Have you walked this “way” in Cambridge?
During the usual commute back and forth from school to home and some other places in between, we are in our own worlds. Our earbuds are placed firmly in our ears, aimlessly scrolling at something on the screen, and/or impatiently waiting on a train. In Cambridge near the Central Square station the nearby businesses and sights implore those that pass by to take a break and enjoy. Along Massachusetts Avenue are various art shops that speak to everyone’s inner artist. My favorite part of this area is Richard B. “Rico” Modica Way. I walk through this Modica Way to get home or get to the train and each time I walk through it’s something new. Each week artists come to the Modica Way and add something to it. Thus far, the piece that has been so profound is captured in the image below. “Earth without art is just Eh.” A phrase so simple, yet it has so much meaning. It is so striking to me because I never considered “art” to be within the word “earth”. Not only that, the two letters that remain “Eh” is considered a spoken interjection. It symbolizes confusion or incites a reply. Based on this, a world or earth without art is confused and awaiting a reply.
Like what’s discussed in The Artist’s Way, I would love to be able to paint something along Modica Way. However, my rational mind keeps screaming, ” NO! You are not an artist; you can’t do this.” In spite of my misgivings I need to use Modica Way to nurture my inner child with the paints, bright colors and the various works of art. In a way it offers whimsy in a world that always wants to be serious. I’m going to muster the courage to paint something. Despite being beautiful and inspiring to a graduate student graffiti is frowned upon.
“Under Massachusetts law, anyone convicted of “maliciously or wantonly” defacing property can spend up to three years in prison and face the loss of his or her driver’s license for a year, as well as a fine of either $1,500 or three times the value of the defaced property, whichever is greater. The offender is also required to pay for cleaning the property. Fines are doubled and 500 hours of community service added for defacing monuments, war or veterans’ memorials, and gravestones.”
Don’t worry, Modica Way is a sanctioned area where graffiti is allowed and won’t be whitewashed or have the artists persecuted.
While I appreciated the art, I also admire the marketing genius. Social media has generated a lot of people coming through Modica Way to admire the genius. Currently there is a Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Graffiti-Alley/487707671277040) and Tumblr page (http://modica-way.tumblr.com/). People come from near and far to pose in front their favorite pieces. Photographer Eun Hee Kwon captured three male models for “Urban America” meets “Boston Phunk”. Modica Way has been pictured in the Boston Globe and suggested as a place to see if visiting Boston. There’s so many more art pieces that Modica Way has to offer. When I walked home today, there were artists working on a new piece. It’s amazing to watch the art evolve over the weeks. It’s consistent with the constantly changing world around it. When you get a chance, come walk this way; I’m sure you would love it!