Dedication to art: Riverside murals bridge gap between past and present

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WATCH: Ribbon is cut on bridge murals at Arms Park featuring the work of local artists Dave Hady, Jyl Dittbenner and Harry Umen. Video/Carol Robidoux

MANCHESTER, NH – Fall was in the air on Saturday – along with the lingering aroma of Tex-Mex spices from the Bond BBQ food truck, a hazy view of the partial solar eclipse and the energy of the crowd of art lovers who came for a ribbon cutting – the perfect backdrop for a Fall Fusion Festival if ever there was one.

The event, coordinated by SEE Science Center was designed to bring together art, science, and inclusion in one place: Arms Park.

Highlights of the day: The 2nd Annual Disability Justice Parade organized by ABLE NH, a viewing station for the partial solar eclipse overlooking the Merrimack River, and a ribbon-cutting to officially acknowledge the mural art on the bridge pillars, a visual ode to some of the city’s rich history.  Muralists Dave Hady, Jyl Dittbenner and Harry Umen were in attendance.

Mayor Joyce Craig was on hand, joined by city Director of Economic Development Jodie Nazaka and Greater Manchester Chamber President & CEO Heather McGrail to stretch a really long ribbon across the grassy knoll underneath the Bridge Street Bridge.

Attendees were able to grab a bite from the Bond and Ben & Jerry’s food trucks, talk to vendors representing various organizations focused on inclusion and disability rights, and learn more about the science behind the partial solar eclipse.

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A viewing tent with a built-in protective plastic “lens” allowed attendees to see the partial solar eclipse safely. Photo/Carol Robidoux

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Disability Parade. Photo/ABLE NH

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Heather McGrail stretches a long orange ribbon underneath the Bridge Street Bridge in advance of the official “cutting” to celebrate the pilar murals by artists Jyl Dittbenner, Dave Hady and Harry Umen. Photo/Carol Robidoux

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Long view of Jyl Dittbenner’s pillar murals on ribbon-cutting day. Photo/City of Manchester

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Dave Hady’s pillar mural depicts Joe Nelson of Manchester, who was instrumental in the preservation and revival of the millyard.

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An homage to the millworkers by artist Harry Umen.

About this Author

Carol Robidoux

PublisherManchester Ink Link

Longtime NH journalist and publisher of Loves R&B, German beer, and the Queen City!