By Jack Donaldson
As we walked off of the Orange Line and into Roxbury Crossing, we were immediately greeted by a plethora of street art. The Orange line station at Roxbury heights feature's a mural of a woman named "The Mother of Roxbury" (Pictured above). No one in our group was particularly familiar with the are of Roxbury, so we just continued walking in one direction. Luckily for us, we stumbled upon a magnificent hub of street art.
Street art is certainly the most prolific type of art in Roxbury, and the Jazz Mural at 94 Terrace Street is no exception. This worn down and abandoned warehouse was transformed as a tribute to famous jazz musicians such as Sunny Rollins. This recent collaboration between native Roxbury artists and artists from all across the country show's the growing popularity of the art's in the community.
Another piece of street art within the community of Roxbury that we came across was the Nelson Mandela mural located on Warren Street. This is one of Roxbury's most iconic pieces of street art and it is easy to see why. This massive work of art that reads "Roxbury Love" and is one of the community centerpieces of Roxbury itself.
One of the more obscure venues for art in Roxbury that we visited was the Hammil Gallery of Tribal Art. The gallery was filled with art from all around the world, but also with art created by the owners of the gallery themselves. The gallery showcased many different cultures by grouping art by tribe in order to highlight the similarities and differences. The vast collection of art in the gallery was fascinating to explore. One piece that stood out to me was the elephant masks from Cameroon (Pictured below). The large masks were carved out of wood and featured large ears and a trunk similar to that of an elephant. Hamill Gallery of Tribal Art sells almost all of the art on display, despite the fact that many of the objects were not used by tribes, but made for commercial sale.
The Museum of the National Center of Afro-American Artists
This museum, located at 300 Walnut Ave, Roxbury, MA, offers a variety of exhibits for under $5. The art is created by African American artists from across the globe. Explore the history of Roxbury and other parts of the world through photographs, sculptures and other graphic art. To learn more visit their website.