Boston has always been home to some of the world’s most innovative and creative minds. With so much talent drawn to the city, it is no wonder that Boston is not only filled with fantastic museums, but also beautiful and thought-provoking street art. Sprinkled throughout the city are colorful murals, inspiring sculptures and unique temporary installments. This fall, take a few afternoons to check out Boston’s best street art exhibitions.
185 Kneeland St.
Boston, MA 02111
The Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway is a huge green space that runs along the heart of Boston, providing multiple venues for different types of art displays. Commuters in and out of South Station are treated to a huge mural in Dewey Square. Further down the park, viewers will find Janet Echelman’s colorful and awe-inspiring aerial sculpture. The sculpture is an incredible installation of neon ropes that look especially great at night. The current mural in Dewey Square and Echelman’s installment are both worth checking out before new exhibits are set up! Note: The Echelman sculpture is coming down on October 25.
100 Northern Ave.
Boston, MA 02210
The Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) seamlessly combines the low key, fun elements of street art in a chic museum setting. The ICA brings in street artists from around the world to display their unique perspectives with Boston residents. The museum shares murals, installations, sculpture, video and music, allowing for all types of artists to share their work, street or otherwise. With a changing offering of exhibits and a robust events calendar, there is always a great reason to visit the ICA, especially because admission is fairly affordable in comparison to many other museums in the city. In fact, the ICA has a free night at least once per week! Check out their website to learn more.
256 Marginal St.
Boston, MA 02128
Now this is Boston street art! This waterfront shipyard is filled with art of all media, including an incredible steel mermaid on top of one of the warehouse rooftops. Another well-known piece is the dock tattoo, which is a sidewalk mural in black spray paint depicting a variety of sea scenes. There are also a bunch of sculptures made from found materials. All in all, Boston Harbor Arts is a fabulous destination for art lovers! Plus, it is super convenient to get to Boston Harbor Arts from downtown. It is just two MBTA stops away from State Street on the blue line.
Intersection of Massachusetts Ave. and Western Ave.
Cambridge, MA 13036
Modica Way in Cambridge’s Central Square is a small taste of Boston’s real graffiti scene. Also known as “rainbow alley,” Modica Way is a small space between buildings that is protected from the elements by multi colored pieces of plexiglass. On the walls below the plexiglass is an ever-changing array of true street art. Spray painted graffiti murals are drawn here overnight every few weeks. Sometimes these murals also include multi-media elements like paper, stickers and larger posters. While Modica Way is rather small, definitely stop by next time you are in Central Square.
540 Harrison Ave.
Boston, MA 02118
SOWA is Boston’s best-known artist’s community. Tourists and Boston residents are invited to enjoy artists’ work every Sunday at the SOWA open market. The weekly market is a combination of a farmer’s market, flea market and art show. Many artists from around Boston sell their work here, while many others have studios in the neighborhood. Some of these studios are open to the public and even offer classes! Learn about what it means to be an up-and-coming modern street artist in Boston by visiting SOWA or making an appointment with one of the neighborhood studios!
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Cameron Bruns is the founder of BostonGreenBlog.com and co-author of Just Us Gals Boston. She lives in Boston’s North End, where her goal is to promote ethical, stylish, and sustainable lifestyle choices to all Boston residents. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.