by Joey Phoenix

The 2019 Beyond Walls Street Art Festival has been in full swing this week. All over Lynn artists are stories high on aerial lifts creating incredible works of art that are activating lighting up these urban spaces with new color. 


In the midst of these creative endeavors, a special event will be happening in Lynn at the future site of The Launch. The event is Clash of the Cans, a friendly graffiti battle between local graffiti legends that will take place this Saturday, July 27 from 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm.


Image by Creative Collective

It’s the 19th anniversary of LMA, and artist Hiero Veiga is really excited about the Clash itself, but also is looking forward to a celebration of life which will be happening during the event, to honor one of the LMA crew that passed last year. 

The Launch, located on Bubier Street in Lynn, will be a temporary waterfront park and marine terminal constructed out of repurposed shipping containers, with the purpose of providing meaningful public access to the water’s edge.

“[For Beyond Walls] this week so many pieces are popping up all over the city,” Hiero explains, “but during the event, people will get to see pieces grow right before their eyes, and see that creative process.” 

Since growing up on Boston’s South Shore, Hiero’s focus has been painting images of people who get overlooked in society, focusing on blue-collar workers, the homeless – anyone on society’s periphery. He also believes that graffiti artists are a big part of this group. 

For this year’s festival, Hiero will be painting a wall on the Keith Building, located at 52 Central Square. When asked about the subject of the work, Hiero said that it was a secret between him and his subject, but the idea isn’t a secret at all. 

“I believe that public art should reflect the specific community that it’s in,” he says. “I picked a local, I picked a man who does a lot, gives a lot – he donates his vacation time to helping others and volunteering.”

Street art, so often, shines a light on things, places, and people that are often ignored. This attention can change people’s perspective, and make them appreciate what’s right in front of them in their towns and communities. 

“Graffiti is like a scream or a protest; it’s a language of the unheard,” Hiero describes. “It’s a battle cry, but it’s also a clear message. Even when the subject matter isn’t serious, there’s always something that’s being said.” 

For a full schedule of The Beyond Walls events, make sure to follow them on Facebook or check out their website at https://www.beyond-walls.org/events