Tag Archives: Mural

Empowerment Mural Coming to the Square

25 Jun

Thaxton’s ‘Beauty of Everyday Living’ mural brightens Harvard Square kiosk construction

By Tom Meek Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Patricia Thaxton’s “The Beauty of Everyday Living” mural sections will beautify a Harvard Square construction site. (Photo: Greg Cook)

The ongoing construction around the old Out of Town News kiosk in Harvard Square will be brightened this week, with unsightly fencing and Jersey barriers wrapped in a vinyl scrim of artist Patricia Thaxton’s “The Beauty of Everyday Living,” a mural imbued with themes of Black joy and empowerment. The design honors Black Harvard students, is peppered with Harvard Square “Easter eggs” and weaves in nods to Cambridge community festivals and recent Black Lives Matter protests.

The mural, commissioned by the city, will expand as work by WES Construction expands in the fall. When the expected two years of construction ends, the renovated public space will have a community focus and is open to use by city-sponsored operators. Requests for proposals are ongoing throughout the rebuild.

A public event introducing the art awaits a clearer schedule from the construction contractor and coordination with the city’s reopening plans, Cambridge Arts’ Greg Cook said.

This is the first public art project for Thaxton, a Stoughton resident who grew up in Dorchester and taught home economics in Boston Public Schools until retiring in 2009. In her art career since, she has focused on mixed media works in which she said “no material is off limits.”

“I love the freedom I have with mixed media collage. Along my journey, I discovered the elements that fascinate me: texture, color and depth connect each work of art in my collection. Several pieces were inspired by images I’ve collected from newspapers, ads, magazines and photos that I’ve taken through the ages. I enjoy capturing the culture within and around our daily lives,” she said.


27 Feb

Mural due to be painted over at Starbucks; revised design wasn’t brought to landlord

March 1 could see return to blank wall at Massachusetts Avenue shop

Lesley University artists Gary Chen, Ellie Lukova and Percy Fortini-Wright paint a mural on the Starbucks at Shepard Street and Massachusetts Avenue last fall.
Lesley University artists Gary Chen, Ellie Lukova and Percy Fortini-Wright paint a mural on the Starbucks at Shepard Street and Massachusetts Avenue last fall. (Photo: Timothy Dungan-Levant)

The colorful mural at Massachusetts Avenue and Shepard Street depicting ethnically diverse students and nearby academic landmarks will be painted over early in March. The alfresco painting, done by Lesley arts students through a collaboration by Starbucks and the Committee for Art on the Avenue, had become a point of contention between Starbucks and Stone Investment Holdings, which owns the building that houses the coffee franchise, the trending eatery Shepard and other retail and food fronts.

The reason for the impending eradication comes because of a “miscommunication” with the landlord, for which Starbucks takes responsibility. The coffee giant initially reached out to the community with an in-house mural idea, but was engaged by the neighborhood to do something more “local.” Starbucks spokeswoman Holly Hart Shafer admitted that its lease requires approval from the city and landlord for changes to the exterior of the building, and the company didn’t follow through with the landlord on the second proposal after the first had been approved. Continue reading