In October I had read about the Greenway mural in progress on the Lincoln Street Triangle. Fortunately, I got there while the artist Mia Carollo Cross and her father were about to finish up the month-long project in the last hour of good daylight! I spoke with Mia briefly about my interest in the process of creating murals and then began to photograph her, the materials, tools, and art.
October 27, Mia and her father at work on the mural
October 27, final day of painting
Mia’s artist statement on the Greenway website gives an excellent explanation of the planning, thought and ongoing interactions throughout the mural’s progress. Some excerpts from her statement are below and in captions too. Also her website and her Instagram posts offer energy and connection to her range of artwork.
The original concept for We the People II began late last fall, at a time when many people were questioning what exactly our collective identity as “Americans” means.
In a nation so large and so diverse and in certain ways so divided, what do we have left to share that serves to connect us all?
Where did we come from, and what community do we belong to? What does it mean now, “We the People of the United States”?
To explore these questions of identity and belonging, the main premise of We the People II is to capture the eyes of people who live, work, or pass through the Leather District.
“Over the course of a month while creating this mural, I approached all types of strangers, asked to photograph their eyes, and then painted them along this 140-foot span. Through this simple act, my intention was to reflect the diverse community of downtown Boston.”
To my surprise, people often approached me, and returned more than once, asking “is my eye up yet?”
I hope that these personal connections create a sense of ownership for the people I met or who watched it evolve.
Despite being strangers before, the mural became the glue between us.
These eyes – the entire mural – belong to people who may never meet one another, but who already share a bond by walking the same sidewalk, sitting on the same bench, or buying bananas in the same store!
“We the People II” serves as a visual connection between members of this unique community.
” A person’s gaze is so powerful– and can often say more than a mouth. Because the mural is located in a busy commuter space, and is viewed by many from a distance, my goal was to use the intensity of staring eyes to immediately slow people down, creating a pause in their routine while they are sandwiched between two whirling streets. “
I wanted to share with you all that on Saturday night (in the dark) with the help of my wonderful family, we finished “We the People ll”! (instagram post from Oct 30, 2017)
A simple way to find it is to search c-mart on Lincoln street, Boston. (instagram post from Oct. 30, 2017)
“Don’t be afraid to get up close. I encourage you to explore the full length of the wall from parking lot to crosswalk!”
Tracking the mural from Essex Street intersection along Lincoln Street toward C-Mart
The slideshow is mostly from my visit two weeks later, November 11, but I hope to return a few times more and post again with greater perspective while the mural is still up, throughout 2018.
Resources to Enjoy (click on red text)
Article from Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy for North End Waterfront.com Oct. 4
Currently on the Greenway: Mia Cross We the People II, 2017 Artist Statement and video of mural in progress
Kawandeep Virdee: Artist statement for prior mural on the same site
Mia Cross artist website
Mia Cross Instagram: MiaXart
We the People painting
Mapquest directions (to CMart Supermarket on Lincoln Street)