Murals, Murals, Everywhere - "Tenango"


(Robin Lubbock/WBUR)

One of the coolest things about public art is the tangible effect it has on both a space and a community. Our favorite types of murals transform space and act as ambassadors of a culture or idea for all to see and experience.

One of our favorite murals is "Tenango" by Mayor's Mural Crew - located at 2 Harris Avenue at Centre Street, Boston (2014). The mural features colorful

flowers and birds surrounding a rooster along the side of the building.

Tenango, derived from the Uto-Aztecan language of the Nahuatl loosely refers to a fortified place surrounded by walls - which is fitting because "Tenango" itself is situated between two buildings in a narrow, fenced alley in Jamaica Plain.

Heidi Schork, founder and director of Mayor's Mural Crew, explains that traditionally, tenango can also refer to "an embroidered piece of cloth made by women in the state of Hidalgo in central Mexico" - which helped to inspire the design for the mural.

Mayor's Mural Crew was started in 1991 under former Mayor Ray Flynn as a summer anti-graffiti project for Boston teens.

"Our first few summers were spent in Codman Square painting out gang graffiti," Schork explained. Now, the group serves as a haven for Boston kids to express themselves artistically and help to create beautiful pieces of public art across the city. Yet another example where art inspires creativity and lifts both the young artists and its audience.


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