibarri and Manuel Ramirez of Positive Street Art, a non-profit organization dedicated to inspiring a passion for urban arts and building stronger communities through street art, mural was completed on Tuesday after nearly 100 hours of work in a two-week period.

The first of its kind in Concord, Ulibarri and Ramirez painted hundreds of murals throughout New Hampshire, primarily in Nashua. They said the Concord project excited them more than some past projects.

“Not everyone enjoys this type of art, and we understand that, but we’re really excited about this project because we’ve never been asked to do something like this that’s inspired by real-world architecture like plinth,” Ulibarri said.

Since completing the project, the non-profit organization has received several emails of interest in both collaborating with Positive Street Art and commissioning their artists to paint their own murals throughout Concord.

“We are excited about what this could bring for Concord’s future,” Ulibarri said. “We’ve heard nothing but great feedback. A few people who have been there thought it would be more traditional, but still appreciate the nostalgia behind it.

Since founding the nonprofit in 2012, Ulibarri and Ramirez have worked with children and adults through educational workshops, arts services and community events to both change the stigma around graffiti and create an environment where all artists are welcome.

“When you have a passion for urban arts, you traditionally don’t need a background in arts education and I wanted to show that because there was nothing like it in New Hampshire,” Ulibarri said. “I was trying to create spaces for artists who previously had no place in the mainstream art scene.”

Positive Street Art was founded specifically to create spaces for all creative minds and over the past ten years hundreds of artists have filtered through the organization, she continued.

Speaking about the value of self-taught artists, Ulibarri said there is something pure about art that comes from the heart rather than what is learned from a textbook.

“As part of our nonprofit, we chose the name to challenge the negative connotation that accompanies negative street art like tagging and vandalism,” Ulibarri said. “We try to unify some of this work, beautify communities, share our education with emerging artists, and teach young people how they can produce art productively instead of getting into trouble. with the system.”

To further amplify this belief, Ulibarri and Ramirez are working to organize and host a mural festival in the Nashua area that will invite artists from around the world to create art together.

“I think it’s very helpful to bring this type of event and creative place-making to reveal communities through art and engage the community and be able to watch the process,” Ulibarri said. “It’s very inspiring”

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