Artists Apex, Deme5, Kwest, ProBlak, Sobek, Soem and Vex transformed the side wall of Moses Auto at 58 Geneva Ave. in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood on May 15 for the “Back Against the Wall: Graffiti in Grove Hall” event.
Jeremy ‘Sobek’ Harrison—who organized the initiative, with sponsorship from Sparc Mobile, the Center for Art and Community Partnerships at MassArt, and Moses Car Shop—said the aim was creating “legal graffiti/street art walls in the more underserved areas of Boston and promoting more sparks of creativity with opportunities for visual expression for all residents. The main goal is to identify the first legal graffiti wall in Dorchester specifically for the purpose of organized aerosol art for the community.”
“I hoped my neighborhood would have a stress-free day to reconnect with family and friends through art. What happened was the largest family reunion Boston has ever seen,” Sobek writes. In addition to painting the wall, people painted Jersey barriers in the lot next to Moses Auto, across from the Grove Hall Community Center and Grove Hall Branch of the Boston Public Library
Sobek writes that he organized “Back Against the Wall” to “promote the creative thinking and history of writing (graffiti) in Boston. Presently too many residents associate graffiti with gang vandalism not knowing that the term itself was not created by the pioneers of the art. It is unfair that the world gets to appreciate an artform that has a strong history in Boston, yet the residents cannot. … This event and more are needed because they bring communities together for the purpose of art and culture. Writing (graffiti) is a sacred Black culture that has taken the world by force which is now seen in all forms of media and advertisements. My communities need the chance to see and feel all this artform has to offer because it creates opportunities.”
“The painting on Moses car shop may be a one time thing,” he writes. “I’m in conversation with him. There will be future events in the same lot though. My goal is to find the location for an organized rotational wall.”
Sobek is planning another painting event, “Healing Through the Arts.” with a “live mural lineup” on Juneteenth, Saturday, June 19, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., at Ripley Road Park in Boston. (Rain date: June 21.) “We will be celebrating the life of Dwayne Corey Ross aka Xerox, with a live mural. Followed by a candlelight vigil for the community in remembrance of their loved ones,” he writes. The event will be preceeded with a neighborhood cleanup led by Maat Culture on Saturday, June 12, then preparing the walls for painting on Friday, June 18.
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