Beautifying Long Beach

Project 11561’s new project brings art to the streets of the West End


Project 11561 is continuing its mission to beautify Long Beach with the completion of a brightly painted mural tile wall in the West End.

“These are the kind of things that are starting to pop up that I think will make Long Beach unique and geared towards the arts,” said Jessie Farrell, one of the group’s founders. “And ultimately that will make people want to move here.”

Project 11561 was founded in January by Farrell, Heather O’Grady, Allison Kallelis and Jackie Wilkinson. Its mission is to fundraise and organize events that beautify and promote Long Beach, and to motivate the community to participate in these efforts and take pride in their city. Some of its projects include the Earth Day cleanup and the stars of hope that children painted at the Unsound Art Show earlier in the summer.

For the mural wall, the group approached Michelle Kelly, owner of Earth Arts to help start the project. Kelly and the Project 11561 ladies worked together to create the design for the mural, which would be a mix of their skills and local kids’ creativity.

Long Beach High School art students created the design for the center of the wall — a picture of the sun shining through a curling wave. The outside tiles were painted by children at Seaside Celebrations and Earth Arts this past spring. The children’s tiles have colorful paintings of beach and ocean scenes on them.

Some local businesses sponsored the project. Resident Lisa Mascolo and her husband David volunteered their time and tiling experience to do the installation.

The wall is located on the side of the Friendly Deli at the southwest corner of West Beech Street and New York Avenue.

Project 11561 is currently looking to do a second mural on another wall in the West End.