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Charles River Esplanade art to remain another year thanks to permit extension

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More than 100-foot-long mural by Silvia López Chavez had been set to come down this summer

Photos courtesy of the Esplanade Association and shot by Pam Steel

The Charles River Esplanade’s first-ever privately commissioned work of public art will remain in the state park through July 18, 2019, thanks to a permit extension from the state Transportation Department.

The brightly colored mural that Silvia López Chavez designed—and that stretches to more than 100 feet just west of the Massachusetts Avenue Bridge—was set to come down this summer. It had supplanted a rather drab, often graffiti-tagged stretch of the esplanade’s infrastructure.

The mural, called “Patterned Behavior,” went up last summer at the behest of the Esplanade Association, the private nonprofit that works with the Massachusetts Department of Conversation and Recreation to maintain the esplanade. The pair hired Now + There to curate and produce the mural with Chavez.

Along with enlivening that stretch of parkland, the mural also piqued the interest of critics. “Bright aquas, yellows and oranges make a strong contrast to the solemn grays and subdued browns,” Alexa Vasquez wrote in WBUR’s the ARTery.

As part of a larger series that Now + There ran called “Year of the Woman,” the mural was named, too, to art forum Hyperallergic’s “Best of 2017: Our Top 20 Exhibitions Across the United States.” A majority-female crew oversaw the development of “Patterned Behavior.”