Bringing the ocean to the streets of East Boston

The PANGEASEED Foundation has been creating murals to save oceans since 2013. With the support from Montana Cans and over 400 murals in 17 countries, they have the topic of ocean awareness well and truly covered. Their official slogan is, “a drop of paint can create an ocean of change”. And don’t our oceans need it? With rising seas levels, overfishing, plastic pollution, environmental pollution, as just some of the issues, the organization prides itself on its ARTivism, creating awareness and action for ocean care through murals and creative endeavors.  

For their latest event, SEA WALLS BOSTON, the Montana BLACK, and GOLD cans were put into use in this beautiful U.S city. This event had yet another star-studded line up including Silvia Lopez Chavez, IMAGINE, Julz Roth, Cedric “Vise 1” Douglas, Josie Morway, and Artists for Humanity. Covid 19 or not, the residents of East Boston spoke and the decision to proceed for the 2020 event was made. And with no regrets as the quality of the works was second to none. Each taking on an ocean issue or topic, that the artist(s) were concerned with.

Silvia Lopez Chavez

“Plastic pollution harms humans and marine life across continents. New England’s unregulated plastic use is a special threat to communities such as East Boston, who bear the brunt of many dangerous health risks for both ecosystems. Plastics dumped into Boston Harbor through storm drains become tiny microplastic bites for sea animals and birds, killing many and making their way into our food chain system.

The imagery in this mural also alludes to sea level rise and Boston’s vulnerability as a coastal city. Native animals, seaweed, and plants pulled by a net navigate through plastic objects and particles floating in the water. At the center of the composition is a mestiza woman, who is part native, almost entirely underwater. She represents the past, present, and future of our collective livelihoods, taking action and caring for a better tomorrow.” – Silvia López Chavez

Photography by @zk.h, @descendants_of_courage, @yayamusik and @simplyoutstanding


“The mandalas in Protect What You Love signify the circle of life and the need for balance. The mural is a call to action to think about the three realms of environmentalism, social justice and activism balanced in one picture about saving the planet. We cannot think about protecting our planet without protecting and elevating the voices of its most vulnerable people.

It’s important to know that the communities that are most affected by the effects of climate change are low income communities of color. In East Boston, new apartments are built at an elevation to withstand extreme coastal flooding caused by sea level rise due to global warming. But low income families continue to live in older housing that have no such protections. These communities do not have the economic means to protect themselves or evacuate from the inevitable devastation caused by coastal flooding. So how might we raise awareness about rising sea levels and the people getting most affected by it at the same time?

Photography by @jane.louie and @finalblue

My art is deeply rooted in the traditions and aesthetics of my Nepali culture. So by putting something up that has the cultural aesthetics that you might not see everyday,  I want to encourage people to think about communities of people of color. The message is to protect what we love and to protect the planet, which includes protecting its people. I also hope my work helps to transform the Boston Harbor Marina by building on cultural competence and making it a space that might feel more welcome to families of color.” – Imagine

Josie Morway

“Fight The Rise features two endangered Roseate Terns in conversation amidst the elements that most threaten them; sea level rise and coastal over-development. The population of these terns is falling precipitously, as is that of so many other shorebirds and songbirds here in the Boston area. 

I hope that these terns – at such an exaggerated scale and with their striking black and white plumage and intense gazes – will be effective messengers, asserting that we can, and must, slow the process of climate change and the pace of reckless development. I send them to my neighbors in East Boston, whose homes and health are also acutely threatened by these same factors, as a sign of hope and also an invitation to work together toward brighter days.” – Josie Morway

Photography by @zk.h and @bostonharbornow

Julz Roth

“The calling depicts a young boy listening to the cry of the ocean through sounds of the conch shell. The image represents the impact consumerism, human consumption and waste have on our sea life and the lasting effect it has on our most vulnerable populations. 

Our children like many other populations lack the ability or control to make lasting change to protect the sea they will inherit. Which means it is our responsibility to include them in the conversation and teach them as we all take actions to protect and save our sea. There is only one ocean that connects us all. We must hear the calling of the sea and take action to reverse the damage that has been done before it is to late.” – Vise1 and Julz Roth

Photography by @zk.h and @malakhaipearson