Courtesy of Lindaluz Carrillo

New Haven is a city of fine arts. Embedded within building facades, engraved into the architecture on Yale’s campus and propped up throughout city streets are creations that often go unnoticed, some recently born and others with decades-long histories. 

Recently, Yale and New Haven have seen many new works of art go on display. This past summer, the Wu Tsai Institute finished Sol LeWitt’s “Wall Drawing #1081” at its new location on College Street. Around New Haven, other artists such as Lindaluz Carrillo and FUNQUEST have painted murals for the city over the last few years. 

“That’s something that is really important,” Carrillo told the News, “being intentional about how you’re connecting with the people you’re creating artwork for.”

Carillo’s “Shifting Perspectives” is located on 151 Orange St. The mural is a diptych. The background is a cloudy sky, painted over with rich hues. On one side, a hand extends from a portal and clenches the stem of a yellow flower; on the other, a young woman’s melancholic face looks out at the street. Its subjects are people of color.

Carrillo is a multimedia artist. Having recently finished an artist-in-residency program at the School of Visual Arts in New York, she said that the mural helped push her out of her comfort zone. 

As an artist, Carrillo typically deals with typography, or text-heavy works — the heavy use of imagery, as seen in this mural, is a new experience.

“With this one, it was a combination of wanting to push outside of something that I normally do, … but also thinking about the people that go to the store,” Carrillo said. “I think that the space holds a specific demographic of folks and I want to make sure that the color choices that I’m using and the concept of exploration and curiosity ties in with what that space is.”

According to Carrillo, “Shifting Perspectives” is open to public interpretation. Something that was important to her during the process of creating the mural was thinking about how it would interact with and impact the surrounding community.

Below the mural is Strange Ways, a fashion accessories store. 

“Everything is very vibrant; everything tells a story,” Carillo said of the store. “I took a lot of the space into consideration while I was making [the mural].” 

Another mural, “Coming to New Haven” by FUNQUEST, can be found on 278 Orange St. The piece was completed in 2022. 

Originally from Japan, FUNQEST’s work has been heavily influenced by anime. Their artistic style is very colorful and geometric, with an almost cartoon-like quality reminiscent of street art or pop art.

This mural in particular depicts a cyborg-like character that FUNQEST created called “Mr. No Limit.” In the mural, Mr. No Limit is carrying a bucket of bright pink paint. His body is composed of many smaller puzzle pieces, and he is holding a paint roller, having just written “Love you, New Haven” on the wall. The character is one that resurfaces in many of his works. 

When asked about the color choice and the purpose of the mural, FUNQEST told the News that “the story behind the mural is that Mr. No Limit came to New Haven to brighten the atmosphere and make the people happy.”

On Yale’s campus, the Wu Tsai Institute revealed a new work of art at their 100 College St. location. The wall drawing is a design by artist Sol LeWitt.

LeWitt’s portfolio consists of blueprints and sketches for what would later become thousands of wall drawings. With every sketch, LeWitt also provides instructions on changing the proportions of the drawing; he also lists the specific pigments as well as how to mix them to achieve a certain color.

The specificity of the instructions allows anyone with an understanding of artmaking to recreate one of Sol’s sketches and turn it into life-sized wall art.

According to John Hogan, an archivist for Sol LeWitt Wall Drawings at the Yale University Art Gallery, accessibility to artmaking was a large inspiration behind LeWitt’s work.

One way LeWitt aimed to make artistry more widespread and accessible was through Printed Matter, his own bookstore that provides fairly priced books on art for easy dissemination of knowledge.

“When [LeWitt] made his artists’ books, he didn’t want them to become collectible. He just wanted people to be able to mail [someone an] artwork for 20 bucks,” Hogan told the News. “[You] could fax the instructions in the diagram to the other side of the world [and recreate it] with number 6 pencils, basic primary, secondary colors of paint. [Anyone] who has a reasonable understanding of art making skills can install the work.”

The Wu Tsai Institute was established in 2021 with a gift from Joseph C. Tsai ’86 LAW ’90 and Clara Wu Tsai.

Chloe Edwards is a Photography Editor, as well as a Beat Reporter covering Arts in New Haven at the University. Originally from North Carolina, she is currently a sophomore in Branford College majoring in English.