Local and International Artists Collaborate with East Boston Students to Create Large-Scale Murals Around Urban Farming and Food Security
*** Note: Any members of the media who are interested in interviewing students or artists as part of this program can email Matthew Pollock at firstname.lastname@example.org. ***
EAST BOSTON — HarborArts, a premiere public art initiative dedicated to bringing local, national and international artists to the East Boston region, is pleased to announce the lineup of renowned artists who will take part in the upcoming Harvest project later this month.
After the first series of murals accomplished by HarborArts with Boston Public Schools in 2021, HarborArts was engaged by BPS to continue to bring more large-scale murals to campuses in East Boston. Throughout the spring of 2022, HarborArts and Eastie Farm have worked diligently to engage the East Boston community in this year’s mural project.
The program began in East Boston earlier this spring, with students at the Mario Umana Academy and Manassah E. Bradley School participating in hands-on urban farming programming and art workshops. Starting next week, artworks and concepts created by participating students will be translated into large-scale public murals by professional artists.
Students at the schools have been engaged in weekly outdoor activities with educators, activists and artists covering a wide range of farming and creative workshops. The first class took place in early May, during which students planted seedlings of the “Three Sisters” — Corn, Squash and Beans — a method of planting a triplet of biodiverse crops with a symbiotic relationship, originally used by First Nations people of what is now North America.
In the following weeks, students have explored differences between processed and organic food using drawing, discovered the importance of pollinators and open space through storytelling and performance, and ideated on mural concepts with painting and watercolor. This week, the final workshops will be joined by visiting artists, where the students and artists will develop the final sketches for the murals.
The goal of the project is to empower students to become active environmental stewards, as well as communicate critical issues and express ideas creatively and emotionally, using the universal language of public art.
“In a world where our future is uncertain due to the increased threat of climate change, food insecurity, and environmental injustice, it’s easy to feel powerless,” said HarborArts Director Matt Pollock. “Together, we are painting a new series of educational murals that inspire people to take action with local climate initiatives. In coastal communities like East Boston, the preservation of open space is paramount to building a resilient community. Eastie Farm is doing so by transforming unused and abused spaces into urban farms that grow food, build community, and foster environmental stewardship.”