Local & International Artists to Create New Murals in Somerville this August

Two murals to be added in East Somerville, one in Union Square

Celebrations planned in August to unveil new work & honor artists

SOMERVILLE – The City of Somerville will be getting three new murals this month, thanks to a mini mural festival produced by the Somerville Arts Council. The project was the idea of Mayor Joseph Curtatone who wanted to add to the city more bright colored murals. From August 21 through August 31, three internationally renowned artists will be painting murals in the East Somerville and Union Square neighborhoods of Somerville.

The artists lending their creativity to Somerville’s newest murals include David Zayas from Puerto Rico, Angurria from the Dominican Republic, and Marka27, who resides just next door in Cambridge. These artists will be painting contemporary street art on local walls highlighting the diversity of their cultural heritage and the diversity of Somerville and its residents.

The painting will take ten days to complete, and two culminating events are planned where Somerville residents will get to meet the artists and hear from them about their process and artistic practice.

On Sunday, August 26, join the artists for a meet and greet and Q&A session from 4 to 5 p.m. at the Somerville Media Center in Union Square, followed directly by a reception with music and food from 5 to 6 p.m. in front of the mural. The Q&A will be moderated by local artist Dave Ortega. Ortega is the Programming Coordinator and Production Assistant at Somerville Media Center. He also writes reviews for graphic novels of publishers weekly and produces the monthly arts calendar show SOMARTS for SMC. We will get a chance to hear from the artists about the inspiration for their work, their process, and their experience making work in Somerville. Following the Q&A, enjoy a celebration outside the Union square mural (2 Union Square) with music from the Tarciso Alves Forró band and Venezuelan Pabellón bowls from Las Carolinas – one of our Nibble Kitchen Entrepreneurs. Come dance and mingle with the artists and community members.

On Thursday, Aug 30, there will be a parade and celebration with a chance to see the two East Somerville murals. Meet at 6 p.m. at Taco Loco (46 Broadway) for a chance to view the mural on the wall of Taco Loco’s new building and hear from artist David Zayas. From there we will walk to artist Angurria’s mural located at Ola Café (112 Broadway) led by local Brazilian band and activist group Grooversity. Hear from the artist and stay for refreshments and music outside the East Somerville Branch Library.

The City would like to extend a very special thank you to our sponsors and partners for helping to make this project possible: Somerville Open Studios, Somerville Media Center, Union Square Main Streets, East Somerville Main Streets, Holiday Inn Somerville, Spray Planet, Sherwin Williams, and Celeste restaurant.

We’re especially grateful for the business and property owners who have worked with us throughout this process and allowed us to paint murals on their walls: Ola Café, Taco Loco, Jameson Brown properties, and Urban Axes (opening at 2 Union Square in Fall 2018).

These pieces are just the beginning. If you’re a business or property owner who would like to host a mural and have a large open wall please get in touch with us by contacting Special Events Manager for the Somerville Arts Council, Nina Eichner at neichner@somervillema.gov or 617-625-6600 x2998.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS:

Angurria: Angurria is an illustrator and art director from the Dominican Republic, with more than 18 years in the advertising industry in the DR. He has excelled nationally and internationally in the area of design, typography and lettering. He has represented big brands, driven by his particular way of expressing himself and creating frank connections with the public and his followers, thus making the Adidas brand a vital part of his image in his home country. He has taught courses for the School of Arts of Chavón, APEC University, Brothers, Centro Leon and Creative Box. He has created well-known series of “Doña Patria: Dominican Beauty” with which he has participated in activities such as Design for the Kids, Wallride, Rayaera, Artesano Project, Provocadores del Caribe, Transitando Art, Hoy Santa Barbara, Hoy Villa Francisca and the events of Muralizando RD.

He has participated in international mural festivals such as Pow Wow (Worcester, MA), Beyond Wall (Lynn MA), Extra Muros (San Juan, PR), Santurce es Ley (San Juan, PR), Fiesta de Colores (Ecuador), and Transitando (Havana, Cuba).

David Zayas: Zayas is a visual artist and muralist whose exhibitions include ANIMALIA at the Art Museum of Caguas and MURALIS: An Exhibition of Contemporary Muralism at the Museum of the Americas in Old San Juan, the only one of its kind in the history of the island. In 2012, Zayas created the “One Zayas per Day” project that he entered into collections in Spain, Brazil, Mexico, Paraguay and the U.S. That same year he began offering the first short course on Street Art at the Metropolitan University.

Zayas has participated as a muralist locally in projects such as Los Muros Hablan and Santurce es Ley and internationally in projects such as the 12th edition of the Biennial in Havana, Cuba, in Loiza Festival of El Barrio in New York, Forensic Curation in Villa Alegre, Chile , in Street Art Tallahassee, FL, in the 3rd Biennial International MULI of Muralism and Public Art of Colombia, 352Walls of Gainesville, FL, Fiesta of Colors in Ecuador, Artist 4 Israel in Israel, Beyond Walls in Lynn, MA, TODAY Villa Francisca in Santo Domingo, and Caribbean Festival in Santiago de Cuba among others. Zayas recently received the key to the city of Lynn, Massachusetts for his outstanding work as a muralist. He continues to develop projects internationally.

Victor “Marka27” Quiñonez: Quiñonez is an international street artist who works at the intersection of graffiti, vinyl toys, contemporary art, fashion and design. With paintings, murals, drawings, mix-media pieces and commissions for major brands, his robust palette blends elements of street and pop culture with Mexican and indigenous aesthetics—a signature look the artist has coined “Neo Indigenous.” Marka27’s work has become part of graffiti and street art history, but he has flourished as a product designer, gallery artist, toy designer and more. Marka27 has emerged as one of the most sought after muralists in the world, mastering his craft since before “street art” was even a term.

He currently splits his time between his studio in Brooklyn and home in Cambridge, where he and his wife and creative partner, Liza, run their award-winning creative agency, “Street Theory.”

For questions about the mural or related events, please contact Special Events Manager, Nina Eichner at 617-625-6600 ext. 2998 or neichner@somervillema.gov.

Individuals with disabilities who need auxiliary aids and services for effective communication, written materials in alternative formats, or reasonable modifications in policies and procedures, in order to access the programs and activities of the City of Somerville or to attend meetings, should contact the City’s ADA Coordinator, Nency Salamoun, at 617-625-6600 x2323 or NSalamoun@somervillema.gov.

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