Short Walk with Long View of Art on Walls in Central Square

My plan to focus on murals for the summer led me to revisit three familiar ones in nearby Central Square, Cambridge: David Fichter’s “Potluck” and Daniel Galvez’s “Crossroads” and “Crosswinds.” Just in the short walk among those three, I became aware of five more wall-based art sites I’d want to share on Art Outdoors.  I’ll start with two that were new to me, though already well-known to others. (For additional information and photos, click on links in red text.)

“Graffiti Alley,” Central Wall along Modica Way

“In fall 2007, Central Kitchen owner Gary Strack and financial adviser-turned-artist Geoff Hargadon transformed the exterior wall of the restaurant into a place where graffiti is welcomed rather than buffed.”[This quote and all above captions are excerpted from Greg Cook’s The Fifty Best Works of Public Art in Greater Boston, Ranked, the ARTery, August 2016]

For fascinating background, read “How Central Square’s Graffiti Haven Came to Be” by Dana Forsythe, 2018 Scout Cambridge.

Science Murals: Nocturnal and Diurnal Geckos

“We are creating murals in public spaces to showcase and communicate the scientific research conducted inside the laboratories at institutions in the Cambridge and Boston Community.” [quote from Art+Science Collaborative note about Science Murals]

Better photos from Seen Around Boston post: Science Murals in Cambridge | Gecko in Central SquareJuly 2016 plus video of this work in progress, May 2016 at: Nocturnal and Diurnal Mural in progress
More about The Science Murals Project at: Art + Bio Collaborative

Revisited with new attention: 

“Celebrating the Marshland” by Lilli Ann Rosenberg

“To create her acclaimed mosaic murals, Lilli Ann Rosenberg mixes tiles, clay pieces, found objects, and impressions of block letters. In Celebrating the Marshland, her materials include real shells and stones, which, combined with lively images of fish, birds, and turtles, allude to the salt marshes that once covered Cambridgeport.” [quoted from Cambridge Public Art fact sheet for Central Square Library mosaic mural, 1982]

See more about Lilli Ann Rosenberg’s public art in my earlier post, LILLI ANN ROSENBERG ENGAGED PEOPLE IN MAKING AND ENJOYING PUBLIC ART

“Crossroads” and “Crosswinds” by Daniel Galvez

“Muralist Daniel Galvez sought input from the community in the concept and design of this “Central Square family album.” The 1,200-square-foot collage of people and architectural landmarks is composed in the shape of the universal symbol for infinity. “ [quote from Cambridge Public Art fact sheet about Crossroads mural, 1986]

“Combining portraits of real-life locals with patterns and objects from the world’s cultures, Crosswinds is the companion piece to Pearl Street’s Crossroads.”  [quote from Cambridge Public Art fact sheet about Crosswinds mural, 1992]

See Cambridge Scout article September 2016 by Emily Cassel about Daniel Galvez :” Daniel Galvez Brings Middle East Mural Back to Life.”

Daniel Galvez art in Linked-in profile.

See more about art by Gregg Bergstein, who worked on “Crosswinds” restoration, at Creative Ground artist profile: Gregg Bernstein

“Potluck” Harvest Food Coop Mural by David Fichter

“An entire neighborhood gathers in this monumental neighborhood mural to socialize and feast on foods from many different ethnic cuisines – a sensory celebration of Central Square’s diversity. The crowd at the potluck contains individual portraits of numerous area residents. Nearly fifty volunteers from the area helped Fichter and his assistants with the task of painting the 2,000 square foot wall.” [ quote from Cambridge Public Art fact sheet for “potluck” Harvest Food Co-op mural, 1992]

See more about this and many more amazing mural projects by David Fichter at his mural portfolio.

In Short

The range of artwork on this array of walls suggests how many different ways there are to make a mural. Yet every mural has come about through crucial collaboration among several artists as well as supportive individuals and organizations. All reflect the city’s history and project vital community spirit. Onward, art on walls!


  1. Sharon McBride · · Reply

    There’s so much information packed into this post. Those murals have real power! Thank you, Deb!


  2. Thank you, Sharon, for getting me started with murals in Central Square back in May on the Jane’s Walk!


  3. Terry Accola · · Reply

    In your quest of walls/murals, Deb …. don’t miss the Punto Urban Art Museum walls in Salem MA. The “El Punto” Neighborhood features over 50 large scale murals by 18 world renowned and 20 local artists within a 3 block radius. The art aims to create neighborhood pride and increase economic opportunity for local businesses.
    and a Map with a virtual tour is available on their downloadable App: PUAM


  4. Thank you, Terry, for this inspiring and helpful information!


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