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GN Crew and MassArt students create bold new mural

Celina Colby
Celina Colby is an arts and travel reporter with a fondness for Russian novels.... VIEW BIO
GN Crew and MassArt students create bold new mural
Members of GN Crew: Luis “Take 1” Taforo, Genaro “Go Five” Ortega, Lee “SOEMS” Beard, and Rob “Problak” Gibbs stand in front of their mural Intrepid, at MassArt. PHOTO: MELISSA OSTROW, COURTESY MASSART

A new mural graces the atrium of MassArt’s Design and Media Center on Huntington Avenue. “Intrepid” was created by the Boston-based GN Crew, Genaro “Go Five” Ortega (MassArt alum ‘09), Rob “Problak” Gibbs, Lee “SOEMS” Beard and Luis “Take 1” Taforo, in collaboration with MassArt students.

MassArt student Laura Buscemi, Lee “SOEMS” Beard, Rob “Problak” Gibbs, (their muse) alumna Carol Ndegwa, Luis “Take 1” Taforo, and Genaro “Go Five” Ortega COURTESY PHOTO

The members of the GN Crew are MassArt’s inaugural Tyrone Maurice Adderley Artists in Residence. The crew began the residency by hosting “black book sessions” with students, casual dialogues about creativity, artistic practice and process. These artists have been working the Boston scene for years, and the residence has provided them the opportunity to pass on wisdom to a new generation of artists, paving the way for more mural-makers around the city.

The GN Crew says in a statement, “Meeting and engaging with the students through the black book sessions, as a team, we were individually inspired and captivated by the assemblage of developing brilliant artists in the room, craving that same opportunity to infuse their artistic skill and make their mark.”

Junior illustration major Laura Buscemi took part in the sessions and was inspired by the discussions. Conversations about the importance of public art and the messages needed in the MassArt community led to a collective concept for “Intrepid,” which features a striking figure flanked by the words “BE BOLD.” Students had the opportunity to install the mural with the artists, working directly with them to execute the artistic vision.

“Not only did I walk away with a lot more knowledge of the process involved in developing and producing a mural,” says Buscemi, “I also got the chance to contribute ideas towards the mural [now] installed at MassArt.” The young artist aspires to paint her own murals around Boston one day and found the opportunity to speak with and paint with the GN Crew invaluable.

PHOTO: Yukai Chen

The MassArt Design and Media Center atrium is open to the public, so the community at large can enjoy the piece. It’s also visible from outside, through the large windows facing Huntington Avenue. Other work by the GN Crew can be seen elsewhere around Boston, most recently in the “Breathe Life Together” mural in Dewey Square.

“Our message to you all through this new mural, ‘Intrepid,’ is that you are absolutely capable of creating the life you can’t stop thinking about. Don’t hold back because you fear failure. Embrace it,” says the GN Crew. “Once you become fearless, life becomes limitless. Be bold! Be intrepid!”

arts, GN Crew, MassArt, mural