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Giant murals brighten the view around Encore

Artist Tavar Zawacki’s mural near the Encore Boston Harbor casino. John Tlumacki/Globe Staff/Globe Staff

The view from the Alford Street Bridge doesn’t exactly reveal glitz and glamour. The most prominent feature of the skyline is the massive Exelon power plant, its concrete-gray stacks dominating even the gold-toned facade of the Encore Boston Harbor casino in Everett.

But a fresh burst of color popped up this week in the longtime industrial corridor. Two bright murals, paid for by the casino, stretch along the walls of the power complex, offering a more inviting gateway between Boston and Everett, a city that has sometimes been self-conscious about its image.

“It’s meant to be a gift, in a sense, to the community,” said Jessica Goldman Srebnick, cofounder of Goldman Global Arts, the firm hired by Encore’s owner, Wynn Resorts, to oversee the murals project. “It’s meant to create something really special and thought-provoking.”


Goldman Global Arts is well-known in the world of public art. It conceived the Wynwood Walls project in Miami, a massive street art installation that has been credited with the revitalization of a warehouse district there.

Near the Encore, the company commissioned the American artist Tavar Zawacki and Spanish-born Okuda San Miguel to do the painting across the street from the casino — just over the city border in Boston.

Artist Okuda San Miguel’s mural near the Encore Boston Harbor casino.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff/Globe Staff

Okuda’s work has already become a part of the landscape in Boston. He is the creator of the striking “Air Sea Land” sculptures on Seaport Boulevard in South Boston. Okuda’s latest work, the 1,170-square-foot “Animal Magical,” uses geometric shapes and bright hues to depict mythical creatures in various states of transformation.

Zawacki’s piece, which is closer to the Mystic River, is 146 feet by 21 feet in size and features a series of horizontal stripes in multicolored gradients.

And there may be more public art on the way.

The casino has told Everett officials it is discussing the prospect of another mural on the tower at the power plant — a project that could perhaps be a counterpoint to Corita Kent’s famous “Rainbow Swash” gas tank art in Dorchester — though Encore says it has not decided whether to move forward.


For Encore, the $2.6 billion resort that sits on land reclaimed from decades of environmental contamination, the street-level murals completed this week are one step toward remaking the neighborhood around it.

“Creating an entertainment district adjacent to Encore Boston Harbor is incredibly exciting to us,” Wynn Resorts chief executive Matt Maddox said in a statement. “This is the very beginning of our effort to stimulate and engage people’s imagination for the future.”

The casino has bought several surrounding parcels, and there is constant speculation in Everett about what the company will do with the land and whether it will buy more. Wynn Resorts, however, has not revealed any plans for major building projects.

Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria says the murals are an early indicator that the corridor can be transformed from “the back door to the city of Boston” to “the front door to the city of Everett.”

Artist Okuda San Miguel’s mural near the Encore Boston Harbor casino.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff/Globe Staff

“It’s nice to be able to create a visual when you’re coming over the Alford Street Bridge,” DeMaria said. “Even though it might be a power plant, or a scrap yard that’s still there, or some other use.”

The walls on which the murals are painted — which are along the sidewalk — belong to the utility company Eversource, which maintains a substation alongside the Exelon plant.


“This particular artwork offers an aesthetic touch that fits in very well with the community and provides a beautiful facade to our property,” Eversource president of transmission Katherine Prewit said in a statement.

On Thursday morning, the artist Okuda and his team drove up to their mural for a final step: capturing images of the completed project. One of the crew members used a skateboard to cruise up and down busy Alford Street, taking videos of the site.

In a statement, Okuda described his work as “a reference to ancient cultures that had a greater connection with nature by acquiring the identity of animals in their rituals.”

“The composition sets to highlight the necessity to find a more balanced relationship between animals and humans,” he said.

Andy Rosen can be reached at andrew.rosen@globe.com.