Neighborhood Public Art: Allston
A brick wall is Gregg Bernstein’s canvas of choice, and alongside the Mayor’s Mural Crew, he’s created a masterpiece out of Allston. In an effort to combat a growing graffiti problem in Rock City, the Mural Crew, which initially focused on Dorchester, moved in during the 90s.
Bernstein, the creator of more than ten pieces in the area alone, told BDC Wire, “The city can come and power-wash graffiti, but in a week, someone’s going to come back and do it again. But if we put a mural up, it’s going to get some respect.”
Many of the compositions that adorn shop walls contain abstract shapes and colors, like the neon, floral, tentacle-like imagery on the wall behind Great Scott. Others reference the neighborhood itself, such as a postcard mural and a piece depicting the co-mingling of vintage and modern Allston, both done by Bernstein.
However, it’s evident that graffiti—and the vandalism of commissioned work—is still a prevalent issue. Electrical box artwork is often found defaced, and some works, including that on The Pet Shop’s storefront and a painting of a pair of shoes outside of Wan’s Deli, are tainted with tags.
Funding for the Mayor’s Mural Crew has been recently cut, but Allston Village Main Streets, a community organization, still commissions work in their continued attempt to battle vandalism.
Check out some of Allston’s biggest and brightest works below:
204 Harvard Ave. (behind Great Scott)
This mural brightens up the alleyway between Great Scott and a Dunkin Donuts.
202 Harvard Ave. (above Green Side Up Gallery)
Psychedelic monsters adorn the wall above the entrance to Green Side Up Gallery.
1222 Commonwealth Ave. (outside Great Scott)
Electrical box art adorns many of the typically bland eyesores in Allston.
179 Harvard Ave. (outside Fast Eddie’s Barbershop)
This Bernstein original depicts a vintage Harvard Avenue in black in white, which transitions into color.
Modern Allston, in full color, is the subject of the other half of this Fast Eddie’s Barbershop mural.
171 Harvard Ave. (on the side of E Shan Tang)
Directly across the street from Fast Eddie’s Barbershop is this pop mural done by the Mayor’s Mural Crew.
165 Harvard Ave. (on the storefront of The Pet Shop)
The storefront of The Pet Shop in Allston features a hand-painted hedgehog, a parrot (which has been tagged), and a goldfish.
121 Harvard Ave. (near Blanchard’s Liquors)
Yet another electrical box is painted, this one with a view of the Boston skyline from the water.
Corner of Harvard and Brighton avenues
This brightly colored electrical box artwork has been tainted with tags, while a pink bike is chained to a lamp post nearby.
172 Brighton Ave. (outside Wan’s Deli)
These spray-painted Converse were done by artist Jason Jessee outside of Wan’s Gourmet Deli.
180 Brighton Ave. (outside Amelia’s Taqueria)
This small, whimsical mural brightens the side of Amelia’s Taqueria.
200 Brighton Ave. (outside Silhouette Lounge)
A Mural Crew original, this work of art depicts various stars, athletes, and musicians.