By Cristina Rodero Sales
August 24, 2021
Happiness, the feeling of experiencing a work by Dominican artist Silvia Lopez Chavez (@silvialopezchavez). She is a muralist, collaborator and public art seeker whose efforts help make Boston a more vibrant and cheerful place. Her love for color is easily recognizable in her murals scattered all over the city. When asked, Silvia says she has no favorite color, but loves warm hues like yellow, coral and turquoise. Enjoying vivid public art can help bring life into an otherwise grey city.
Sivlia graduated from Massachusetts College of Art & Design and Altos de Chavon the School of Design in the Dominican Republic. Her experience in fine arts greatly influences the way she conceives her murals. She started working in her studio on paper and canvas and moved to the street to develop her skills with acrylic and spray paint.
Her Prudential Center Mural, “deLIGHT”, brings a pop of color, brightens people’s day and showcases Silvia’s ability to move effortlessly from analog to digital mediums.The combination of traditional methods and experimental techniques result in pieces that find the balance between abstract and representational.
Depicting the community you paint for is key to making a fruitful public art piece. One of Silvia’s favorite experiences was creating the “Joy” mural at Ruggles Station. As she painted, a little girl walked past her, smiled and said that Silvia was illustrating someone that looked like her. This confirms how the streets provide an opportunity for people to feel included in the city’s narrative.
As she painted, a little girl walked past her, smiled and said that Silvia was illustrating someone that looked like her. This confirms how the streets provide an opportunity for people to feel included in the city’s narrative.
Silvia’s creative process is informed by studying the site’s context and how the public engages with the space.
Picture by @rediovision
“The Underground Mural Project” proved to be a challenge. Silvia painted underneath the I-93 highway overpass by taking into account the complex architecture of the space and using it to her advantage. This project exemplifies the potential for architects, environmental designers, urban planners and artists to come together to create parks that can set the scene for daily urban encounters with beauty and color.
Silvia’s first mural was “Patterned Behavior” on the Charles River Esplanade. It is characterized by multicolored lines and shapes that represent the way people interact with the space. This piece was the product of collaboration between six other women artists, representing female power in the male dominated street art field. Silvia focuses on the intersection between design, community and art. She empowers women, girls and inspires connections for diverse audiences. Her art celebrates life and brings wonder to Boston.
*Originally published in-print in Boston Compass Newspaper #138 August 2021