If it’s art, and it’s outdoors, Cedric Douglas either knows all about it — who made it, how it got there, and what it means — or he put it there himself.
The 39-year-old Quincy resident, who grew up in Dorchester, is one of the main reasons that Boston’s guerrilla-style street art and wall graffiti are experiencing a serious growth spurt and becoming more widely accepted by residents and city officials alike.
Last year, Douglas turned a bland wall at Northeastern University’s Behrakis Health Sciences Center into an explosion of colors and shapes, with a giant Tyrannosaurus rex at the heart of the mural. The project was part of the school’s public art initiative launched in 2014. Douglas also took dozens of people unfamiliar with street art on citywide tours of murals that are hiding in plain sight.
And, he dragged a movable “art wall” from event to event, a project funded by a grant from the New England Foundation for the Arts, so people could try their hand at street art.
Douglas has even branched out to the suburbs, connecting with residents of East Arlington and Quincy to introduce various types of street art to those communities. “If you travel to other cities, street art is everywhere. It’s part of the culture, and the artists who live there will do 30- or 40-foot murals — and that doesn’t happen in Boston that much,” says Douglas. “I think it’s important to educate people and show them that it does exist here, and there are people here who are able to do it.”