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 Thomas: One of the seven Mattapan residents featured in the artwork.
CT: What do you wish more people knew about Mattapan?
Thomas: "That it's not a bad place to live! Whenever I tell someone that I live in Mattapan, they give me a response that makes it seem like they feel bad for me or pity me. But it's not a terrible place. There's more than negativity here."
CT: What would you like to see more of in Mattapan?
Thomas: "More people showing that they are moving in the best direction, which is forward."
Stay tuned for more of the interview outtakes with Mattapan residents coming soon!