By Beth Treffeisen
The mural on the Finland Building located at 774 Albany St. in the South End was announced completed on Tuesday, Oct. 17.
The mural, which primarily consists of bright blue, orange and purple, is a depiction of several city rooftops and a sunrise, with a painting of that same scene on one of the rooftops. According to artist Timothy McCool, the easel and paintbrushes are evidence of someone being inspired by the sunrise and wanting to capture it on a canvas.
“I chose the design and colors of my mural to be bright and hopeful,” said McCool. “Making art is a way to describe the indescribable and to express feelings that are hard to express with just words. So it’s my hope that it can brighten their day even just a little bit by providing some sunshine their life.”
McCool is a South End resident who has made several contributions to Boston’s public art landscape, including assisting in the creation of the Spaces of Hope mural, on the Rose F. Kennedy Greenway.
McCool worked on the Finland Building mural for 10 days, taking 71 hours to complete. He used approximately 10.5 gallons of paint during the project.
The mural was one of several initiatives championed by the city during September, which marked Recovery Month, a national effort that aims to combat the social stigma around addictions, celebrate recovery and promote awareness of recovery services.
The Finland building houses several recovery service programs operated by the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) that offer detox and other treatment programs, as well as harm reduction services. This artwork serves as a form of encouragement and support for those taking advantages of the services offered inside the building.
The City of Boston released a call for artists in April 2017, as part of a broader effort to improve the neighborhood around the intersection of Melnea Cass Blvd. and Massachusetts Ave.
In the span of only a few square miles, there are several opioid treatment clinics, two of the largest emergency shelters in the region, a detox facility, a long-term residential treatment program, a resource and referral center that places scores of individuals in treatment every day, a peer recovery center, the biggest harm reduction site in New England, and a world-class health-care organization whose mission it is to serve Boston’s most vulnerable residents.
The mural is one of several ongoing efforts to beautify this part of the City where people in recovery go to receive services.
“A key vision of the Boston Creates Cultural Plan is to create a City that uses art as a means to foster creative thinking and solve problems,” said Julie Burros, Chief of the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture. “It’s great to see this mural play a role in the conversation about tackling the issue of addiction in Boston.”