Boston Mural Map: City Makes Guide to Community Artwork

Murals can be found all over Boston, making up a unique part of the city's landscape, and the city wants to bring these hidden gems into full view

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Boston is working on a major undertaking with the goal of ensuring more access to the city's public art collection, and it's starting with murals.

Murals can be found in spots all over the city and make up a unique part of Boston's landscape.

"A lot of these murals are capturing the history of Boston or moments of everyday life in Boston," said Kara Elliott-Ortega, the city's chief of arts and culture.

Now, the city wants to bring these hidden gems into full view. They have just launched Boston's first mural map, a new database listing close to 100 murals you can find in spots all over the city.

The city is starting by listing the ones it's commissioned by local artists.

"We will be expanding it to also include private murals, murals done by organizations," Elliott-Ortega said.

The city is also going to use this as part of a much bigger database to track all of its public art, from murals to other kinds of pieces. 

You can find the work of Jeremy Harrison, AKA Sobek, all over Boston — that is, if you know where to look. He agrees this type of art should be more accessible, and also more celebrated.

"Not everybody gravitates to each form, so there are a lot of kids in my community, they love art, but they don't maybe care for oil paint, and for whatever reason, they gravitate towards spray paint," said Sobek. 

The murals featured on the map all have different meanings and themes. They also showcase the diversity of the neighborhoods they are in. 

"Graffiti's history, in Boston alone, is deep, and a lot of people don't know it and it really needs to be represented," said Sobek. 

Elliott-Ortega says it's a great way to experience the city from another point of view.

"Having a way to see bright colors and be connected and see yourself, it really resonates, and, I think, is a part of the health of our communities," she said.

Have you painted or you seen a mural you love? Know of one you enjoy seeing in your area? There is a spot on the site to tag other murals so the city can add them to the map. They are even interested in murals that no longer exist, but were once part of the fabric of a community. It is all part of an effort to preserve this very unique aspect of city life.

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