Nuestra Mesa

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Project Description

This project was inspired by a Dominican tradition of mourning. After a death, friends and family celebrate the deceased for nine days. The nine days “consist of three days of grieving (crying and reminiscing), three days of silence (thinking and reverence) and three days for release (accepting and separating).” As Chelsea continues to cope as one of the communities hardest hit by illness, death and economic fall-out of the pandemic, a public space for comfort, reflection, and coming safely together as a community was important.

On nine tables, nine artists created individual works illustrating each day of mourning. A collective color palette demonstrated that even though grief and mourning is processed alone, we also process the experiences of our lives collectively as members of a community.

The tables inspired a series of poetry by Chelsea youth called Nuestra Parablas.  

This project was coordinated by Claudia Paraschiv of Studioful Design

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meet the artists

yenny hernandez

Yenny is a Latina award winning graphic designer and illustrator from the Northshore. Of Puerto Rican descent her work pulls from her heritage and is often infused with vibrant colors and tropical foliage. Her work spans from messages of positivity, finding your voice, to depicting family, friends, and artists of color.


Yenny interpreted the theme of RAIN, representing the 1st day of mourning.

Max Pro

Max Pro was born and raised in Chelsea. His love for comic books and time travel fuel his creativity, which feeds into everything he does. He owns a custom clothing design business called All Planets that represents suicide awareness and mental health.

Max Pro interpreted the theme of FALLING LEAVES representing the 2nd day of mourning.

keshia de leon

Keshia de Leon of K Leon Creative Consulting is a Creative Educator, Artist, and Activist. Through her work in Community Engagement and Mural installation she has gained a unique and honest artistic vision that guides her work.

Keshia interpreted the theme of WAVES, representing the 3rd day of mourning.


Trippylandia is a Photographer and a Fine Art Painter in the Boston area. Her work is a combination of surrealism and psychedelic art. She composes vivid characters with a galactic and trippy feel, inspired by Vincent Van Gogh, Tim Burton, and Astronomy.

Trippylandia interpreted the theme of CLOUDS, representing the 4th day of mourning.

Aliyah saldana-oswald

Aliyah Saldana-Oswald is our youngest participating artist, and daughter of Nelson Saldana. Art enables her to have an emotional outlet. She has been painting since very young.

Aliyah interpreted the theme of SOIL, representing the 5th day of mourning.

anna dugan

Anna Dugan is a Filipina American mural artist & illustrator based in Salem, MA. She use colors, patterns, typography, and humor to spread joy & positivity through her work. “Art brings communities together and has the power to connect us to one another.”

Anna interpreted the theme of OCEAN, representing the 6th day of mourning.

nirvanna lildharrie

Nirvanna Lildharrie is a painter based in Chelsea. Locally, Nirvanna has participated in the Chelsea Night Market, showcasing her art and doing free portraits for the people of Chelsea. In her art, you can find motifs of human emotion, gender, spirituality, and nature.

Nirvanna interpreted the theme of SUNSHINE, representing the 7th day of mourning.

nelson saldana

Based in Chelsea, MA, Nelson was born in the Bronx, NY, and moved to Chelsea when he was twelve. Since he was a child, he sketched uncontrollably all the time. Nelson’s goal in art is simple: create the most art through as many different media as possible and watch what happens.

Nelson interpreted the theme of NEW TREE, representing the 8th day of mourning.

marianne ramos

“Whatever I do, art shows up in the mix.” Marianne has lived, worked, and volunteered in Chelsea since 1983. With many college credits, but no degree, Marianne is a self-taught artist best known for her micro-mosaic collages, shell-o-visions, and Pandemic Postcards. Her work has been seen at local galleries.

Marianne interpreted the theme of WIND, representing the 9th day of mourning.

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Scott lanes

Scott Lanes is the owner of Witch City Customs in Salem, MA - a custom fabrication and architectural metalwork studio. Scott thrives on taking designs to new levels and collaborating to create original, fun, and useful works. Scott fabricated the table frames for the Nuestra Mesa table sets, including custom feet and symbol sun discs.