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Mobile Arts Lab Sparks Inspiration Throughout Dorchester


Design, and its emotional touchpoints, are key in the creation of community. EDENS engaged local mural artists, blacksmiths, carpenters and metalworkers to create custom works throughout South Bay as part of the “Made in Dorchester” initiative.

When EDENS Director of Planning Ryan Lorey searched for resident artists, he was introduced to The UP Truck. Cedric Douglas and Julia Roth co-created The UP Truck, a colorful mobile arts lab dedicated to connecting the residents of Uphams Corner and the larger Dorchester community. As a moving work of art, Cedric and Julia have engaged with residents, business owners and neighborhood associations alike to create public art by and for the community.

Mobile Art Lab Exterior Mural
Mobile Art Lab Exterior

What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us

- Henry David Thorea, 4 Pickney Street

With a shared mission to enrich community, The UP Truck and EDENS’ partnership was a natural fit. EDENS commissioned Cedric and Julia to create a mural that would resonate with residents and reflect the rich vibrancy of South Bay. Their mural of geometric, projecting triangles adorns the corrugated metal surface of a warehouse building on the corner of All State Avenue and Massachusetts Avenue, previously utilized as a scrap yard. The duo spent 100 + hours of design and countless spray paint cans to complete the mural, leaving a lasting impact on each passerby.

Mobile Art Lab Instagram Post
Mobile Art Lab Instagram Post

The colorful forms represent the beauty achievable from the old, the repurposed and the rejuvenated. As one of America’s oldest continuous neighborhoods, Dorchester has been a self-made community from the start, re-creating and evolving in itself. A Margaret Mead quote accompanies the mural that directly speaks to the power of an involved community like Dorchester: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.”

Cedric and Julia continue to lend their talents to several other projects, including a sidewalk mural along District Avenue, revamping an outdoor piano with a fresh colorful coat and painting inspirational quotes throughout South Bay for all to appreciate.

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