BAC Community Spotlight: Silvia López-Chavez
Photo credit: Dominic Chavez
How did you arrive at the Brookline Arts Center?
Even though I have been to BAC for a few art events in the past, Evelyn Berde brought me with a project idea in mind, who I know through our work as artists-in-residence at Boston Children’s Hospital.
Tell us about your background. How did you become interested in art?
Growing up in the Dominican Republic, my identity as an artist was formed at a very early age since I was surrounded by art and music all my life. My early years were filled with afterschool drawing and painting classes and after a two-year college program, I moved to Boston to continue my art studies at the Massachusetts College of Art & Design. I am lucky to have a family who really understands the value of art and supported my dreams of making it a career.
What passions do you bring to the BAC community?
Several years ago I realized how much I enjoyed making art with others and working in the community. I have always loved painting big, but it presents a lot of challenges when it comes to storage, transportation and exhibiting the work. Public art has provided me with a perfect platform to merge both of these passions: my love for painting big and the social aspects of my art practice.
Since then, I have collaborated with artists, organizations and educational institutions to create art that has community impact. I believe public art is accessible to everyone, and has the capacity to breakdown silos and bring community together. I love to work on projects that uplift, spark curiosity and spread joy.
What was your favorite childhood art project?
One of my favorite projects was making kites out of vegetable paper and grass stalk during ‘cuaresma’ season, which happens between March and April when winds are really high. It was a tradition in my family to get together to make kites and then go fly them at the ‘malecón’ in Santo Domingo or ‘El monumento’ in Santiago. Both cities I lived in as a child.
Who are some of your art heroes?
My biggest art heroes are those who fostered my creativity and pushed me to do my best work throughout my life. They include people who I have met like my parents, my art teacher Carlos Montesino and mentors I’ve never met, but have influenced my work through books, movies and music.
Tell us about the upcoming Brookline Community Mural project with the BAC. What other projects do you have coming up?
I am excited about the opportunity to work with the Egmont community on this mural project. The idea is to create a mural that wraps two outdoor walls of the complex’s community room, where residents gather for various events and celebrations. There has been a great effort from different groups working in tandem with the BAC to find the funds to make it happen, which is fantastic. We are hoping to complete the project this summer.
There is a lot more coming up! I am currently working on a 3-month visiting artist program at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and have also been collaborating with them to create public facing workshops this summer. They include art making workshops in the studio at their ‘Third Thursday’ on June 21, Saturday, June 30, and the ‘Neighborhood Nights’ event on August 9th. I am also gearing up to work on a few other murals in Boston, Cambridge and Chelsea through the fall.
To learn more and stay informed about Silvia's projects, her site and follow her on Instagram + Twitter: