MURAL Artist continues to devote himself to patriotic work
Macri is pursuing an art degree with an eye toward teaching.
By VIRGINIA ROSS
NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- Larry Macri placed the tear beneath Lady Liberty's eye to represent the sorrow America felt after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Tucked on the wall of the Liberty Street underpass in the Mahoningtown area of the city are portraits of the Statue of Liberty, in varying poses, that Macri painted as part of an ongoing work he has put much of his heart and talent into.
"I think it shows how we felt, all of us, as a nation, when the attacks happened," he said. "There was a sorrow we were all feeling. But then you have another representation nearby that shows that even though this happened, the Statue of Liberty, like all of us, is still standing. She's strong; we're strong, and America is strong, and we won't be defeated. The torch is still raised high.
On any given day in New Castle, drivers can be seen slowing down to take a closer look and admire Macri's work.
Work in progress
Macri, 44, a lifelong city resident and a graduate of New Castle High School, is pursuing an art degree and hopes to teach art after he completes his education.
He started his patriotic theme at the underpass immediately after the attacks, on the opposite side of the wall.
Not long after that he was asked to paint a mural in Fallston, Beaver County, Pa. Traveling from New Brighton across the Fallston Bridge, drivers can still see Macri's giant American flag waving with the date prominently displayed to serve as a reminder of that day.
"I was there right after 9/11, and people were driving by, beeping their horns, some of them stopping to tell me to keep up the good work and let me know what a good job I was doing and that I had their support," he said. "It was a hard time, but that was a good feeling. All of these people were moved by what was happening."
Macri's murals now grace walls at several area sites, including the New Castle School District board of education room.
"I've been asked to do several murals now," he said. "Four years later, I'm still working on the one right here in my hometown. It's a work in progress, I guess."
Recently, next to the current mural in honor of Sept. 11, Macri mounted a sponsor board with the names of patrons and volunteers who donated their time to help him. The board includes a tribute to Ludwig Picarro, a former Mahoningtown resident killed in the attacks.
Macri just recently learned about the circumstances surrounding Picarro's death.
"I'm glad we were able to do that for him and the neighborhood," he said. "I'm just glad it's all worked out the way it has."
Earlier this year, Macri raised $1,800 for his "Statue of Liberty" project by walking door-to-door asking for donations.
At least a dozen family, friends and volunteers helped him clean the underpass beams and walls to get the surface ready for the artwork. The city donated paint.
"And I painted," Macri said. "I sketched out my idea and did what I love to do. And you know, no one has vandalized my work or painted any graffiti on it. I thought by now, four years after I started it, there would be something there. No. Nothing. That means a lot. That says something."