North End artist, Nathan Swain, is one of those people that walks through the city and looks for ways to spruce up its drab infrastructure. To the amazement of many, he has already completed several projects. First, he painted large-scale murals for the “windows” of the Salem Street powerhouse building. More recently, he beautified the concrete wall in the courtyard of St. Leonard’s Church on the back of Assagio’s Restaurant. On a smaller scale, he could not help himself when he saw a concrete planter dropped by the city on Salem Street. He painted it and added flowering plants. None of these projects have been “paid” work for Swain. When his artistic juices get going, he just wants to do it.
Nate recently shared his creative ideas for the Greenway corridor. The artist has mastered a technique of printing images on large-scale waterproof canvas sheets that can withstand the impacts of outdoor Boston weather. The printed images last about 10 years and are easily installed. The canvas sheets also provide flexibility because they can be replaced or removed.
Harbor Garage on Atlantic Avenue
This is a photo simulation covering the Harbor Garage with an image of Little Brewster Lighthouse looking towards Boston with the skyline in the distance. “Chiofaro would never go for something like this because he would rather build his 600 foot tall Ikea bookshelf/CD holder-looking buildings,” jokes Swain.
North End Greenway Pergolas
Above is a photo simulation of what could be done to the North End Pergola until some vines have grown up on the bare steel structure. Printed panels of leafy vines hung between the beams would provide shade year round and last 5 to 10 years while the real vines get established. Also, some hanging plants on the poles would be a nice touch.
NStar Substation on Greenway Near Dewey Square
Above is a photo simulation of what could be done to cover the barren N*Star High street substation on the Greenway side facing Dewey Square. The image is of Arnold Arboretum framed with an arch from Lincoln Wharf building.
Nate can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.