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Little Italy Mural Celebrates History of Italian Immigration

By Laura Jayne Martin | November 7, 2013 8:57am
 Beau  Stanton installed the Little Italy mural "Cursum Perficio."
New Street Art Goes up on Mulberry Street
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MANHATTAN — The latest mural to go up in Little Italy as part of the Little Italy Street Art Project celebrates the neighborhood’s roots as the ultimate destination after the long voyage from the old country.

Artist Beau Stanon said the art finished over the weekend represents the immigrant experience.

"I wanted to do something specific to the neighborhood — a passenger ship from the turn of the century and the theme having to do with transition," he said Wednesday. "I wanted to talk about the history of Little Italy."

The piece called "Cursum Perficio" which translates to "My Journey Is Over" in Latin, he said, brightens a 10-foot-by-7-foot section of the exterior wall of the Italian Food Center building on 161 Mulberry St. and took two days to hand-paint, he said. 

The ship in the painting is imaginary, based on a mash-up of historical explorations by the artist.

“I usually do a fair amount of research. In the past for similar projects, I’ve taken pictures of derelict vessels, some of which I found at an old salvage yard in Staten Island," Stanton said. "There were dozens of these old rotting ships. I use images from treks like that and [from] old photos."

The mural is one of several made possible by the L.I.S.A. project, which was established by Wayne Rada and Ralph Tramontana, president of the Little Italy Merchants Association. The project’s mission is to “bring a diverse group of street artists together in the Little Italy and create Manhattan's only mural district.”

Stanton said he would like to see more street artists tailor their work for the communities into which it is installed.

"It's important that the artists take into consideration the history of the community," he said. "We are trying to, which it why many people have been behind the project since it started.”