New mural spreads the word of Metta Foundation

Metta Art Mural (WJAR)

You can see it from the highway in Providence. A new mural painted on the back of Metallurgical Solutions on Aldrich Street in Providence is visible as you drive along Interstate 95.

The mural features a large American Flag, a whale, and a lighthouse. It also contains the hashtag #sharemetta, which represents the nonprofit organization Metta Students Foundation.

"We give away one thousand dollar scholarships to high school students that perform acts of love and kindness," said Metta's founder Norm Kelly.

Kelly was looking for a creative way to spread the word about the organization.

"I saw the building that didn't have anything painted on the back and I approached Jack the owner," said Kelly referring to Metallurgical Solutions owner John O'Meara.

"When we heard his story about Metta students we couldn't refuse him, it's a good program, good for the kids," said O'Meara.

The next step was finding someone to help design and create the mural.

They turned to local artist Paul Leighton, who's also a firefighter in Rhode Island.

"It's like building a puzzle up close for ten hours a day. You don't know if it looks right until the end of the day when you go to the other side of the highway and look at it," said Leighton.

He told NBC 10 he put about seventy hours of work into the project.

Sunday morning Leighton signed the mural, proud to have his name associated with the mission of the Metta Students Foundation.

"When the opportunity came to us we embraced it fully, it's beautiful, Paul did a beautiful job," said Metallurgical Solutions co-owner Gregory Dexter.

The most recent Metta scholarship recipient Kayleigh Lapre was on hand for the signing of the mural, which she hopes will inspire others to pay it forward.

"As kids see the video or see the building or see the hashtag, it's really about spreading that love and kindness that Metta stands for," said Lapre.

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