Finding Inspiration: Chelsea’s Melissa Gallego, Max Pro Brighten up the Downtown with Chalk

Most people think of chalk as being a key ingredient of math problem reviews or homework assignments at school, but Chelsea’s Melissa Gallego has seen chalk as a way this summer to beautify the downtown with colorful – albeit temporary – art.

Chelsea Prospers has unveiled Chalk Art Saturdays through the month of June and July, each with a unique theme and a local artist to do their handiwork in decorating a secret location that is unveiled later. Some have been on the side of the TD Bank, another was on the stairs to City Hall, and Gallego got to show her handiwork in the center of Bellingham Square by the clock.

Chelsea’s Melissa Gallego lies next to her Chalk Art drawing she did in late June for Chalk Art Saturdays. She is the daughter of Chelsea’s Juan Gallego, and said she enjoys drawing with pencil.

Gallego is the 15-year-old daughter of Chelsea’s, Juan Gallego, a builder in the community who has spent a great deal of time helping with the City’s downtown planning efforts.

While he’s a builder, his daughter Melissa is on the creative side.

Melissa attends Malden Catholic School for Girls, and has lived her whole life in Chelsea.

“I have drawn and painted my whole life with inspiration from my father,” she said. “I find painting relaxing, but drawing with pencil is my favorite way of making art.”

In late June, she created a colorful chalk enhancement near the clock in Bellingham Square – the theme being ‘Embracing New Rituals.’

Another Chelsea artist who has contributed is Max Pro, who was born and raised in Chelsea, but left to pursue his dreams. However, he said he always knew he belonged in Chelsea and has returned.

His family migrated to Chelsea from Cuba many years ago, and he said he spends most of his time with his wife, daughters and siblings.

His creativity began when he was exposed to comic books – that combined with a curiosity about the theory of time travel. Those things mixed together launched his creative side when he was younger. Now, he owns a clothing design business called All Planets that also represents suicide awareness and mental health wellness.

He said he loves being involved in the community and wished he had more time in the day to be active.

“I always remain thankful for everyone’s support, kind words and good energy,” he said. “Without it, I wouldn’t be anywhere near where I am today.”

The last week of Chalk Art Saturdays will take place this week, July 18, with the theme, ‘Looking Forward to a Better Normal.’

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