For artist Hana Lasell, the opportunity to create a mural for GBH News’ Worcester bureau was “mind-blowing.”
This mural, which covers the main wall in the bureau, “is my love letter to Worcester, and I’m really proud of it,” she said. GBH News reporter Sam Turken shared, “I love that when I walk into the Worcester bureau, the mural is the first thing that I see.”
GBH reached out to Lasell to design the mural after noticing her contributions to the city’s Black Lives Matter street mural.
“I’m a Black woman and mixed race,” Lasell said, “So working on the mural was an important experience for my activism and for my identity.”
Lasell embedded facets of her identity and the city’s diversity into the mural.
“The city of Worcester is a multi-layered place with so much history and heart. It’s really important for people to be able to see themselves in whatever media they consume. To make Black and Brown people the centerpiece of my artwork is healing for me and validating for other people. Art is an important vessel for inclusion and for activism.”
Featured in the mural design among Worcester’s three-decker apartment buildings, elm leaves from Elm Park and the “Welcome to Worcester” sign, are the people of Worcester.
“For some reason when I think of Worcester, she’s a woman. She’s full of joy and life and potential,” said Lasell.
The mural showcases the GBH logo and colors as well as its dedication to community-oriented news, she said.
“Worcester has a significant impact on the economy and culture of the Commonwealth,” said GBH President and CEO Jon Abbott, “We are thrilled to increase our on-the-ground presence there. We now have the largest footprint for news in the Commonwealth and are committed to sharing the important stories vital to the lives of our citizens.”
Lasell says she was delighted to be part of Worcester’s celebration of community.
“To be asked to do this was mind-blowing,” said Lasell. “I really appreciate that GBH brought the community in this way.”
When she’s not creating art, Lasell works at UMass Memorial Health as the content strategist and writer for the Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging. To see more of Lasell’s artwork, visit deirdresdaughter.com