Friends of Matthew Chew are hoping the slain man’s art can be immortalized with a downtown mural.
Lindsay Krodel, Chew’s girlfriend, said Chew did both drawings and paintings in his spare time. He was considering going to art school in Massachusetts.
“Basically none of his paintings he considered done,” said Krodel.
“You’d go hang out at Matt’s house, and he’d get bored and start painting,” said Chew’s friend Jessica Bachand.
Chew, 25, was in October of 2010 as he was walking home from his job at . Six teenagers were arrested in connection to the murder, and one has .
The tragedy spurred the creation of several in New London. Chew’s friends also established the Matthew Chew Memorial Scholarship for the Arts, which is awarded each year to a person pursuing an arts career, and a memorial bench has been placed outside .
Amanda Bachand, Jessica’s sister, said she and others were also looking to add a mural downtown that would feature one of Chew’s paintings. The effort stalled for a time, though recently friends began discussing the possibility with restaurant owner Rod Cornish. That’s when they learned that the city would be receiving $126,000 from the Department of Economic and Community Development for the .
“This was like fate,” said Amanda.
is taking submissions for this project through today. Carolyn McNeil, a local artist, agreed to submit a proposal involving Chew’s art. This proposal replicates several Chew paintings against a maritime background.
“It’s not just celebrating a wonderful lost life or promoting New London’s arts scene, but it’s kind of promoting the future of New London," said Jessica. "Because it’s showing that positive things can come out of this."
Jade Huguenot, a friend of Chew’s who organized a on the first anniversary of his death, says she thinks such a mural will be a meaningful and symbolic addition to the downtown murals.
“I can’t think of any better way to symbolize the [arts] movement than to put Matt’s art on there,” she said.
Krodel said she thinks such a mural would be a reminder of the tragedy but also a continuing way of advocating non-violence and community support.
“He loved New London so much and he gets to succeed even though he’s not here,” she said. “He wanted his art to be seen.”