‘Fight Back With Joy’: Muralists Find Home For Art Under The X-Way

Under the Expressway is a long way from the galleries and museums where Silvia Lopez Chavez typically displays her artwork, but it’s a place she said where everyone can experience a spark of joy, and then fight back against the world with that same joy.

It’s an interesting take on the mural work that is being done this week under the Expressway in the Ink Underground Park, all in preparation for the community block party this Saturday to celebrate the work.

“Being able to show art that is beyond the gallery or museum and is open and free is the best work because everyone can enjoy or experience that art,” she said. “They don’t need to know the lingo or feel welcomed into a space. They can be waiting for the bus and see this art…I love work in spaces like this because people stop to say, ‘What’s that?’ It can spark a different experience in someone’s day. Whatever you’re doing while coming through that space, it can spark moments of joy…I like to make art in public places that uplifts and fights back with joy.”

Nine new murals have been installed to accompany the other masterpieces created two years ago in Ink Underground. This time, Liza and Victor Quinones (Marka27) of Street Theory Gallery have curated the exhibition to be more outwardly seen – hitting large columns and spaces along the edges.

“We really wanted to capture the edges this time along the outside,” said Liza. “That will show folks there’s something going on in this space that’s worth stopping to see.”

A perfect example is Victor’s incredible work spanning the entirety of a 100-foot column of the Expressway that features a teal colored background with a woman and bird motif. It is entitled, ‘Cranes in the Sky.’

Others, like Lopez-Chavez, Greg Lamarche (New York City) and Dana Woulfe (Boston) are playing with the nooks and crannies, bends and curves of the concrete substructure.

“My work is very abstract in nature, so I don’t need or want a flat wall,” said Woulfe.

Giovanni ‘Gio’ Ortega is working on a very visible building structure next to the Fourth Street Bridge, and he said right now he is featuring a Native American blowing Sage onto a woman for a good journey.

“I sat a few days and watched the space and then knew this had to be it,” he said.

Ortega has been featured in numerous artistic ventures in the area, many times with Quinonez.

The artists have been working for quite some time, including Spanish artist Muro who has already come and gone. He painted a series of colorful shapes along the edge of the Expressway and underneath that move depending on the vantage point. They are meant to be viewed from a designated spot on the Fourth Street Bridge.

The work will conclude with the community block party on Saturday, as detailed below:

•Sat., June 29:  Underground GetDown! Block Party | Location: Underground at Ink Block; 2–6 p.m. Get ready Boston. The Underground GetDown! Block Party will culminate and celebrate the week’s installation of new murals at the Underground Ink Block park. Tickets are required.

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