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Underground at Ink Block debuts 2019 murals

Celina Colby
Celina Colby
Celina Colby is an arts and travel reporter with a fondness for Russian novels.... VIEW BIO
Underground at Ink Block debuts 2019 murals
Marka27 (Victor Quiñonez) works on his wall at Underground at Ink Block. PHOTO: CELINA COLBY

On June 29, Underground at Ink Block will debut its new series of murals, in collaboration with Street Theory and National Development. The 2019 Underground Mural Project features nine new works by local, national and international artists including Indie184, Greg Lamarche, Dana Woulfe, Silvia Lopez Chavez, Muro, Go-Five, Marka27 and Matthew Zaremba.

Spanish street artist Muro’s wall at Underground at Ink Block. PHOTO: CELINA COLBY

Spanish street artist Muro’s wall at Underground at Ink Block. PHOTO: CELINA COLBY

“It’s important to have a space that’s welcoming for everybody,” says Victor Quiñonez, co-founder and creative director of Street Theory. “We have a city that can be perceived as very academic and elitist sometimes, so it’s nice to have something that you don’t feel like you have to have a background in art history, you can enjoy it any time from any place.”

Quiñonez, who also operates as a street artist under the name Marka27, has a wall in the 2019 Underground Mural Project.

In its inaugural edition and in the 2019 lineup, the Underground Mural Project represents artist from a diverse group of cultural backgrounds and artistic styles. Genaro Ortega, the street artist known as Go-Five, is proud of his Taíno heritage and hopes to bring that culture to his wall at Underground. He’s painting two indigenous figures on his wall from 19th-century photographs.

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“Everybody has a different story,” says Ortega. “There are so many different cultures in Boston, so being able to represent your culture and your art might make people feel comfortable with what’s going on in the world.”

Underground at Ink Block is located at 90 Traveler Street on the eight-acre underpass between Boston’s South End and South Boston neighborhoods. The diverse cultural attitudes illustrated in the mural project reflect the complex and varied cultural histories of both neighborhoods. The park opened in 2017 after a five-year process led by MassDOT in cooperation with the City of Boston, Boston Planning and Development Agency and the Federal Highway Administration. Since its opening, the site has provided public art, pathways, urban green space and programming to the surrounding neighborhood.

Silvia Lopez Chavez’s in-progress mural featuring her signature bold shapes and arrows. PHOTO: CELINA COLBY

Silvia Lopez Chavez’s in-progress mural featuring her signature bold shapes and arrows. PHOTO: CELINA COLBY

On June 29 from 2 to 6 p.m., Underground at Ink Block will celebrate the 2019 murals with an opening party featuring the artists along with DJ Braun Dapper, food trucks, games and live artmaking. The event is free and open to the public, but advance registration is required.

“When we have big events, it’s probably when you see the most impact,” Quiñonez says. “There so much art and culture in one space, and everyone is invited. It doesn’t matter where you’re from or your social status, it’s very inclusive.”

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