Yetti Frenkel (’85) In Salem News!

January 11, 2024

Montserrat alumna Yetti Frenkel (’85) recently appeared in the Salem News! Frenkel was interviewed about the installation of a new mural she’s done at the Peabody Institute Library of Danvers. Read the story by Salem News Staff Writer Michael McHugh below, or at the salemnews.com.

DANVERS — The Peabody Institute Library of Danvers is going above and beyond to help stories come alive for their visitors with the installation of a new mural, created by local artist Yetti Frenkel, depicting scenes and characters from classic stories originating from diverse cultures around the world.

Baba Yaga from Slavic folklore, Anansi the spider from West African mythology, and Aladdin from the Middle East are just a few of the familiar characters that now cover the wall of children’s room at the library

The installation was made possible in part by donations from the Danvers Cultural Council, the Patrick Clapham Memorial fund, the Children’s Special Fund, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, Friends of the Library, and private donors.

“Amy Martin, (the library’s Head of Children’s Services), knew me already from a mural project I’d done 20 years ago at the Saugus Public Library when she was a librarian there. and so when she became The Head of Children’s Services, she thought it would be nice to have a mural on this wall,” explained Frenkel.

Frenkel, of Newburyport, has worked on numerous murals for libraries and public areas, as well as mosaic sculptures and fine art depicting animals, scenes of urban life, and even events like Salem’s Halloween Dogs Costume Parade.

While most library murals Frenkel has worked on up until this point have involved easily referenced subjects such as people, animals, and scenes of nature, this mural posed an interesting challenge, as many of the subjects were make-believe characters.

“Usually I’m pretty dependent on the photographs I use to reference, but with this I can’t because a lot of it is so made-up. So this time I’m pretty heavily dependent on my sketch, which I’m glad came out well because I’m following it a lot more than I usually do,” said Frenkel, who is an alum of Montserrat College of Art.

Altogether, the project has been about a two-month process, with roughly two weeks to design and six weeks to paint.

“This is the 10th public library mural that I’ve done throughout Massachusetts and Rhode Island,” said Frenkel. “So I’m kind of like the library queen!”

Michael McHugh can be contacted at [email protected] or at 781-799-5202