Unveiling at Mattapan Branch Library

The big day has arrived to unveil the artwork! I don't waste any time cutting the wrapping with the help of Mattapan Violence Intervention Program's Youth Coordinator Arthur Kitty.

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Then it was time for some Q&A where I answered everyone's pressing questions about how I made the work and how the community was involved in the process.

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And last but not least, it was time for people to take a look at the work up close.

Very thankful for all of the beautiful souls who came out to celebrate the work's completion!

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Sealing it Off

What's a good way to keep artwork from being damaged? Applying a sealant to it of course! My sealant of choice for this project was ArtResin epoxy. In addition to helping the paint retain it's colors, the resin will also give a glossy finish to the work.

To make it happen, I had to mix equal parts of the hardener and resin in a well ventilated space. Not trying to inhale all the chemicals!

 *All images in this post were taken by Nabeela Vega.

*All images in this post were taken by Nabeela Vega.

Once everything was mixed together, it was time to pour, spread, and smooth.

It's About to Go Down

There's a change of scenery because the next part of the process in completing this work requires more ventilation. 

 * All images in this post were taken by Nabeela Vega

* All images in this post were taken by Nabeela Vega

If you want to know what I'm going to do with those gloves, stay tuned for more!

Last Face in the Crowd

Feeling triumphant in the studio today as I work on the final face, Ahlana. 

The fullness of her cheeks were so fun to paint. I had to get in the highlights by painting with lighter colors to make sure they end up looking more round and 3D. And of course a face is nothing without the eyebrows!

The next step will be working on the wording!

No Posing: Meet CC

One of the awesome things about getting chosen as an artist for this commission was getting to amplify positive things about Mattapan by spending time with and talking to the people who live there. For the research part of my practice, I got a tour of Mattapan from the youth at The Violence Intervention Program (VIP) housed at Mattapan Community Health Center. Plus, every Mattapan resident who volunteered to be a model for the artwork allowed me to interview them. The images below are photographs I took as reference for the artwork.... and I'd also like to think of them as byproducts of good conversation. 

*All photographs are taken by Chanel Thervil, unless otherwise noted.

Meet CC: One of the seven Mattapan residents featured in the artwork.

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CT: What do you love about Mattapan?

CC:The diversity and you have all the stores in you need in one place!

CT: What do you wish more people knew about Mattapan?

CC: That it's not an evil place.

Stay tuned for more on the progress of the artwork!

Building It Up

I figured it was time to update you on how the color build up for Thomas came along. You'll see from the images below he has lots of oranges and browns in the composition of his flesh.

While doing the skin is fun, the most satisfying part for me is doing the outlining. It just makes everything pop a little more and I can get creative with the marks I use to express shadows.

Just one more face to paint!

On to The Next

Getting started on the second panel of faces in the studio today. Lila's face is filled with golds, yellows, and browns.

Although I am making a painting, I use my paintbrush more like a pencil. I work really hard to make my brushstrokes retain a sketchy quality often found in drawing. That really comes out when I use the ink to start outlining.

More to come soon!

No Posing: Meet Lila

One of the awesome things about getting chosen as an artist for this commission was getting to amplify positive things about Mattapan by spending time with and talking to the people who live there. For the research part of my practice, I got a tour of Mattapan from the youth at The Violence Intervention Program (VIP) housed at Mattapan Community Health Center. Plus, every Mattapan resident who volunteered to be a model for the artwork allowed me to interview them. The images below are photographs I took as reference for the artwork.... and I'd also like to think of them as byproducts of good conversation. 

*All photographs are taken by Chanel Thervil, unless otherwise noted.

Meet Lila: One of the seven Mattapan residents featured in the artwork.

CT: What would like to see more of in Mattapan?

Lila: Remodeling of some of the old broken down buildings.

CT: What do you love about Mattapan?

Lila: I like the park that's near my house because of all of the trees. Sometimes we have community gatherings there and people bring their pets. 

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There's plenty more art and images to come!

 

 

Never Too Many References

What has always intrigued me about making portraits is trying to capture something about a person that seems authentic or genuine enough to display who they are. Because of the integrity I want my portraits to have, I make a point to have the lived experience of talking to and photographing each person myself.  

That experience is just as helpful as the reference images I print and view on my phone as I paint. 

With every layer there's more dimension and life given to the figure....but it still doesn't quite look like a person until the eyebrows are on.

Four more faces to go!

No Posing: Meet Arthur

One of the awesome things about getting chosen as an artist for this commission was getting to amplify positive things about Mattapan by spending time with and talking to the people who live there. For the research part of my practice, I got a tour of Mattapan from the youth at The Violence Intervention Program (VIP) housed at Mattapan Community Health Center. Plus, every Mattapan resident who volunteered to be a model for the artwork allowed me to interview them. The images below are photographs I took as reference for the artwork.... and I'd also like to think of them as byproducts of good conversation. 

*All photographs are taken by Chanel Thervil, unless otherwise noted.

Meet Arthur: One of the seven Mattapan residents featured in the artwork.

CT: What do you wish more people knew about Mattapan?

Arthur: It's place that is under-credited and overlooked. There is such a wealth of diversity, history, culture that make up the communities within the Mattapan community. I wish more people took the time to get to know that rather than making assumptions.

CT: How has living in Mattapan affected you?

Arthur: It has had such a positive impact on my growth and development. I have learned so much through my experiences here. Living and working here has shown me so much about how the potential of young people needs to be encouraged and supported so they can be the positive impact they wish to see in their community.