A small teddy bear hangs on a brick wall in a corner, an old man sleeping on an abandoned couch on the street, writing all over the buildings, saying things like, “She is Syria — love her.” There is rubble everywhere from the recent fight. Cars are flipped over, and there are bright sheets hung up on the dead-end wall to distract snipers.

When I first walked into SPACE Gallery and saw this mural, I felt as if it where reaching out to me, telling me the beginning of the picture’s story, so I wanted to dig for the end. Alina Gallo’s mural “We Are Staying” is exotic and original, she takes a war-torn neighborhood in Syria and adds bright but neutral colors, and she uses a cartoonish art that shows things in a more digestible way. Gallo adds that bright color in many parts of her painting. She does it with a bright yellow car that is flipped over on the side of the road. Its brightness makes you forget that it is flipped over. There are also two rows of sheets that are there to distract snipers. The colors of the sheets are bright and cheerful and might help you feel better about the reason that the sheets are there. Yes, the pictures are sad, but Gallo gave us a happier, easier picture to look at. “We Are Staying” opened on May 26 and closed on July 11.

Evelyn Fieldroy, 10, is from Portland.