Inman Square Firehouse
Title: Engine Company No. 5
Materials: Acrylic on brick
Dimensions: 15' x 25'
Location: 1384 Cambridge Street (Intersection of Cambridge and Hampshire Streets) High on the exterior wall.
High above the intersection of Cambridge and Hampshire Streets at the very top of a fire station, Ellery Eddy's mural presides over Inman Square. It celebrates a group of local heroes: the firefighters of Engine Company No. 5.
Look up at the mural. What do you see? What identifies these men as firefighters? They stand in relaxed postures with smiles. What do you think Eddy is trying to say about them? Why do you think the artist included the dog?
Hidden in the image is a portrait of George Washington, first President of the United States and also a volunteer firefighter. How has Eddy made his presence in the group stand out? Can you find Ben Franklin, the man who invented electricity and started the first volunteer fire station? How has the artist dressed him? Why do you think she chose this outfit for him? Why has Eddy included these men in her portrait of Engine Company No. 5?
What colors do you see? Do you think these colors mean something in the context of the piece? How has the artist incorporated the actual brick of the fire station into the piece?
Not only is this a portrait of a specific fire station, but it also honors all the men and women who risk their lives to protect the citizens of Cambridge. How has the artist evoked the sense of one community protecting another?
How does this mural "come alive?" Does it feel like the scene is coming off the wall, extending into actual space?