76 Massasoit Rd

Mural at the Rice Square Elementary School

The New York based Chilean street artist, Dasic Fernandez, brought his bright colors and powerful attention to detail to Worcester for the 2017 POW! WOW!. In a work that bridges surrealism and photorealism, the probing gray-scale eyes looking out from a colorful mask of birds asks the viewer to contemplate their past and their future and the world that they want to create.

The Rice Square Elementary School has been a Massasoit Road institution, continuously serving area families since its construction in 1914. Responding to overcrowding in the school system due to explosive population growth over the first two decades of the 20th century, the city initiated a school building program in 1910, constructing 7 new schools and expanding 10 existing ones with new additions. Rice Square School was one of the most handsome of the new schools with its symmetrical Classical Revival design. Its cast-stone entrances with corner quoins, small parapets, and stylish L-bracketed hoods still inspire a seriousness and a sense of purpose as one enters the school. Still the new school did not fully solve the overcrowded school problem, so an additional six classes were added to Rice Square School in 1920, six years after its opening.