LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) — Visual artist Salina Almanzar recently completed the mural “Be Like Water” in Culliton Park, the renovation of which is nearly complete. The mural is located on a pavilion near the intersection of Water Street and Farnum Street in Southwest Lancaster city.
“Be Like Water” is a reference to Water Street and the fact that the road used to be a stream, and it also honors the Susquehannok people who used to live in the area, says Almanzar.
“It’s really thinking about growth and resilience and how this neighborhood, in particular, has experienced a lot of trauma, a lot of change over the years,” Almanzar says.
The mural incorporates elements of the community, from flowers drawn by Price Elementary School students and other residents to the painted hands of community elders.
Community engagement was an important part of the park renovation process, as well, explains Almanzar. She created the program Art Pop in 2018 at the behest of Lancaster Public Art. The program involved community gatherings to complete art projects and facilitate discussions about park renovation and more.
“After one or two meetings, quickly I realized that the community was asking for more opportunities for input and more opportunities for engagement,” says Almanzar. While COVID-19 halted plans for in-person events this year, Almanzar is working on developing more art programming around the city for the future.
A Lancaster Public Art press release states, “Culliton Park has been a sanctuary for community-based artwork. By putting art at the center of a community it can enhance the quality of our lives by expressing hard-to-articulate feelings and inspiring us to tap into the depths of our imagination, envisioning a brighter, more exciting future.”
Planning for the renovation of Culliton Park, formerly Farnum Park, began in 2017 according to the press release from Lancaster Public Art. The park will open to the public on Nov. 20.