Muralist wraps Pru in Latinx culture and color
Bright colors and bold imagery wrap the front entrance of the Prudential Center where Latinx muralist and graphic designer Yenny Hernandez installed “Ponle Vuelo A Tus Sueños/Let Your Dreams Take Flight” last week. Commissioned by Boston Properties and curated by public art organization Now + There, the vibrant vinyl mural spans 2,500 feet across the Prudential’s façade and brings a slice of Latinx culture into downtown Boston.
The title phrase, which appears in English and Spanish on the mural, is from a poem that Hernandez’s mother wrote during the artist’s childhood. “I’ve held onto that phrase for quite a while,” says Hernandez. “And I thought that sharing encouragement and talking about dreams is such a great way to create inspiration, create connection amongst a large audience.” In challenging times, the mural and its hopeful message bring joy to viewers.
With the idea of dreams as a jumping off point, Hernandez hopes viewers will share their own stories at a booth inside the Prudential and at events connected to the mural. The stories of dreams, what they are and how we are trying to achieve them, will then be compiled into an additional component of the installation, possibly a book.
Surrounding the text are brightly colored plants and flowers, many native to Caribbean and Latin American countries. The mural is meant to be enjoyed by all, but there are images included in the piece that will speak directly to the Latinx community, for example a metal cafeteria.
“For us Latinos coffee is such a big part of the culture, and it’s not just that, it’s how it plays a role in the household,” says Hernandez. “Having coffee in the morning with your family…it really is a communal experience for us. So I wanted to have that visual in there because I knew it was going to pull at nostalgia.”
That feeling of comfort and community is exactly what Hernandez hopes the mural brings to Latinx audiences. For all viewers it will bring color and joy, but for the Latinx community it represents a sense of belonging. Here in downtown Boston is a mural with Spanish words, native flowers and cultural symbolism.
“Everyone at some point in their life needs a little encouragement. I hope this for everyone is that,” says Hernandez. “For the Latino community I hope that they see themselves in it. I hope that when they walk by they have that moment of connection, of identification, of validation. I want them to feel seen and heard and celebrated.”