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2 new murals brought to heart of Norwich

Privately funded projects bring in notable muralists to add colors and attract visitors to Norwich.

NORWICH, Conn. — Norwich native Peter Helms wants to see more colorful scenes across the city. Helms is the founder of the Norwich Street Art Collective, a privately funded group that is working to bring murals to Norwich and, hopefully, more visitors into town to see the finished projects.

Currently, Helms has helped to commission two murals being created in Norwich – one on Franklin Street, the other across from City Hall on Broadway.

RELATED: Local street artist wows students at North Haven elementary school with live mural

“I’ve traveled a lot -- to Miami, Los Angeles, to New York, and I always saw this sense of vibrancy that I didn’t see in my own hometown," Helms said. "So, instead of moving away to those places, I thought I’d bring it here."

The Norwich Collective secured the services of artist Cristhian Saravia – better known as “Golden” in the street art world. Golden, who was brought to Norwich from his home base in Miami and travels throughout the country for projects, and was putting the final touches on a 40-foot by 50-foot brick wall across from a blighted factory on Franklin Street.

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The cartoonish work with rainbows and a party hat-wearing dinosaur has a simple message behind it, according to Golden.

“It's very basic, spreading love…you just feel joy from the colors, the message, the smiling faces and that’s it,” Golden said.

Also in the works is a mural called “Metamorphosis” which is being painted by the artist known as Carlitos Skills – that work, which is right by City Hall, depicts a butterfly theme.

RELATED: East Hartford underpass brought to life honoring local women in mural

Helms noted that he hopes to bring more mural projects to the city in the months to come.

“You can expect to see 10 to 15 large-scale installations,” he said.

“Art has the ability to heal, to transform and revitalize a community,” Helms added. “To me it’s incredible.”

To find out more about the Norwich Street Art Collective, click here.

Jimmy Altman is a reporter at FOX61 News. He can be reached at jaltman@fox61.com. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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