CELESTIAL ART PROJECT team (l to r): Melrose Together Project Manager, Jen Leclerc, Rebecca Beraldi of Beacon Hill Wine and artist Bo Tsang DiMatteo.


MELROSE — ‘Celestial’ is a collaborative public art project that honors the history and contributions of Melrose’s earliest Chinese immigrants to our community while also celebrating progress and growth in our city.

Melrose Together partnered with local historian, Jim Bennett to document the historic stories surrounding Charlie Sing, Chinese immigration to the United States and the early Chinese laundry businesses in Melrose in the late 1890s.

A series of art panels by local Chinese American artist Bo Tsang DiMatteo have been temporarily installed in the windows of Beacon Hill Wine and New Russo’s Cleaners on either side of the original site of Charlie Sing’s Chinese laundry. Once construction on the 12-16 Essex St. project is underway, the plan is to move the panels to the construction scaffolding to help mitigate the impact of construction on our downtown.

“I was inspired by the term ‘Celestial’ to describe the early Chinese immigrants in the U.S. and I really wanted to take back and celebrate the beauty in that word and in our community,” said artist Bo Tsang DiMatteo. “Each of us are distinct and unique, but essentially we are all celestial beings who look at the same constellation of stars.

Melrose Together collaborated with and gained support from multiple community partners over the course of the last 18 months, including the Melrose Historical Commission, Boston University Arts Administrator and Chinese National Yuana Yang, the Melrose Cultural Council, the Melrose Messina Fund for the Arts, Cambridge Reprographics, Lauren Grymek, Mayor Paul Brodeur, Bob Bell, the Melrose Human Rights Commission, Beacon Hill Wine & Spirits, New Russo’s Cleaners, the Chinese Culture Connection of Malden and more.

“When we honor our history through beautiful, moving art created by local artists and historians, we strengthen our commitment to our community and each other,” said project manager Sam Hammar. “Today and everyday, we are grateful to our Asian American Pacific Islander neighbors and business owners for their valuable contributions to our community. This project is a testament to the perseverance of Melrosians to do what’s hard and what’s possible.”