Public Art Tour: The Wall at Central Square

By Mary Tinti

August 8, 2012

Part of The Wall at Central Square

BOSTON — There exists in the heart of Cambridge a surprising space known as The Wall at Central Square (or The Wall at Central Kitchen) that serves up bombastic, bold, colorful, ever-changing, and oh-so-contemporary examples of some of the coolest street art around.   

The brainchild of Geoff Hargadon (a local artist and fan of awesome public art) and restaurant owner Gary Strack, The Wall at Central Square was unveiled a few years ago as a safe place for everyday folks and renowned street artists alike to come and spray, draw, or paint their visions for all to see. On any given day, passersby can find personal tags, memorial tributes, or fantastical designs–all part of a dynamic, morphing tableau very much suited to the energy for which this neighborhood is famed. 

The spirit of The Wall—which is really the spirit of street art—is an organic one, in that once an artwork is added, there is an understanding that it will eventually be enhanced or layered over by another artist sometime down the line.  In this way, street artists can be said to create the most temporary kind of public art, a chance-filled category that makes the genre all the more exciting and fosters countless visual connections and conversations. 

Because of its international resurgence in the urban realm, street art (some of which is not officially sanctioned) is also receiving fresh attention in the museum and gallery worlds. For example, in August 2012 the ICA Boston will play host to an exhibition by Brazilian graffiti artists Os Gêmeos (Gustavo and Otavio Pandolfo) which includes companion site-specific public murals in the Dewey Square section of the Rose F. Kennedy Greenway and on the Revere Hotel Boston Common. And, given that The Wall at Central Square will be celebrating its fifth anniversary this October, I wouldn’t be surprised if there were some fun plans in the works to honor the occasion.  So make it a point to check out The Wall repeatedly and keep your eyes peeled for unexpected street art in greater Boston in the weeks and months to come!
Additional photography in this video of The Wall at Central Square is by Gregg Bernstein.

To visit The Wall, use the Central Kitchen address
567 Mass. Ave.
Cambridge, MA
About the Author
Mary Tinti Mary Tinti
Mary is a Koch Curatorial Fellow at the DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum. On her blog, Dress For Sports, she says, "I love innovative public art, creative design, and unique intersections of architecture, sculpture, and installation.  And I love stumbling upon cool collisions of art and everyday life." Mary has a Ph.D. in art history from Rutgers University.


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