Out of the Everywhere: Evolution of the Graffiti Artist


Out of the Everywhere: Evolution of the Graffiti Artist
Exhibit of street art, other works, tracks artists’ growth from graffiti to other mediums, and back

Graffiti will take center stage when a new exhibit, Out of the Everywhere: Evolution of the Graffiti Artist, opens at the Mother Brook Arts & Community Center (MBACC) next month.

The exhibit includes work from 12 street artists, showcasing not just works of graffiti, but also work representing the artists’ evolution into other art forms. Works on display will include photographs, prints, paintings and wood pieces.

The exhibit’s Opening Reception will be August 15th from 7 to 9 p.m., and will include a meet & greet with the artists, Sounds by Serge Gamesbourg, as well as refreshments from Whole Foods of Dedham. Complimentary wine, beer and soft drinks will be served.

The show’s title comes from two places: a collection of essays written by science fiction author Isaac Asimov, and a favorite poem of curator Renee Johnson, written by George MacDonald, called "Baby." The first two lines of the poem are:

"Where did you come from, baby dear?
Out of the everywhere into here."

Johnson, a Dedham-resident and first-time curator, said the exhibit will shatter preconceived notions of graffiti as an art form.

“The artists represented in Out of the Everywhere are taking the signature style of graffiti—with bold colors, intense imagery and urban themes—to a whole new level. What is considered ‘street art’ has evolved to become an important piece of the contemporary art portfolio,” said Johnson, who conceived the show after hearing about MBACC, which was created to act as a catalyst for the economic development, revitalization and enrichment of the surrounding neighborhood and the Town of Dedham.

The show will run through October 18, 2014 at MBACC, 123 High Street in Dedham, MA. Viewing hours after the opening reception will be Wednesdays through Fridays, noon to 6 p.m. and Saturdays, 1 to 4 p.m. 

The artists included in the exhibit are:

Percy Fortini Wright
Boston, MA

“Using spray paint mixed with the physical nature of the calligraphic mark, my pieces investigate relationships of linguistic entanglement as form. Many times the subjects are letters either tagged or written fast into the pieces elaborately camouflaged into a three dimensional “wildstyle” form of lettering. Through the ethereal qualities of spray paint juxtaposed with the physical nature of the calligraphic mark I deface my images with words and words with images expressing their limitations and intricate connections. Being multiracial, my work explores numerous expressions and identities, at times creating an explosive melting pot of images constantly searching for threads of unification. As a result my work embodies chaos and clarity balancing perceived opposites.”

Percy’s work has been featured in The Boston Globe, Improper Bostonian, and JUXSTAPOSE magazine among other publications. (Images attached: Green Line Through Old Boston Garden-32”x48” 2013, spraypaint on panel; Getting Up at Night- 20X30FT piece at Brooklyn Boulders Somerville, MA)


Cedric Douglas
Quincy, MA

Cedric Douglas is a Boston-based designer, street artist and social interventionist who has created work in the community for over 20 years.  He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in graphic design. Earlier this year, Douglas won a citywide public art competition and was named the Uphams Corner Public Artist. He was awarded $500,000 in grants from The Boston Foundation in partnership with Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative, and Art Place America in order to engage residents and implement public art in Uphams Corner. Using his "Up Truck, " a mobile public art lab, Douglas is inviting residents to explore their inner artist. 
David Taylor (DS7)
Stoneham, MA

Through the year,s DS7 has learned to manipulate aerosol art into many different styles. These days DS7 is always trying to take spray paint to the limit of its use, by using tools and patterns from the past and incorporates this into his paintings to get even more detail and depth. He also spray paints large portraits on canvas, by staying focused, taking his time, pushing his can control to the maximum yet still finding a fine line that grabs the viewer. DS7 hopes to captures a feeling and that inspires the soul in each image and project.


Jason Talbot (SWAT)

Boston, MA 

Jason Talbot is co-founder of Artists for Humanity, and an undergraduate student at the Art Institute of Boston with work experience gleaned as a graphic designer for Turner Broadcasting and Going Interactive. Talbot participated in the 2009 Cohort of the prestigious Emerging Leaders Program at the University of Massachusetts Boston; and he recently received the 2013 Mentor of the Year Award from Youth Design. Talbot sits as a co-founder representative on Artists For Humanity’s Board of Directors and is an active member of WGBH’s Community Advisory Board.

“SWAT, Simultaneously Witnessing All Things, is what I write but it is also what I do.”

SWAT is one of the founding members of the legendary ALA crew and has been heavy in the Boston graffiti scene since 1992. He likes to draw, use a paint brush and sculpt, but his favorite medium is spraypaint.

Rob Gibbs (ProBlak) 

Boston, MA 

Rob Gibbs is a co-founder of Artists for Humanity and currently AFH’s Painting Studio Director. In that role, he oversees the painting studio, directs large-scale public art projects, and trains teens in painting and mural production. He was awarded an Americorps Fellowship and Prudential Youth Leadership Fellowship. Gibbs has also been an active participant in building a field for youth development through conducting teen-leadership and mentorship training for AFH replication projects and at conferences such as Girls, Inc. and YouthBuild USA and Young Peoples Conference, Odyssey Belfast.  The fact that a picture is worth an infinite amount of words has given ProBlak the opportunity to take ownership in one of our culture's modern hieroglyphics: graffiti. He developed a vision of beautifying the ghettos of Boston by pure instinct. He chose the "unspoken heard" as a communicative tool for his city.


Naldi Silva
Naldi Silva is a Boston native, and self-taught artist working predominantly with the medium of wood aerosol and acrylics. Mahogany, maple and oak are his preferred species.



MRNVR  (mis-ter-nev-er) is the alias of Boston based multimedia artist and designer Gregory Maxim. As an artist, his work has been exhibited across North America including New Image Art Gallery in Los Angeles, Space 1026 in Philadelphia, Hungryman Gallery in Chicago, NEST Gallerie in Montreal and Leo Kestings Gallery in New York City. As a designer he has produced work for clients such as New England
Revolution, Bodega, Artists for Humanity, JackThreads, United Way and Converse. He is a graduate of the Massachusetts College of Art and Design's Studio for Interrelated Media and currently lives and works at The Distillery in South Boston.


Jamie O’Neill

Gloucester MA

Jamie O’Neill is the owner of ZBY Gallery in the Rocky Neck Art Colony. Drawing upon memories of painting trains in his youth, O'Neill conveys the impressive scale and saturated colors in his hyper-realistic paintings. The play of company logos and graffiti pieces on canvas highlight the color relationships, and the variety of patterns, and textures found in both streamline worlds of graphic design and graffiti. “There’s a certain kind of atmosphere that pervades into discarded, or out of reach places.” Using extended perspective and without figures, he creates his own hyper reality.


Joel Lewis

Boston, MA

Born in 1986 in Boston, Joel Lewis is one the leading graffiti style technicians of his generation. His rhythmic, funky bar-style was born from the influence of many artists in the hip hop culture. Influenced by artists and peers such as Merez, Percy F. Wright, Doves, Vase, Kem, Soem, ProBlak, and Salim Elijah, Joel strives to transmute the energy of his emotions into each piece that he paints on the street while remaining confined in intense style and line precision.


John Rodriques Brewer

Dorcester, MA

“As an unconscious decision, photography came as a way to collect references for painting, illustration and murals. The images became another medium to show many parts of my world and what I experience. Street, documentary and portrait photography were the images that where appearing in my work. Showing with several groups of artists, I started to show that body of work with my paintings and other show work.
Fashion became my introduction to professional photography. Shooting for local designers and models began a change in professions, from painter, illustrator (even though it is still very much a part of me and what I do) to all around photographer.”

Brian Life
Boston, MA
Brian Life’s
work has graced many a classic album cover. He's designed for clothing lines, toy lines...you name it. His pieces scream symmetry, from his breathtaking character designs to his brutally vivid wildstyle letter sets. He cultivated his craft at the Art Institute of Boston, Florence, Italy & New York. A creative soul from birth, Brian strives to express himself through various mediums: Traditional painting & illustration tools, Digital Painting, 3D modeling, 3D sculpture in Zbrush, airbrush, graffiti murals, design & branding, apparel design, concept art & music production.

Sean Flood
Boston, MA

Sean Flood attended the Art Institute of Boston in 2000. Initially interested in illustration, he switched over to the fine arts department to focus on painting after taking a pivotal course with Boston-based painter George Nick. During his training, Flood was immersed in traditional instruction including still life and figurative painting, but he found he was drawn to and captivated by interiors and pictorial spaces. By the end of his college experience, his primary focus was cityscapes, perhaps influenced by the first hand exposure to his father’s life work in the construction business. Flood’s approach to painting urban scenes and structures simulates and celebrates the energy of the city and the construction process. The paintings reveal the process from foundation to structure to completed form.




About Mother Brook Arts & Community Center

Mother Brooks Arts & Community Center is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization housed in the former Avery School, located less than one mile outside Dedham Square and in Dedham's most economically and ethnically diverse neighborhood.  The 38,000 square foot building is a well-built and classic early 20th century schoolhouse with large, light-filled rooms.  It sits on the banks of the historic Mother Brook, a hand-dug canal built in 1639 to create a source of hydropower for flour and textile mills, which resulted in a handful of dams and picturesque ponds along the brook, including Mill Pond, providing a unique backdrop for an arts and community center.  


For more information, visit www.motherbrookarts.org.  Follow us on Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/MBACC.Dedham and Twitter @ https://twitter.com/MotherBrookArts.





Hightlight Image: 
Tuesday, July 29, 2014