“We will not get used to death, and we will continue to cherish life. We will even build seasons of love between the bombs.” Quotes similar to this one fill the plain brick walls in Alina Gallo’s mural, “We Are Staying.” The mural depicts a country in ruins, but there is a sense of normalcy despite the destruction. One scene contains a dark brown foosball table, which has been abandoned by its players. Bright and whimsical linens, which are used to distract snipers, are strewn on a clothesline above the table, causing the viewer to see past all of the demolition and violence and get a look into everyday life before ruination. Images of wreckage and bullet holes are found throughout the painting, and it seems as if the viewer is experiencing all of the damage firsthand. A car, which was once a working automobile in a busy city, is shown overturned and destroyed next to two blue barrels of explosives. “We Are Staying” is made solely from egg tempera. The large painting, which is a big step up from Gallo’s previous works, stretches around four walls in the small and cozy gallery and was on display from May 26 to July 11. Gallo’s mural is more than just a painting; it is a story in itself. It is a story of change, and it reminds you to never forget your roots and to never give up. With this said, I would definitely recommend visiting the SPACE Gallery on Congress Street in Portland.

Catherine Henaire, 14, is from Saco.