Explore Stories Behind Patricia Thaxton’s Monumental Mural in Harvard Square

Indoor Exhibit Enriches Understanding of Outdoor Art: Patricia Thaxton-The Beauty of Everyday Living, From Collage to Harvard Square Mural

This post is my way to preserve elements of the valuable Gallery 344 exhibit (now ended) about Patricia Thaxton’s work for her monumental mural around the Harvard Square kiosk. The exhibit presented original collages as well as photos of the artist’s process. These, as well as text and visuals, helped me understand and appreciate how this complex, spirited mural came to be. Here are quotes, photos, and informative links.

In June 2021, a monumental (printed) mural debuted in Cambridge’s Harvard Square as part of the City of Cambridge’s renovation of the landmark Harvard Square Kiosk, which had been the longtime home of Out of Town News.“( quote from Cambridge Arts Gallery 344 notice)

Designed by artist Patricia Thaxton of Stoughton, “The Beauty of Everyday Living,” was printed on vinyl scrim to surround the worksite during construction. It highlights Harvard Square, Cambridge community festivals, Black Lives Matter protests, and her own patterns.” ( quote from Cambridge Arts Gallery 344 notice)

Thaxton’s collages incorporate cut paper, fabric, pastels, pencil, watercolor, and acrylic paint. She adopted bolder colors, larger figures, and bigger shapes than usual to make her compositions stand out in Harvard Square. The collages were then digitally scanned in a way to ensure texture and shadow were visible when the handmade artworks were enlarged and printed as vinyl panels.“( quote from Cambridge Arts Gallery 344 notice)

When the mural was installed in June 2021, everyone was waking from isolation. My hope was to bring joy and harmony to the Harvard Square community during a time of hardship.”( quote from Patricia Thaxton for exhibit about her mural, The Beauty of Everyday Living )

“The mural is about joy, harmony, beauty, nature, and gratitude in spite of life’s challenges. In 2020, I worked through the pandemic, protest for equality, social distancing, material shortage and supply chain issues. This affected my thematic and visual choices. ” ( quote from Patricia Thaxton for exhibit about her mural, The Beauty of Everyday Living )

“Everyday life is about growth, from subtle changes to major life shifts. Change is necessary, but with it come challenges.” Thaxton says.( quote from Patricia Thaxton for exhibit about her mural, The Beauty of Everyday Living. )

When the expected two years of construction ends, the renovated public space will have a community focus and is open to use by city-sponsored operators.“( quote from Cambridge Day article by Tom Meek , June 2021)


Thaxton’s ‘Beauty of Everyday Living’ mural brightens Harvard Square kiosk construction by Tom Meek, June 21, 2021,C ambridge Day

New Exhibition Shows How Harvard Square Mural Was Created , Cambridge Arts, Gallery 344, City of Cambridge

Patricia Thaxton artist website

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