The Mayor's Office of Arts + Culture for Boston. We foster the growth of the cultural community in Boston and promote participation in the arts.
For over 30 years, the Taino Indian mural has been a neighborhood landmark in Jamaica Plain. Located behind the Hi-Lo Support supermarket between Perkins and Center Street, it was originally created by Rafael Rivera Garcia: a Puerto Rican artist and university professor. Much of Rivera Garcia's art features the myths and culture of the Taino Indian people: the indigenous people of the Caribbean.
His Jamaica Plain mural features the Huraca’n, meaning literally “center of the storm”—a word later adopted by the Spaniards to describe tropical cyclones. The Huraca’n trio is made up of the angry wind goddess Guabancex and her two helpers, the gods Guatauba and Coatrisque, who stir up the lightning and the water.
By 2001, the mural was in urgent need of restoration: the original paint was faded and peeling, with further damage caused by water and graffiti. Hoping to preserve it, the Hyde/Jackson Square Main Street association contacted Heidi Schork and the Mayor’s Mural Crew. When Schork and her group of teenage artists began work on the restoration, no original drawings of the mural were available, and the wall was so damaged that determining the original colors and design was, as Schork described it, “akin to an archeological project.” The crew strove to replicate Rivera Garcia’s original intentions.
Cover photo by publicartboston.com