The innate joy and curiosity of early childhood now stands larger-than-life in a new mural at Pathways for Children in Gloucester.

International artists Nati Andreoli of Argentina and Lina Castellanos of Colombia have spent the last week creating a mural on the side of Pathways for Children’s headquarters at 29 Emerson Ave. Pathways enlisted the help of the North Shore Community Development Coalition’s Art and Placemaking team to source the muralists for the project. The coalition is responsible for developing Salem’s Punto Urban Art Museum in the Point neighborhood as well as serving as project director for Action Inc.’s gold lobster mural in Gloucester.

“We are looking forward to having an external expression that reflects the energy, creativity, growth and nurturing that takes place within our walls every day,” said Pathways President and CEO Eric Mitchell. “Pathways for Children is a dynamic organization. It’s time our walls reflected that spirit.”

The mural covers a 197-foot wall that is on average 14 feet high. Discounting windows and unpaintable surfaces, the artists are covering 2,100 square feet of “canvas.”

Andreoli and Castellanos said that they took photographs of children at the school from which to create the composition. They then constructed a grid, from which they transfered the composition onto the building’s outer wall before painting.

“When you have that process that you know who you are painting, there is an honesty to the subject, and we wanted to show the spirit of what’s going on in the school that’s very sweet,” said Castellanos. “There is friendship, diversity, and happiness in playing. We’re just trying to bring a little bit of joy.”

The two artists knew a bit about Salem because of its witch history before they came to the United States and they were thrilled to discover the historic seaport of Gloucester.

“As soon as we arrived, you can see the history everywhere. It’s a beautiful place,” said Andreoli.

The two artists, who call themselves Dúo Amazonas, are based in Madrid, Spain. This work in Gloucester is their 53rd mural.

Dúo Amazonas have created murals in Spain, Argentina, Portugal, Uruguay, and Greece, among others.

The Gloucester and Salem murals are their first in the U.S. They previously did a mural of a grandmother on Lafayette Street in Salem. and they will return to Madrid for another project there.

Their murals focus on the representation of the human figure, and are designed and developed with the participation of the community to explore both diverse and common narratives.

“With each mural, they hope to encourage individuals to act toward the common good for all,” according to a press release.

The two artists met during a painting class when Castellanos was living in Argentina. Both studied theatrical stage design.

Andreoli has training in scenography at the National University of Arts in Buenos Aires. Castellanos has an academic background in visual arts from Javeriana University of Bogotá and specialized in scenography at the National University of Arts in Buenos Aires, in addition to a master’s degree in gender studies from the Autónoma University of Madrid.

“Doing murals with a friend is more fun. and when we first started out, we didn’t know how it was all going to turn out,” said Castellanos. “But we decided to do painting together and we are grateful for the many opportunities.”

The works of Dúo Amazonas can be followed at https://www.instagram.com/duoamazonas, or via the member’s accounts @chunchullo and @nati.andreoli.

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