July 1, 2021

Salem Arts Festival 2021 Mural Slam People’s Choice Awardee Announced!

by Felicia Cheney

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The votes are in! The Salem Arts Festival Mural Slam received a record number of over 1,000 responses!  The City of Salem’s Public Art Commission, Salem Main Streets, and the Creative Collective are very pleased to announce the winner of the 2021 Mural Slam People’s Choice Award – Zhonghe (Elena) Li, for her mural “Being One With Earth”. 

In the center of the piece, the artist painted two passenger pigeons, a species that went extinct 100 years ago, positioned in a circle or ‘cycle’ symbolizing the Earth, in a papercut style.  Other, unplanned, elements were added to the work in the moment during the on-site creation of the mural as part of the Salem Arts Festival 2021 Mural Slam, resulting in the beautifully wrought and delicate image now adorning the rear of the buildings long Artists’ Row, 24 New Derby Street, Salem MA.

Li is a multi-media artist and first-time mural slam participant based in Cambridge, MA.  The motivation behind her creativity has consistently been her love for nature’s diversity and her profound concern of the environment, species extinction and humanity’s role in that future. She is deeply influenced by the Taoist philosophy of “being one with nature” and hopes to promote the ‘art of living together’ through art.  You can view more of her work at https://wildcraneblog.wordpress.com or follow her @hehe.li on Instagram or Wildcraneart on YouTube.

Please join us in congratulating Zhonghe (Elena) Li on being selected as the 2021 People Choice Awardee and stop by Artists’ Row to see the other 11 incredible murals commissioned as part of this program!

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