News / 05 July 2018

Boston's First Street Painting

by Sean Fitzpatrick

Local Artist creates first ever street painting in the city of Boston

It was the spring of 2018 and we were busy working with Fitzysnowman Studios on the worlds longest sand sculpture trail when we got a call from the Greenway Conservancy. The woman on the other end of the phone, Rebecca McKevits, a newly hired capital projects manager, was new to Boston. Her no nonsense approach and attention to detail led me to believe her request to paint on public property in the oldest city in the nation, would be approved.

Fresh off two months of sand sculpting we headed to Dewey Square, a section of the Greenway Conservancy. Once we tested all the materials being used for the first ever street painting in the City of Boston, we quickly got to work laying out the massive 10 x 20 street mural.

The bricks were so hot those two days in July, I never new how a brick oven pizza felt until that project. I love pizza!

Artist Sean Fitzpatrick

Working on hot bricks is definitely a challenge. Recognizing the rewards were greater than the suffering we had to endure. We push on taking great care to keep the mural crisp and the surrounding area paint free. Hopefully this one street painting will open the doors to more creative works in the future in and around the city of Boston

Editors note: In the spring of 2019, the greenway conservancy commissioned us to refresh a small 10 x10 section of the mural which was still is surprisingly good condition. This refresh now makes this Boston's first and now oldest piece of hand painted street art in the city.

Direct surface street painting is still possible in major cities like Boston

If you had asked me is 2013 if the city of Boston would allow an artist like my self to paint on a public walk way, my answer would be don't wait under water. Just like that though the city came up for air. In all actuality, the reason the street painting was approved was because the land is managed by a trust, not by the city. When examining options there are certain situations where a direct surface painting is the preferred option. Finding out exactly who manages the land in question can mean the difference between a successful activation or no activation.

We do not directly involve ourselves in the permitting process. In fact we try to engineer our products to be as permit free as possible. However, we understand that any direct street or sidewalk painting is going to have its share of challenges. We have seen a lot in our years and will be happy to point you in the right direction, or offer permit friendly alternatives.