2018 was an amazing year for the arts in Greater Boston. There were so many cool projects, exciting public commissions, new arts venues, and significant exhibitions and performances that showcased artists and ideas overdue for critical acclaim.
We feel inspired and proud to be a part of such a vibrant arts community, and want to celebrate the artists and institutions who represent the best of Greater Boston's creative ecosystem. So, we decided to hand out some awards...
This year's HUBweek Art Awards will recognize 39 projects in 10 categories, from innovative art spaces to provocative performance art to fresh new murals. Nominated and voted on by the Greater Boston arts community, the nominees showcase the vibrancy of this region. Stay tuned for the announcement of this year's winners on February 25, 2019!
Get to know the nominees for Fresh New Murals below, and see all nominees here.
Percy Fortini-Wright, Central Square, Cambridge
This past summer, 10 artists from Boston and Cambridge (including several HUBweek artists!) were commissioned to transform walls of the newly designated Central Square Cultural District, turning the area into an open gallery. Percy Fortini-Wright’s mural, which towers over Pill Hardware, shows an almost life-size view looking down Massachusetts Avenue.
Shara Hughes, Carving Out Fresh Options, Rose Kennedy Greenway
In Carving Out Fresh Options, artist Shara Hughes uses experimental painting techniques to create ecstatic interpretations of the natural world. Hughes’ first large-scale mural, Carving Out Fresh Options began as a painting on canvas, which is now on view at deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum. The work explores steeply receding perspectives and curvilinear passages in deliberate contrast to the urban geometries of architecture and roadways that surround this façade. Translated onto this wall by professional muralists, the swirling pleasures of her work radiate at a monumental scale.
Marka27 (Victor Quiñonez), Love Thyself, Grove Hall
Muralist Victor Quiñonez unveiled Love Thyself this spring, a new mural in the Grove Hall neighborhood between Roxbury and Dorchester. Supported by Street Theory, the Boston Mayor’s Office of Arts & Culture, and the Boston Housing Agency, Love Thyself covers a three-story apartment building with an expressive portrait of a black woman with a natural afro, eyes closed, and a massive turquoise heart centered between her hands. The work showcases the artist’s unique “neo-indigenous” style that blends graffiti with Native, Latinx, and African ancestries, and is one of several new murals in the Grove Hall neighborhood.
IMAGINE (Sneha Shrestha), For Cambridge with Love from Nepal, Central Square, Cambridge
Commissioned as part of the Central Square Mural Project, For Cambridge with Love from Nepal showcases IMAGINE’s classic fusion of Nepali script with graffiti techniques. The mural focuses on a quote from a Nepali poet, which roughly translates to “Success is defined by what’s in your heart, not your background and where you come from.” The work is meant to speak to people from all different backgrounds who converge in the Central Square neighborhood, and the artist hopes that the mural will spark conversations and help everyone in the area — from families in The Port to the small and big businesses to the students — appreciate the differences around them and think about what success personally means to them in their various stages of life.