The Greenway Wall at Dewey Square Park
Seven Moon Junction by Shinique Smith
The Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy commissioned Shinique Smith (American, born in 1971) to create a new 70-by-76-foot temporary mural, titled Seven Moon Junction at Boston’s Dewey Square Park on the Rose Kennedy Greenway, which was installed in September 2014 and was on display through September 2015. Smith’s Greenway mural was one component of her interdisciplinary exhibition, “Shinique Smith: BRIGHT MATTER” at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston including painting, sculpture, full-room installation, video, and performance. “Shinique Smith: BRIGHT MATTER” was viewable at the MFA from August 2014 – March 2015.
In Seven Moon Junction, I have used a detail from my 2013 painting ‘Seven Moons,’ because its circular composition and color palette and the geometry of the building felt as if they belonged together. I shifted the scale of the painting’s collage and counterbalanced them with a braided sculptural element to enrich the texture and create a composition tailored to the architecture of the Dewey Square wall.
This particular work draws inspiration from various sources such as, alchemy, astrology, music and the mythology and art of indigenous cultures. By taking a small aspect of this existing work and enlarging it to the scale of 70 feet, this microcosm of materials is seen and experienced from a new perspective, becoming a distinct new presentation.
I see this piece, as a mural that extends beyond the wall, as it attunes to the space in which it sits, radiating energy outward to the rest of the city and its occupants. Inspired by the flow of the environment, I will orchestrate a performance of music, art and dance on the green space that is an extension of the mural inspired by the spirals and color in the design.
I’ve titled this work Seven Moon Junction in reference to the intersection where the mural resides, the merging of people and the joining of art and life. The field of view, Dewey Square Park is part of the mural.
Seven Moons (2013)—which serves as inspiration for Smith’s Seven Moon Junction Greenway Wall mural—is centered by a constellation of fabrics patterned with bursting fireworks and flowers. The work features a disposable coffee cup lid whose black form suggests the abstracted face of traditional African masks. Such subtle suggestions of ritual—at the personal, social or cosmic levels—reflect Smith’s broader interest in the ways different cultures seek to harness and direct energy.
Shinique Smith, Artist; Overall Murals of New York City, specialists in hand-painting large scale murals; Arch Painting of Woburn, Greenway Wall preparation and priming; United Rentals, provider of 80 foot boom lift and 50 foot scissor lift, both operated by mural painters.
A high-resolution photograph of Seven Moons is digitally traced to identify key color changes. The image is then gridded, projected onto rolls of paper, and “pounced” —traced by burning tiny holes in the paper with electro pounce equipment. The pounced paper is affixed to the building surface, and the artwork is transferred to the Wall by forcing micro-ground charcoal dust through the holes. The outline is then perfected by hand with pencil and marker. The Wall is hand painted by a team of artists from Overall Murals using both brush and roller techniques.
To ensure the mural’s colors are true to Seven Moons, approximately 40 gallons of the highest-grade, classic, oil-based sign paints are hand mixed to match Smith’s original artwork.