Chelsea High Muralist Hit his Stride Suddenly Last Summer

It was as if sudden talent just fell from above on Chelsea High sophomore Sinai Galicia – who has distinguished himself over the last several months as a talented painter and muralist, with his most recent work being the beloved rubber ducky mural on Division Street.

Galicia, 16, said he has been inspired by art his whole life, and has participated in school shows, but he said within the last six months, he has suddenly found a passion for painting murals – and he has gotten quite good at it very fast.

Just Ducky: Chelsea High sophomore Sinai Galicia has suddenly found a talent for painting murals, and he’s on a tear through the community. His latest work, a yellow rubber duck on Division Street, has drawn a lot of attention in the community and on social media as the City tries to repurpose the street.

“My friends didn’t believe it at first,” he said. “It was a surprise to me too. For me, it was just a wakeup call. I was always interested in art my whole life, but I just wasn’t very good at it. Then I just got very interested in painting and murals and started doing it. I wanted to be a doctor and since I got so interested in art, I’ve changed my career path totally. I want to look into interior design or architecture. I want to work with big companies and design innovative spaces. I want to put my style into buildings – modern and fun at the same time.”

For the moment, though, he is focused on painting buildings.

That came through recently when he painted a featured mural in the City’s effort to revive and repurpose Division Street. During an artist work day on Aug. 24, Galicia created a mural of his own choice – and it was a fun take on a bright yellow rubber ducky.

It immediately got a lot of attention because it was recognizable, fun and colorful.

Chelsea Downtown Coordinator Mimi Graney said many passers-by and those working were excited to take selfies with the new mural, and it was certainly the most popular work of the day.

“I was surprised that so many people liked it,” said Galicia. “I was just doing it, doing something quick and people went for it. I was just trying to that I could do in a realistic time. I wanted to do something people would recognize in a yellow color. They wanted it to be Instagrammable, so I though – a rubber ducky.”

Galicia has also worked on a mural in the Cherry Street Parking Lot for the Chelsea Night Market, and he also did a mural at the Community Garden near Chelsea High.

Chelsea teacher and muralist Demetrius Fuller has been a great help and inspiration, he said, and has been helpful in Galicia’s sudden art awakening.

He said he is trying to get more and more work, and has had meetings recently in Medford to try to paint a mural there. However, he does enjoy sprucing up Chelsea whenever he can get a chance.

“I feel like Chelsea has been under a very dark cloud,” he said. “I feel it’s a privilege to be able to do something to draw positive attention to it. I want people to feel like it’s a safe community and not a dangerous community. I like to do that with colors.”

Galicia is taking art classes at Chelsea High, and enjoys painting with new media. He said he has heard that one can do amazing things with gunpowder, but of course, he doesn’t have access to that so he’s sticking with traditional paint for now.

In his free time, he said he draws about five hours a day – which explains his sudden talent for murals. He said he wanted to thank his parents Sarai and Giovanni, as well as his friend, Naason Joaquin Garcia – who has been inspirational

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