My visit to “Honoring the past, seeding the future,” the newest Grove Hall murals, extended my own range of travel after too long a time. Simply walking a few blocks around their location (on and near 345 Blue Hill Avenue) offered such an abundance of promising connections that I must now choose a few of many for focus in this post. Here are the chosen three.
1. Find history and hope in the humans, seeds, and blossoms in these murals. See quotes and links for more about the murals created by Ekua Holmes and London Parker-McWhorter.
“On a beautiful, sunny September afternoon, Ekua Holmes and London Parker-McWhorter revealed three new murals in Grove Hall. The three works titled “Honoring the past, seeding the future,” magnify the importance of today’s youth for tomorrow’s future. Sunflowers, planted this past spring in bloomed in the lawn alongside, augmented the work’s radiance. “ ( excerpt quote from Now+There; Mentoring Murals )
““We not only garden with seeds and plants and flowers, but we garden in our communities with souls and minds and hearts,” Boston artist Ekua Holmes said of the temporary, printed murals that she created with London Parker-McWhorter as part of “Mentoring Murals,” a pilot project from Boston independent public art curators Now + There in partnership with Greater Grove Hall Main Streets and support from Breezes Laundromat.” ( excerpt quote from Greg Cook’s Wonderland, Sept 2021)
2. Recognize special qualities of temporary art. The mesh murals on the side of the building and on the shipping containers in the nearby field will be gone by early December. The sunflowers in that field will be gone well before that. BUT their seeds will lead to more sunflowers growing there and elsewhere next year. And the murals will be replaced with new murals by another team of artists in the Mentoring Murals project.
3. Marvel at the mural across the street: “Breathe Life,” created in 2017 by Rob ‘Problak’ Gibbs. See links to more about other murals in his Breathe Life series. Follow the link with a map, photos, and clear information about several other impressive close-by murals in Grove Hall.
““Breathe Life 2” is a towering, four-wall depiction of a young Black girl, the same girl who sits on the shoulders of her brother in “Breathe Life 3,” the Roxbury mural Gibbs completed last summer. (The original ”Breathe Life” depicts the boy alone and stands on Blue Hill Ave.)” ( quote from Globe article by Diti Kohli about Rob “Problak” Gibbs’ three Breathe Life murals)
KEY RESOURCES: ‘Seeding The Future’ With Ekua Holmes And London Parker-McWhorter’s New Grove Hall Mural in Greg Cook’s Wonderland, includes photos of artists and speakers at celebration, September 2021; Now+There Mentoring Murals includes video of artists and information about project; Map of Grove Hall murals with photos and background information! On the walls of Roxbury, another joyful mural by Rob ‘Problak’ Gibbs explains connections of Breathe Life murals