MARBLEHEAD — A muralist made his way to Marblehead and used his large-scale skills to welcome people to the town.
Superfine Food, a restaurant that opened earlier this year, added the outside artwork to inject a little color into the seaside community. Ruben Ubiera, an internationally known muralist, was able to bring the restaurant’s concept of a vintage postcard to life.
“It was incredible, because it’s such a very unique town, in its own way and I wanted to make sure everyone knew that I was trying not to take away from the town,” said Ubiera. “It’s so beautiful, very particular with what it likes, and I wanted to make sure that it helped the business and promoted the same body that Marblehead embodies.”
The project came to fruition a month ago, after Dean Pasciuto, the restaurant’s manager, and Rosario Ubiera-Minaya, of Cojuelos Productions, reconnected at a creative North Shore networking event. Ubiera-Minaya visited Superfine Food’s Manchester-by-the-Sea location and admired the mural they had splashed across one of its walls.
Pasciuto mentioned to Ubiera-Minaya that he and Superfine Food chef and partner, Chris Robins, were interested in putting a mural on the empty wall at their Marblehead location. She suggested that her brother, Ruben, be the muralist for the project given his work spread across Lynn and Salem.
“Originally we wanted it to say greetings from Superfine, but I thought about Marblehead and how the residents are so proud of being from here,” said Pasciuto. “We wanted it to be a gift from us to the town, highlighting what Marblehead is all about while bringing a piece of art to the community.”
Pasciuto and Robins sent Ubiera a photo of an old vintage postcard they hoped he could use as influence for the empty wall. Ubiera made his way to Marblehead after the Beyond Walls festival was complete and finished the artwork in just a few hours. He described the mural as being very “Americana in nature” but still an interactive welcome into the town.
“I think it worked well and it is a spot in which you can’t see it from the street, so it doesn’t change the view of its surroundings. The colors and everything match the restaurant and I took the liberty of adding colors that keep the appearance of a seaside town.”
Pasciuto, who grew up in Swampscott, said he was excited to watch Ubiera put their idea into artwork right before his eyes. The restaurant manager said murals are a unique way of adding beauty to a town or city.
“I would love to see more of it and I think what Rosario and her group were able to do in downtown Salem is great,” said Pasciuto. “Growing up, The Point was one of those places you never went to hang out at because it was a rough area; I know because I lived there before. The people are the nicest in the world, but a lot of these places get a bad rap because of how they look on the outside.”
Ubiera hopes to come back to the North Shore in the near future and add more of his work, and invite more muralists to do the same. He said there are so many art colleges in Massachusetts and it is such a cultural place, it amazes him there aren’t more murals throughout the state.
“I think these murals are one of the ways to show the soul of a city,” said Ubiera. “I think everyone wants it, some don’t even know they want it at the time, but then they see we are bringing out the best in the community, and I believe we accomplished that. During the cold months everything turns dry and gray, so you have all these colors to keep you warm and they hold this beautiful energy.”