On Wednesday, Sept. 28, at 5 p.m., Community Teamwork Inc. will unveil the restored and renewed Irish/Acre mural on a CTI building whose back wall faces the Worthen House Cafe on Worthen Street. The Hellenic Culture & Heritage Society will host a reception until 7 p.m. to celebrate artist Leo Panas, who designed the mural in the mid-1970s and worked with young people from CTI’s Neighborhood Youth Corps to paint the vast tableau that references Irish-American life in the Acre neighborhood through the decades, from school to church to workplace. Leo was a long-time professor of art at Lowell State College and later UMass Lowell.
CTI’s Youthbuild Program students under the direction of Lowell artist Donald Maker and Kurtis Leboux brought back the mural, which had deteriorated. At the time of its creation, this mural was one of several that could be seen around the city, including a Greek-American themed mural on the back side of the now-gone Demoulas Market on Dummer Street, also designed by Leo Panas, and French Canadian-American murals on upper Market and Merrimack streets. In Centralville, around West Sixth Street, there was a Polish-American themed mural, and the Back Central area had a mural highlighting the Portuguese-Americans in the city.
The mural in original condition.