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Shepard Fairey to summon the sea for New England Aquarium mural

Shepard Fairey's work will arrive during year two of the Sea Walls Boston public art initiative.Dylan Rives/Getty Images for YoungArts

Another wave of ocean-themed murals will hit Boston this summer, courtesy of PangeaSeed Foundation’s global Sea Walls: Artists for Oceans program. Adding to the seven conservation-minded paintings installed during last year’s Sea Walls Boston pilot will be a large-scale work for New England Aquarium by celebrity artist Shepard Fairey, best known for his 2008 “HOPE” portrait of then-presidential candidate Barack Obama.

PangeaSeed Foundation is partnering locally with the Aquarium and East Boston’s HarborArts public art initiative. That gives Fairey and other muralists the opportunity to collaborate with marine scientists from the Aquarium’s Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life, gaining a deeper understanding of environmental issues facing Boston and the entire Gulf of Maine region.


“This is an incredible opportunity to engage residents of the City and visitors to Central Wharf about the species and habitats we are working to protect, as well as to activate a key part of Boston’s downtown waterfront as we endeavor to make it accessible to all,” Aquarium president and CEO Vikki N. Spruill said in a statement.

A total of 11 murals will be added when Sea Wall Boston returns July 19-26, with the biggest splash remaining in East Boston. In fact, oceanic art will arrive in that neighborhood as part of this year’s Eastie Week festivities (July 11-25). Underscoring its message about the importance of marine stewardship will be additional Sea Walls Boston events including waterfront cleanups and mural walking tours. For details, visit seawalls.org/boston.