Boston Art Commission

« back

Click on thumbnails to view additional images of this piece:
  • Center of the mural, with Ramón Betances' face.
  • Right side of the mural.
  • Left side of the mural.
  • Detail from the right side of the mural.
  • Detail from the center of the mural.
  • Detail of the left side of the mural.

Betances Mural

Artist:

Lilli Ann Killen Rosenberg and local children

Location:

Plaza Betances, in Villa Victoria, at 100 W. Dedham St.  

Location

Plaza Betances, in Villa Victoria, at 100 W. Dedham St.
United States
42° 20' 30.7788" N, 71° 4' 23.4372" W

Neighborhood:

South End

Type:

Mosaic

Year:

1988

Medium:

Mixed media

Collection:

City of Boston

Funders:

Unknown

Description:

The Villa Victoria housing community was founded in the early 1970s, when a group of South End residents, most of Puerto Rican descent, lobbied to maintain their community in the South End despite widespread gentrification and redevelopment of the area. After its completion in the mid-‘70s, Villa Victoria was hailed as an unusually successful housing complex, thanks to its desirable living spaces and close-knit, active community. Residents founded and participated in a variety of programs, such as tutoring, gardening, and operating a closed-circuit television channel.

This mural was created with the support of the Villa Victoria tenants’ association, Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción, to decorate the Villa’s central gathering place. Local artists Lili Ann Killen Rosenberg, Nora Valdez, and Roberto Chao were assisted by Villa Victoria residents, children as well as adults, who made the ceramic tile pieces. The mural features Ramón Betances, known as the ‘father’ of Puerto Rican nationalism for his revolt against Spanish rule. It also includes images of Puerto Rican history and culture and of the Villa Victoria community.  One of its inscriptions reads, “Let us know how to fight for our honor and our liberty,” referring both to Betances and his struggle for independence and to the more recent political activism that inspired Villa Victoria’s founding.

Audio Description: