Unveiling 103’ Transformative Mural


Norwalk, Connecticut, September 21, 2015–Respected artist and muralist, John McLane III, has designed a vast mural to cover the entire façade of Open Door Shelter at 4 Merritt Street in South Norwalk, Connecticut. The mural’s unveiling on Tuesday, October 20th will coincide with a day-long block party and Open Door Shelter’s annual meeting.

Painting began the weekend of September 18th and will continue until mid-October. Click here to see an album of the entire painting process. The transformation of the white façade into a promising, bright front has only been made possible by the talents of dozens of volunteers under Mr. McLane’s supervision. Volunteers include local supporters, shelter residents, and faith organizations. In addition, Jerry’s Art Supply of Norwalk provides expertise and materials as well as volunteers.

The mural will artistically convey empowering concepts, like “A Hand Up, Not a Hand Out”, by showing a dynamic combination of natural imagery, in stark contrast to urban blight and hopelessness. The mural incorporates key elements within Open Door Shelter’s logo—such as a large living tree with birds seeking shelter. Mr. McLane’s mural will bring these peaceful images to life, suggesting growth and personal responsibility within the community at large.

This vast mural will help beautify and transform not only the building and immediate vicinity, but it will also draw all people—whether they’re volunteers, seeking help, passing by or art lovers—to the welcoming doors of the Open Door Shelter. Executive Director, Jeannette Archer-Simons, has had praise for the project from the start.
“[The Shelter] is a good thing. We help people change their lives and we want a façade that reflects our mission,” Archer-Simons said.
The Open Door Shelter provides nightly shelter for over 95 individuals as well as operates a number of private residences and supportive housing. In addition, the shelter’s kitchen, known as Manna House, and pantry provides approximately 60,000 meals per months. Food is distributed to in house clients as well as low income families and individuals in the community. For more information, please visit opendoorshelter.org.

Contact: Emily Lewson, Communication/Donor Relations, 203-866-1057 ext. 29, elewson@opendoorshelter.org