Boston Art Commission

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Click on thumbnails to view additional images of this piece:
  • faces of dudley small 1
  • faces of dudley small 2
  • THE NEW FACES OF DUDLEY small 3
  • THE NEW FACES OF DUDLEY-small 4

Faces of Dudley

Artist:

Mike Womble

Location:

2387 Washington St., at Malcolm X Blvd.  

Location

2387 Washington St., at Malcolm X Blvd.
United States
42° 19' 44.7132" N, 71° 5' 6.0072" W

Neighborhood:

Roxbury

Type:

Mural

Year:

1995-2015

Medium:

Acrylic paint

Collection:

City of Boston

Funders:

Unknown

Description:

This mural was created by the lead artist Mike Womble and the Mayor’s Mural Crew during the summer of 1995. The Faces of Dudley mural is an illustration of the local People of the Roxbury, Dudley Sq area of 1995 & Historic figures such as Melnea Cass, Ima Lewis & Malcolm X who were from Roxbury and or who have lived in the area at one time.

When the mural was first completed in 1995, the Mayor's Mural Crew completed three different murals in Dudley Square; only this one remains today. Working from archival photographs of the area, including images of an elevated train stop that no longer exists, Womble and his group of teen artists aimed to capture the character of Dudley Square, both past and present. The most mural’s most prominent feature is a black-and-white portrait of Malcolm X, who lived for a time in Roxbury and almost certainly would have passed by the very spot where the mural is located.

Twenty years later, in the summer of 2015, Mike Womble and the Mayor's Mural Crew gave the mural a fresh coat of paint and a design update. The New Faces of Dudley highlights some of the many changes to the neighborhood, while continuing to celebrate the area's history. 


Featured in the mural, left to right (2015 edition):

Melnea Cass, community & civil rights activist, known as the first lady of Roxbury.

Next, is a revised portrait of 1995 Idalia Cordero who in 1995 supported the mural crew with food, water & her ecstatic admiration for the mural work going up in Dudley. A devoted member of the church and known throughout Roxbury for her generosity.

Next are the 1995 local Chess Players, who were a staple of the Dudley area at that time.

Above are the 1995 prior owners of the Silver Slipper Restaurant who also assisted with the mural at that time.

Adjacent to the chess players is a 1940's era zoot suit style image of a young Malcolm X.

Next are two elder men sitting in 1940's style, Dudley Barbershop, one of whom is reading the newspaper, on the paper a glimpse of an article of the Dudley Restoration.

Between and above the barber shop men is a portrait of 1995 Lola Drain, owner of the building and of Drains House of Style, as she's hair styling one of her patrons.

Next is (new edition) Ima Lewis, Roxbury, American art educator and the founder of the National Center of Afro-American Artists and The Elma Lewis School of Fine Arts.

Next is a 1940's Dudley Station street scene illustrating a young Malcolm X in a blue zoot suit and his partner in red. The images are generic & inspired from the Malcolm X Movie. Adjacent to that scene is the restored and detailed portrait of Malcolm X. Above, a family vignette representing Roxbury Community.

The Mural blends local faces along with historic figures giving the community engagement & identity with the piece.

The 2015 update to the mural also includes the Boston skyline and the restoration of the famous Ferdinand building which has long been a landmark in the area. Birds are pictured flying across the sky, representing movement, transition and revitalization- both to the mural itself and to Roxbury.

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