MERIDEN — For the past two weeks, city artist Apollo Maldonado has been adding color to Colony Street.
The city’s artist in residence and owner of All Sketched Out and The Artists Colony, has been painting large colorful wings on a blank wall directly across the street from the Silver City Ballroom. The mural depicts rainbow-colored wings of a size fit for a grown human and when finished, will feature the Silver City Bridge, the Hanging Hills, and a downtown facade.
Maldonado’s efforts are part of a larger calling, involving his brother-in-law Eddie Rivera, who has painted multiple other murals around downtown already. Both want to see a revival in Meriden arts culture and a change in the city’s reputation.
“It ties in the artist colony, ties in Meriden, ties in some really positive vibes, some really positive things for here in the city,” Maldonado said. He said there are a ton of artists in Meriden, but they mostly work underground or don’t get a lot of exposure.
He hopes the murals will do a lot of things — bring people who appreciate art into the city, give inspiration to young people or anyone who needs it, and foster a new sense of arts culture in a city which used to prosper in it.
“This mural is for everyone … Anyone that cares to come over here and take pictures in front of it, anyone that appreciates art,” Maldonado said.
The mural is sponsored by the Silver City Ballroom. Owner Joe Florio said the idea is to give Meriden a new identity, revolving around the arts.
“Right now, Meriden’s going through its own renaissance and it looks really beautiful when you drive down the street, compared to what it looked like 15-20 years ago,” Florio said. “So let’s give them a reason to come to downtown, come and look at the murals, look at the arts, look at what’s going on.”
Plus, he said, “it just gives you a warm fuzzy feeling when you start seeing artwork and murals.”
Any artist interested in helping to create other murals can contact Maldonado at firstname.lastname@example.org.