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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

2-26-24 PDF
February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

A Photodocumentary of Gentrification

The new show at the Harbor Art Gallery is a collection of photos, as well as installation pieces that focuses around gentrification. The show, which is a seamless and thought-provoking combination of social commentary and art, is mainly works from UMASS Boston students Diego Gómez, Felix Garcia, Violeta Haralampieva, Brendan Little, Anjuli Manrique and Professor Rosalyn Negrón. The students met through The Latino Leadership Opportunities Program (LLOP) offered by The Mauricio Gastón Institute for Latino Community Development and Public Policy which is based from the UMASS Boston campus.

LLOP is an academic enrichment program that gives students the opportunity to take part in hands on research and learn about public policy issues while building leadership and group skills. Their Professor, Rosalyn Negrón, is a Anthropologist who specializes in cultural and linguistic anthropology concentrating particularly with Latino communities.

The bulk of the show consists of photographs that came from the studies of gentrification the students did over the course of LLOP. Gentrification is a process in which more affluent people begin to re-build and develop lower class neighborhoods. This leads to the displacement of the poorer residents along with small local businesses (a more detailed explanation is included in the spread). The students looked at Barrio’s to find transitional environments that illustrated the process of gentrification.

The show is curated by Diego Gómez, a UMASS Boston student who is also exhibited in the show. The photos were taken in two different cities, New York and Boston, and concentrate on a few distinct sections. From New York they focus on the Lower East Side and Spanish Harlem and the images from Boston are from Jamaica Plain and the South End. Though none of the students are studying art they do a wonderful job aesthetically laying out the photographs and finding the relationship of the different classes and backgrounds present in gentrification.

So that the audience can better relate to the subject addressed in the exhibit, Gomez has brought in elements that have become staples of a Barrio. He incorporates themes and objects seen in the images into the gallery, thus allowing the viewer to immerse themselves in the culture and more fully understand the concept of gentrification.

Perhaps the most striking part of the exhibit is the graffiti that covers two of the walls in the gallery. One of large scale pieces, done by local graffiti artists Caype and Sweet, has a large horizontal stripe of white through the middle where pictures are hung, forming a sort of frame. Stephen Piriello, the curator of the Harbor Art Gallery, noted that this particular element speaks strongly to the subject matter of the show. The Graffiti, something more typical of lower income neighborhoods, has been covered up by a white swath and replaced by photos that would be found in trendy art galleries.

The artists reception is taking place on Tuesday, October the 20th from 6:00-8:00 pm. The event will include music and food and it also gives the audience a chance to talk with the artists about their work. The subject of urban development and gentrification is prevalent today and, I am sure, not an alien issue to UMASS Boston Students. So, if you have the time, I recommend stopping by to enjoy an evening of good conversation, food and music.

Harbor Art Gallery

From Barrio to Scene

Oct 7th – 29th

Artist Reception: Oct 20th 6PM – 8PM

1st floor McCormack Hall

For Hours Check www.umb.edu/HarborGallery

Sponsored by the Mauricio Gaston Institute


Felix Garcia

DieGo Gomez

Violetta Haralampieva

Brendan Little

Anjuli Marique

Rosalyn Megron