Dig This: Back Against the Wall Initiative’s Community Graffiti Gathering
“Three years ago the empty parking lot at the corner opposite the Grove Hall Library beckoned for color. In the spirit of graffiti, Sobek invited his friends to paint …”
There are countless mural projects in Boston, most of them quite awesome. But the Back Against the Wall (BATW) initiative by artist Jeremy Sobek, which is “focused on creating legal graffiti/street art walls to uplift underserved neighborhoods of Boston,” is especially unique.
Here’s how the curators and organizers describe the undertaking:
Three years ago the empty parking lot at the corner opposite the Grove Hall Library beckoned for color. In the spirit of graffiti, Sobek invited his friends to paint this…. sized wall alongside him. The residents in the neighborhood, in appreciation, allowed the gathering to continue into its second year with Sobek and his crew Flava Unit accepting the initiative.
Sobek’s view on life is expressed in the art he has created. In its first iteration of Graffiti at Grove Hall, 2021, Sobek offered the at-risk community in Dorchester a space to grieve the losses experienced through gun violence, poor healthcare, continued systemic racism that the pandemic had magnified. His past work with at-risk youth influenced Sobek’s next steps in forming his own group of young aerosol artists, Flava Unit. Sobek’s vision is to educate future generations in the history and legacy of Graffiti to encourage an inspired future that serves the larger Boston community.
This year Graffiti at Grove Hall continues to serve as a community gathering to celebrate the art of graffiti and the artists who serve the legacy. The core of creativity is in moving from a place of joy. A shared human experience that artists attempt to capture consistently. As in his daily life, and in its current iteration, Sobek’s vision of Graffiti at Grove Hall is focused on igniting a spark of this creative joy within all who come upon it.
On May 13, the BATW crew invites “family and friends for an afternoon of food, music, and community arts.” “DJ Kitz is returning to set the vibe alongside local vendors,” while a “large community canvas will be created for the BATW initiative” along with “smaller canvases and various projects for the community to receive.”