Internationally acclaimed street artist Marcelo Ment recently spent a couple of days in Dorchester to paint a new mural along one of the neighborhood’s main streets. Ment—who generously contributed his time and talent to help Greater Ashmont Main Street’s (formerly known as St. Mark’s Area Main Street) efforts in beautifying Dorchester Avenue—just wrapped up a three-week residency at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts.
A member of the first generation of graffiti artists in Rio do Janeiro, Marcelo Ment’s work has been widely published in books and catalogs. Ment’s murals can be seen on the streets of many cities around the world, including those of Rio do Janeiro, Los Angeles, Miami and now Boston. Ment’s residency at Brandeis was part of “Graffiti Week” at the school which was sponsored by the Louis D. Brandeis 100: Then and Now Centennial, the Latin American and Latino Studies Program, and Afro-American and African Studies Department at Brandeis.
“It was magical to see an ordinary parking lot transformed into a fun, welcoming, interesting, beautiful community space, as artist Marcelo Ment created a large mural on what had been a blank wall along Dorchester Ave. The reactions from passersby were priceless, as their faces lit up and they let out sounds of awe at the sight of this new art dressing up their neighborhood,” says Dorchester resident and Greater Ashmont Main Street Board Member and Beautification & Public Space Committee Co-Chair, Erica Mattison. “Greater Ashmont Main Street is grateful to Marcelo for engaging community members in the process of creating this artwork and for contributing a piece that will enhance the neighborhood for several years,” added Ms. Mattison.
The mural is located at 1720 Dorchester Avenue on the side of The Modern Dog and the Maneikis Companies building. Considered one of the “city’s greatest boulevards” according to the Boston Redevelopment Authority’s website, Dorchester Avenue has been the focus recent studies looking to spur revitalization in a section of a neighborhood left in the shadows of many of the city’s planning efforts.
As far as more murals in the neighborhood going up, Ms. Mattison says that Greater Ashmont Main Street is “looking forward to working with many local artists on additional community projects this year and beyond.”
UPDATED: the post originally stated that the artist had donated his time; he was compensated for his work. We regret the error.