New Exhibit Shows How Harvard Square Mural Was Created

6:00 PM - 8:00 PM Monday, January 9, 2023

Patricia Thaxton, “Taking the Bridge," mixed media collage, 2021. Depicts woman striding in front of a bridge and the Boston skyline.
Patricia Thaxton, “Taking the Bridge," mixed media collage, 2021.

New Exhibition Shows How Harvard Square Mural Was Created

'Patricia Thaxton: The Beauty of Everyday Living' at Cambridge Arts’ Gallery 344
Reception: Jan. 9, 2023, from 6 to 8 p.m. Exhibition on view Oct. 24 to Feb 28

In June 2021, a monumental (printed) mural debuted in Cambridge's Harvard Square as part of the City of Cambridge's renovation of the landmark Harvard Square Kiosk, which had been the longtime home of Out of Town News.

Designed by artist Patricia Thaxton of Stoughton, “The Beauty of Everyday Living,” was printed on vinyl scrim to surround the worksite during construction. It highlights Harvard Square, Cambridge community festivals, Black Lives Matter protests, and her own patterns.

Meet Thaxton and learn about the printed mural at a reception for exhibition “Patricia Thaxton: The Beauty of Everyday Living” at Cambridge Arts’ Gallery 344, 344 Broadway, Cambridge, on Jan. 9, 2023, from 6 to 8 p.m. (Snowdate: Jan. 12.) The exhibition is on view from Oct. 24, 2022, to Feb. 28, 2023. At the gallery, view Thaxton’s original collages for the mural, which was commissioned by the City of Cambridge, and a scrim panel similar to the panels at the construction site.

Admission to the gallery and events are free.

To prevent the spread of covid as cases are again rising locally, masking is strongly encouraged while indoors.

"Everyday life is about growth, from subtle changes to major life shifts. Change is necessary, but with it come challenges.” Thaxton says. “The mural is about joy, harmony, beauty, nature, and gratitude in spite of life's challenges. In 2020, I worked through the pandemic, protest for equality, social distancing, material shortage and supply chain issues. This affected my thematic and visual choices. When the mural was installed in June 2021, everyone was waking from isolation. My hope was to bring joy and harmony to the Harvard Square community during a time of hardship."

Thaxton’s collages incorporate cut paper, fabric, pastels, pencil, watercolor, and acrylic paint. She adopted bolder colors, larger figures, and bigger shapes than usual to make her compositions stand out in Harvard Square. The collages were then digitally scanned in a way to ensure texture and shadow were visible when the handmade artworks were enlarged and printed as vinyl panels.