Unapologetically Colorful

 Volunteers from Boston Cares help prep concrete walls for painting.

Volunteers from Boston Cares help prep concrete walls for painting.

Last week the press was quick to pick up our announcement about our latest project, Patterned Behavior, by Silvia López Chavez. With a lot of helping hands and a lot of elbow grease — thanks, Esplanade volunteers, and Boston Cares! — we spent the first few days cleaning and preparing the concrete walls and pillars of the Bowker overpass that became Silvia’s canvas. With those first steps complete, we’ve moved on to priming and painting, all while soaking in the late-summer sun and beautiful breezes along the Charles River Esplanade.

The mural itself is a joyful representation of Boston, illustrating our city’s most vibrant self. And, as Silvia says, “it is unapologetically colorful”. Which is one of our favorite things about it (and her). In fact, N+T director Kate Gilbert chose Silvia for this project first and foremost because of her masterful use of color, pattern, depth, and movement. Her background as a graphic designer and illustrator is intricately tied to her work as a fine-art muralist, and the dynamic result is a piece that is full of effervescent charm.

The colors seen in Patterned Behavior have deep roots in Silvia’s native Dominican Republic. “My artwork is a reflection of who I am,” she says. “ These are the colors I grew up seeing. They are very different from the muted colors typically seen in New England. But I think they really do represent Boston too because Boston has people from everywhere. It's Innovative, and it’s full of energy. I want to bring these colors into the forefront because they are part of the story of many, many people who live here— people we don’t see every day.”

Even the names of the Sherwin Williams colors in the palette are full of life. Each one stands out,“Carnival”* orange,“Aquarium” blue and “Indigo Batik”, while still working in harmony together thanks to Silvia’s masterful understanding of how to create balance with eye-catching bright hues.

 Pictured L to R Silvi Naci, Silvia Lopez Chavez, Sara Barrientos, Maddie Doctor, Laura Menucci -- photo by Dominic Chavez

Pictured L to R Silvi Naci, Silvia Lopez Chavez, Sara Barrientos, Maddie Doctor, Laura Menucci -- photo by Dominic Chavez

As the mural continues to take shape on the Charles River Esplanade, we invite you to stop by and watch the transformation take place. See first hand the power these colors have to transform a dingy underpass, to create conversations, to spread joy, and to allow people to stop for a moment to take in the beauty of their surroundings.

We want to know, what color from the Patterned Behavior palette best describes YOU? CLICK HERE to take a quick, fun quiz that will tell you which of Silvia’s beautiful colors represents your personality. Are you friendly yellow or grounded green? Mention us on Facebook or Twitter to let us know what your results are and share with your friends! (The N+T team are a mix of “Carnival” orange, “Gusto Gold” yellow, “Show Stopper” red, and “Aquarium” blue.)

*Color names and paint by Sherwin Williams