Field Trip :: Modica Way


Photo taken by Alyce Packard
Boston used to have a bad reputation for its animosity towards public and alternative art. Geoff Hargadon and Gary Strack are the owner and chef at Central Kitchen in Central Square, Cambridge MA. Together they helped create a public and entirely legal display of creative street art which we now know as Modica Way.

Even though I grew up right outside the city and I'm here all the time, I had never heard of Modica Way until a few weeks ago and it's definitely something everyone should see. It's a short alley off of Mass. Ave. in Cambridge that has become a showcase for street art and graffiti which is actually condoned by the city. It doesn't matter if you went a week ago or if you've never gone because it's always different. I went two different times two weeks apart so that I could see how much the wall would change.

Photo taken by Alyce Packard
If you look closely at the wall, you'll realize that you could peel layers of it off if you wanted to. You're allowed to paint over other people's work, that’s the whole point, but you have to be prepared for other people to paint over your work. The only rule is to just be respectful of other artists, you can go over anything but you're not allowed to whitewash the wall. You really shouldn't peel it or carve into it either because it creates a difficult surface for the artist to work on. 
 
Photo taken by Alyce Packard
I took this the first time I went. While that green piece in the middle is still there, everything else around it had changed when I went back. I think all of the pieces seemed very separate this day and they didn’t really relate to what was around them.
 
Photo taken by Alyce Packard
I tried to take a similar picture when I went back today so that they would be easily comparable. The wall just seemed much more alive and unified today. The colors seemed to go together really well and everything just popped right off the wall. It was a smart use of color because the light sculpture above reflects blue and orange light onto the blue and orange piece which makes it look like the art continues down the wall and onto the walk way. It makes the wall look illuminated.

Photo taken by Alyce Packard
This is my favorite picture. The great thing about this wall is that there is something there for everyone. It consists of so many different styles, sometimes they work together, sometimes they don't. I think it's great that there’s a place for people to express themselves publicly without having to worry about getting arrested. It’s fun, smart, and bad ass. Check it out if you haven’t yet! Also there is a website with constant updates of pictures of the wall so you can see how it is constantly changing. To look through some old pictures, visit modica-way.tumblr.com.