Boston is such a beautiful city. It’s loaded with history, business, education, and culture. But it’s not just the triple deckers in Southie or the cannolis from Mike’s, that make Boston, Boston. It’s the people.
I try to bring out the best of the Boston community through my art. Because Boston is a community that embraces our neighbors. We look up to our athletes, musicians, teachers, and small businesses. We are entrepreneurs and we are supporters. And there is no other group that I would rather share my art with.
To kick us off, this collage was inspired by Boston’s finest, Big Papi. David Ortiz will go down as one of the greatest Red Sox players to ever live, hitting 541 home runs and 632 doubles during his career. And in my eyes, he’s like an honorary Mayor of Boston. He created the David Ortiz Children’s Fund, providing support and hope to countless children in New England and the Dominican Republic. And how could we forget his role in the Sippin’ on Dunkin’ Iced commercials. Most recently, he teamed up with other Boston native, John Krazinski, and donated Sox tickets for LIFE to healthcare workers at Beth Israel Deaconess in Boston. Telling them, “we are the City of Champions.” I made during his last season as a Sox player but he continues to support the Boston community.
This is one of my favorites. Although Kyrie is no longer on the C’s, this collage portrays the moment Kyrie Irving gave Jaylen Brown the game ball in a 2017 game against the Golden State Warriors. The night before the big game, Jaylen Brown’s best friend suddenly passed away. Jaylen wasn’t planning on playing in the game until he got a call from his late friend’s parents, asking him to play for their son. So that’s exactly what Jaylen did. With 22 points, 7 rebounds, and a whole lot of heart, Brown lead the C’s to a 92-88 victory over the Warriors.
The Boston Beer Company exemplifies how one beer recipe could turn into pursuit of the American Dream. Founder Jim Koch made his first batch of beer in his kitchen and now has over 1,300 employees. Sam Adams has contributed to other entrepreneurs making their business dreams a reality like the Harlem Chocolate Factory, the Roc Brewing Co., Spinning J Bakery, and others. Recently, Sam Adams launched the Restaurant Strong Fund, to support those in the restaurant industry who have been impacted by COVID-19. So far they’ve raised over 2.7 million dollars. This collage was gifted to Jim Koch.
Along with the pride in our businesses, we take pride in the institutions we’re surrounded by. Whether it be Boston College or UMass Boston, each campus brings character to the city. As an employee at Harvard Business School, I can say our campus brings a unique aura to the city. The campus reminds us that Boston is a combination of the modern and the past. The campus was constructed in 1924, 288 years after Harvard was established. But our new neighbor, the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, reminds us we are a part of a both, historic, and contemporary, atmosphere.
This Tom Brady collage is my most popular piece and it’s simple to explain why. Say what you want to say about TB12, but he is the G.O.A.T.. Pats fans will always stand by that. He brought us decades of Sundays to look forward to, and six duck boat parades in the city. When I was an undergrad at UMass Amherst, I used to walk dorm to dorm, selling prints of this collage to students. (What ZooMass kid wouldn’t want Tom Brady wall art?)
One morning, I woke up and had a direct message from the Patriots on Instagram. They asked if they could use my collage as their #FanArtFriday on Instagram. Of course I felt like a kid on Christmas morning. That was a highlight of my art endeavors and encouraged me to continue creating.
Speaking of Christmas… winter is one of the most magical times in this city. There’s fresh snow, public skating at Frog Pond, a huge tree decked out in lights by Quincy Market, and TD Garden is electric almost every night of the week. Although it’s cold, spirits are very high. I made this collage to highlight many of the buildings that are landmarks in our city and the vibrant spirits amidst the cold and dark season. Although next time, I might have to include the rainbow swash gas tank over by 93.
Summer is also an amazing time in the city. Colorful swings and Boston-based brews attract locals and tourists at the Lawn on D in Southie. Street performers are dancing and doing flips to Run DMC over by Faneuil Hall. Farmers are selling fresh produce and goods just up the street at the Haymarket. This painting reminds us of the local transactions and appreciation for trades among the community.
The magic of Boston is contagious. Bostonians are inspired by one another. Just like how each of my pieces of artwork were inspired by Boston. Now I’ve found that my artwork is inspiring others and their love for Boston. I conclude with this collage of my cousin who crafted his very own Mookie Betts collage last Thanksgiving. Go Boston!
For more on my art:
Follow @theartofemma on Instagram