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Galvez, Daniel

Central Square/Cambridgeport, Mural

Pearl Street Parking Garage

Date: 1986
Materials: Enamel on concrete
Dimensions: 28' x 46'
Location: Intersection of Pearl and Franklin Streets, facing Pearl Street.

"I see murals as a means for people to reclaim their environment and express what is important to them, and to focus on the life energies of the community. Murals are an attempt to create a vital art connected to the deepest needs of the people. The walls become a platform for the people to speak out about who they are." - Daniel Galvez

Seeing and experiencing

Residents, special festivals, everyday life...the spirit of a community has been captured in this vibrant, larger-than-life mural. Daniel Galvez conceived Crossroads as a family portrait of Central Square and he relied on the neighborhood's "family" to help create it. He invited community members to share ideas, contribute photographs and even assist in painting the mural.

The figures in the mural are based on real people. Who do you see? What are they doing? Which people do you notice first?

From Galvez's perspective, what kind of place is Central Square? How does color contribute to the overall feeling of the piece?

Galvez history

Stand in front of the mural and compare your size with the figures. Why are they so big?

Galvez painted this mural in 1986. As you walk around Central Square today, do you think the neighborhood has changed?

In collaborating with Galvez, residents talked about what they value in their community. How does the mural represent these values?

Why do you think the artist titled this mural Crossroads?


What you will need: 
Notebook or paper, pen or pencil.

Imagine that one of the people in the mural comes to life. Write in the character's voice. What would he or she say about Central Square?


What you will need: 
Paper, pencil, glue, paint, crayons.

Many artists use real-life people as their inspiration. Some artists use models and work directly from life, while others rely on photographs.

Collect photographs of people in your family, school or neighborhood. Now cut your paper in a variety of shapes and sizes. On each piece draw a picture of someone, using the photographs for inspiration. Add drawings of other objects if you wish.

Now arrange these small portraits on a larger piece of paper - make a community or family portrait. When you find an arrangement that you like, glue your drawings to the piece of paper. Add color to your piece with paints, crayon or colored pencil.


What you will need: 
Large piece of white paper (22" x 30" or bigger), pencil, ruler, color pastels, paint, crayons.

We will explore one way in which a muralist (an artist who paints directly on a wall) translates a sketch into a wall-sized image. Download and print out the detail from the Galvez mural. Use your ruler to measure the image and create an evenly spaced grid system across it.

Now create another grid pattern with the same number of squares on the large piece of paper. This grid will be much larger because you should only draw the same number of squares as you did on the smaller paper.

Go grid square by grid square. For example, look at the upper left-hand square of the smaller image. Copy what you see in that square into the upper left-hand square of the large grid. Continue in this manner until all the squares in the large paper have been sketched in. Use color to complete your mural.