NEIA leaves an indelible mark on Heritage Apts.

The New England Institute of Art (NEIA) recently unveiled a mural on Sumner Street near Maverick square that depicts the history of East Boston and its people from the age of the clipper ship to the jet age.

The mural, which began as a summer course offered by NEIA Associate Professor of Graphic Design Cheryl Wolf, the artwork was completed in late October as part of the college’s community outreach program.

The idea for the mural began when the Heritage Apartments Resident Services Coordinator Nina Oberlin contacted Wolf with idea of doing artwork on the Sumner Street side of the apartment building. Oberlin’s sister, Lexi, was a former student of Wolf.

“Working on the “Maverick Square Mural Project” has been an invaluable opportunity for my students,” said Wolf. “Not only have they learned the mechanics of planning, designing, and executing a large outdoor mural, they have been had to learn flexibility, patience, and generosity via a direct experience that could never be duplicated in a classroom alone.”

Wolf said she could not thank Oberlin enough for initiating the project or for her constant care and understanding as students worked through unpredictable weather and design changes.

“The Maverick Square Mural is a gift from my students at The New England Institute of Art to the residents here without whose kindness, support and welcome this would never have happened,” said Wolf. “Thanks especially to Joy Simmons who lives on the other side of the mural wall. My deepest thanks to you all for allowing me to bring thirteen students into your neighborhood several times a week all summer, park them on the sidewalk with their paint and ladders and drop cloths, and teach them about painting a mural and being gracious human beings.”

Simmons said she loved the experience from start to finish and the final product is terrific.

“They did an awesome job,” said Simmons. “I love it and it’s something we were all a part of.”

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