Photography by: The Littlest Astronaut


Hear Sway discuss Adams’ amazing story.

Due to a slight miscommunication, Adams was under the impression he had a much smaller space to work with and planned an entirely different mural. When he arrived to the space, with the larger space primed, he still believed he had a smaller space to work with and began preparing his mural; however, across the street was another artist, painting a much larger mural on the opposite wall. Cey painted this smaller design for 2 days. Of course the Beyond Walls mural festival isn’t a competition, but two artists painting huge walls so close to one another created an atmosphere of competition. It brought Adams back to memories of earlier days when he was just getting started, competing for space in the rail yard. As he continued to work, his frustration built leading to a moment of pure inspiration. Painting over his smaller mural, he extemporaneously created this huge LOVE mural which would go on to become a trademark of the artist.

Cey Adams, LOVE, 2017. Acrylic and latex on primed brick, 85 x 20 ft. Public art. ©Cey Adams. All rights reserved.

Cey was quickly embraced by the community for his good nature. The area around his mural is now known as “Love Alley.”

Interesting fact: Coffee sales from the coffee shop near the LOVE mural go to the Haven Projects. The Haven Project is the only organization north of Boston dedicated specifically to providing age appropriate services to a growing population of vulnerable 17-24 year old individuals experiencing homelessness. The Haven Project implements their mission through six essential focus areas: basic needs, employment, housing, education, health, and community engagement.

Cey Adams

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The Heart + Soul installation is a retrospective of some of the many murals and pieces of art created by artists in collaboration with Beyond Walls. In the fall of 2020, Beyond Walls presented the street art festival Truth Be Told in Lynn, Massachusetts. The artwork featured in the Truth Be Told festival was born of the COVID-19 pandemic and explores the idiosyncrasies of the times. Heart + Soul is a collection of photographs and digital art examining the interplay between community and art. The subjects and symbols within the works reflect the resilience of the diverse people where they reside. As the photographs celebrate the community, Heart + Soul aims to create space that not only reflects the vibrant diversity of the staff and patient community, but celebrates them.

This collection is the result of generous donations from Mass General Imaging and the MGH Office of Equity and Community Health.

Other work from Heart + Soul