Somerville, MA --- Union Square Station Associates (US2), the City of Somerville’s master developer partner for Union Square’s revitalization, today announced that it has selected mural artist Crystal Rene´ Burney to design a mural celebrating Union Square in the new headquarters it will share with coworking space network Workbar.
Burney is a prominent local artist and art teacher for the Eliot School of Fine & Applied Arts in Jamaica Plain. She has been a Somerville resident for the last 11 years and lives in Ball Square with her five-year-old son, Hatcher. Burney is responsible for the mural on the fountain bed at Trum Field, and the television network A&E previously commissioned her work for their television program Flipping Boston.
In May, US2 asked local artists to submit proposals for a wall feature in their new headquarters that reflects the vibrancy, diversity and potential of Union Square. In response, Burney submitted a sketch for a mural called Friday which is, in her words, “not only a symbolic tribute to all that Union Square offers municipally and commercially, but a piece that more importantly represents the closely knit, diverse community that makes Union Square such a vibrant part of Somerville’s cultural and historical heritage.”
“We received a number of outstanding proposals, but Crystal’s vision for a mural depicting the values, vitality, history and future of Union Square stood out,” said Greg Karczewski, president of US2.
Burney’s personal story is one inspired by the same sort of passion found in the many local artists who make Union Square a center for creativity. She says she started painting murals “out of necessity.” “While completing my degree in poetry, I designed residential murals to pay tuition. Eventually, my passion for painting and designing became greater than my love of writing and gave me a more energized focus,” said Burney. “My artwork spoke to people the way my words never could.”
“Workbar prides itself on the creativity and innovation of our members, the vibrancy of our work environment, and the sense of community and collaboration our network provides,” said Bill Jacobson, Founder & CEO of Workbar. “That’s why we’re excited to be part of Union Square and that’s why Crystal’s mural will be a perfect fit for the US2-Workbar space.”
In June, US2 and Workbar announced a partnership to operate a 2,500 square foot ground floor coworking space at 31 Union Square, the former home of Elegant Furniture which closed last fall and has been vacant since. For its local headquarters, US2 will locate its offices within the coworking space.
The US2-Workbar coworking space is expected to open this fall.