FALL RIVER — Portuguese Graphic Designer and Illustrator Bráulio Amado says he gets bored easily, so he is always looking for new inspiration in his designs.
As part of the FABRIC Arts Festival, the New York-based artist is creating a mural — his first — in Fall River based on his interaction with art students in the Youth Experiencing Arts and Hope (YEAH) program.
During a workshop at the NarrowsCenter for the Arts on Wednesday, he challenged art students to answer questions about Fall River without using words, relying on drawings, photos and things of that sort. He then used them to create a collage, which became the foundation for the mural located at 365 South Main Street.
“The mural combines all those answers into a big piece,” he told O Jornal on Friday. “It was very helpful to do the workshop with the students because they have this connection to Fall River.”
Born in Almada, Amado moved to New York 10 years ago, where he worked as a designer for Pentagram and art director for Bloomberg Businessweek. He then joined Wieden+Kennedy. His illustrations have been published by the New York Times and other major newspapers and he has designed covers for various magazines.
In 2017, he started his own studio. He co-runs SSHH, a mutant art space, classroom and store in the East Village of New York City since last year.
Amado said that he sees a “lot of potential” here in Fall River.
“It’s an interesting city with all this architecture and buildings,” he said, noting that it’s nice to see that the Portuguese and Portuguese culture have such a big presence here.
On Friday afternoon, Amado was painting the mural alongside two of the YEAH art students who contributed with ideas for the mural.
Isaiah Reins, who likes to draw and paint on canvas, said he was happy to have this opportunity.
“I love it,” Reins said. “It will be nice to walk down the street and know that I had a part in doing this. It’s an opportunity to do what I love.”
Trista Gomes, who also takes part in the YEAH program, said this whole experience is “a blessing.”
“I am not used to be part of arts projects with real artists,” said Gomes, who has a special interest for digital art, animation and watercolors. “This is a great opportunity and experience, as I never painted on walls.”
Although he is not usually a fan of abstract art, Reins said that he actually loves this mural.
“It’s vibrant and I like its shapes and bright colors,” he said. “It’s not too complicated; it’s a simplicity that works. And I like the idea that there are messages behind it.”
Amado said he is thinking of publishing the story behind the mural and how it came to be with the help of the students. Nick Schiarizzi, co-owner of EastVillage arts space SSHH and Massachusetts native, and local graphic designer Joseph Faria and painter Kyle Furtado also lent a helping hand to paint the mural.
FABRIC Arts Festival is being organized by Casa dos Açores da Nova Inglaterra, with the curatorship of Jesse James, Sofia Carolina Botelho and António Pedro Lopes. For a complete schedule of events, visit fabricfallriver.com