Event to celebrate new murals in JP set for May 21

     After years of planning by the Stonybrook Neighborhood Association (SNA) and funding by SSG Development and Construction, the exterior walls of an Extra Space Storage facility at 141 McBride Street in Jamaica Plain will be transformed into works of public art that celebrate the surrounding community. Two areas of the building totaling 2,500 sq. ft. will be enhanced with new, vibrant murals by Boston-based artists Julia Csekö (in collaboration with Eddie Maisonet) and Sharif Muhammad.

     The public is invited to celebrate the murals’ completion with the artists, Stonybrook neighbors, donors, and elected officials. The event will include artist talks, live music by Terri and Mark of “The Spots,” and refreshments from Burritos Pizzeria, JP Kitchen, and Third Cliff Bakery.The event will take place on Saturday, May 21 from 12-2pm at Call Street Field on the corner of Call and McBride Streets in the Southwest Corridor Park.

     The competition entailed a 5-month public call for entry process, utilizing a jury of seven art professionals and JP community representatives. Csekö and Muhammad’s winning proposals were selected out of a group of eight semifinalists, chosen out of an original pool of over 30 applicants. Csekö’s design will be located on the east side of the building while Muhammad’s is on the northwest corner. The winners will each receive a cash prize of $5,000. Mural company Studio Fresh will complete the painting before the event.

     The murals are a result of SNA advocacy for a community benefit package associated with a Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA)-approved mixed-use development at Washington, McBride and Burnett Streets. Other benefits include the Burnett Street Community Garden and Park, Extra Space Storage’s community meeting room, and an expansion of the abutting Southwest Corridor Park. 

Information about the
mural artists:

     Julia Csekö was born in Colorado and grew up in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In 2010, she moved to Boston, Massachusetts to pursue an MFA at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University. In 2022 she was the recipient of a Create the Vote MassCreative Fellowship, a Somerville Arts Council Project Grant, and the Somerville Museum Community Curator grant. In 2021, Csekö was an Artist in Residence at the Umbrella Center for the Arts, and received a Somerville Arts Council Fellowship. She was also an Emerson College 2020 Visiting Artist. Her work gravitates around conversations and experiments grounded on a paradigm shift from competitive to collaborative mindset in social actions and interactions. 

     Eddie Maisonet was born in and grew up in Boston. He holds a BA in Psychology from Smith College and was awarded an artist residency with The Theater Offensive in 2017 and 2019. His 2019 collaborative project, Narratives of Home, is a response to the question of the unique ways gentrification impacts our communities. Maisonet has forged important relationships with community builders who continue to organize and care for its members. 

     Websites: www.juliacseko.com, www.eddiemaisonet.net

Instagram: @csekojulia, @eddiemstoryteller

     Sharif Muhammad holds a B.A. in Graphic Design from UMass Amherst and a M.Ed. in Instructional Technology from Bridgewater State University. He has taught at Boston Day & Evening Academy since 2002. 2021 was a breakout year for Muhammad. In addition to being chosen for this mural project, and other juried shows and exhibits around Boston, he was featured in the Boston Globe, Christian Science Monitor, and on the cover of Art New England magazine. Muhammad also received the Boston Celtics’ 2021 Heroes Among Us Award, and in January of 2022 he was featured on WCVB-TV’s Chronicle. With a primary focus on digital art, Muhammad’s artistic purpose is to represent, empower, uplift, glorify, and give voice to black and brown people. He uses his art to unpack the spectrum of complex feelings derived from the history and experiences of people of color. 

     Website: www.sharifmuhammad.com

Instagram: @sharif_the_artist

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