Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Thursday, December 17, 2009

SOBACC … South Boston Arts & Cultural Center … News Break … Dec. 17, 2009

Tuesday evening at the Harpoon Brewery’s VIP Tasting Room, SOBACC held a Holiday friend- raiser. There was a great turnout.
Admission garnered over $500 in contributions and 30 letters of support from the guests. The event was in keeping with our attempt to keep the South Boston community involved and aware of the workings of the task force.
Local musicians - Dave Connolly and Bob Metaluna entertained and food was donated by Arpeggio’s Café on West Broadway.
And because of the successful turnout the people from Harpoon have given SOBACC use of their facilities next Tuesday, December 22, for a ‘SOBACC Christmas Party’. Same time 5:30 to 7:30. The public is invited.
Music by Dave and Bob will be back. Also Keith at Arpeggio’s Café will again donate the food. Same admission situation. $15 … but just $10 with a signed letter of support. Bring a letter from a friend if you brought one at this week’s event.
MORE GOOD NEWS: During Tuesday’s event Terry Hillery of The Hillery Holding Company, West Broadway, revealed that a civil engineering firm has offered to work pro bono for the Arts Center project. More details will be given as they emerge.
The SOBACC concept - that an arts and cultural center be constructed in the abandoned South Boston District 6 Police Station on D Street – has the backing of the South Boston community and has received unsolicited pro bono offers from the architectural firms, Perkins & Will and MapLab and the Boston law firm of Nixon Peabody.
Along with the community support, the architects’ and the law firm’s involvement, the encouraging news of the pro bono Civil Engineering firm’s offer has giving true validation to our project.and elevated our resolve to make the South Boston Arts & Cultural Center a reality.

Dan McCole,
Chairman, SOBACC

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Dan McCole … This Thursday
November 19 … 6 to 9 pm
Dan McCole … Solo Art Show … Watercolors
The Distillery Gallery
516 East Second Street, South Boston.

Check out my latest painting. STREET of DREAMS
Street scene from New Orleans

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Exciting Meeting





Task Force

(South Boston Arts and Cultural Center)


6:30 TO 8 PM

at the

South Boston Community Health Center

Conference Room

386 West Broadway


A timeline detailing the activities of the task force

can be downloaded and is shown below.

February 5 - The Department of Neighborhood Development (DND) called a meeting at the Condon School to address the disposition of the old South Boston District 6 Police Station.

February through March – A n ad hoc group of Southie residents for a South Boston Arts and Cultural Center (SOBACC) met at informal meetings to discuss ideas and agreed on planning for an Arts Center on the site of the abandoned police building. They proposed the idea at a meeting of the St. Vincent Neighborhood Association and the response was positive.

March 25 A Public Meeting for South Boston residents was called by SOBACC at the Condon School to propose their plans for an Arts Center and discuss ways and means.

April through May - Meetings continued and outreach made to civic associations began. Response was positive.

June 3 – The City of Boston Department of Neighborhood Development held an official pre-advertised meeting to further discuss proposals. Over 250 residents showed up and two proposals were presented. SOBACC presented its proposal for an arts & community center, and the South Boston Neighborhood Development Corporation (SBNDC) presented it’s plan for 30 units to be developed …15 for veterans families and 15 for veterans in transition. The SOBACC proposal was overwhelmingly approved by the residents in a 10 to 1 show of hands that was called for by State Senator Jack Hart. The application for the RFP proposal was to be available within a month. Sen. Hart also requested and received an agreement with John Feuerbach of DND to extend the regular 30-day return for the RFP proposal, to 120-days.

June – SOBACC was offered and accepted an unsolicited pro-bono proposal by Perkins & Will, an international architectural firm. Pat Cunningham an architect in the firm’s Boston office, heard of the arts center proposal and took the idea to John Fuller chief operating officer of the firm. They offered their work on RFP and suggested another architect, David Silverman of MapLab located at the Design Center, who volunteered to assist John Fuller.

September – Met with John Feuerbach, senior development officer at the DND office for a progress report. He informed us that the RFP would be delayed until water could be removed from the basement of the building. The RFP application would not be available until December.

September 29 –Talked with John Cyphers, records manager, at the DND office who offered plans for the building. Visited with John Fuller of Perkins & Will and apprised him that we had the plans. Tom Cipolla, graphic artist, kept plans to work up graphics.

October – Met with John Fuller and Pat Cunningham of Perkins & Will for a progress report.

October 23 – Met with John Feuerbach at the DND office, once again, with a progress report.

October – Accepted pro bono offer from Boston law firm to handle Non-Profit application.

October 26 –Met again with John Fuller and Pat Cunningham of Perkins & Will, to hand over the blueprints of the building plans and apprise them of our progress.

November 6 – Met with Madeleine Steczynski executive director of Zumix, East Boston’s Art Center, located in old fire station. She was very forthcoming with much information about their project. She said we need to concentrate on three things. 1 ) Community Support. 2 ) Evidence of ability to finance. 3 ) Plan for the sustainability of the arts center.

November 9 – Met with Sen. Jack Hart. who suggested and agreed to set up meeting with all other elected officials.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

SAVE THE DATE . . . . .

Opening reception for
Dan McCole’s
one-man, watercolor show
Thursday evening, November 19
From 7 to 9 pm
At the Distillery lobby gallery
516 East Second Street, South Boston

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Monday, September 28, 2009


The Andrew Square mural, depicting the area in 1940 with Electric Street Car Trolleys entering and leaving the old Andrew Square subway station. When the local Civic Association asked if I would paint a garage wall I thought, “Whoa … are they crazy?” And then … when I heard myself saying, “OK.” … I thought … “Whoa… am I crazy?”I mean … there I was … a watercolorist who usually paints in my studio hovering over the work on a horizontal surface and using dinky-sized brushes and pieces of paper. I’ve only attempted acrylic painting twice before. And trust me … it’s different, very different from watercolor painting. It’s very much like oil painting. I get nervous just thinking about it. Oil and acrylics never agreed with me. Throw in that the largest paintings I’ve been doing with watercolors are on 22 inch by 30 inch sheets of paper and you might begin to see my inner torment.I was agreeing to paint an acrylic mural with big brushes on a very rough-surfaced cement block wall 32 feet wide and 9 feet high … right out there in the public eye. It would be like a having a woman driver who … just because she can slap on eye-makeup while speeding to work on the Mass Pike … hops up on a scaffold with a ten-inch roller to help Michelangelo paint ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Not that the garage was the Sistine Chapel or that I was any Michelangelo … but you get the drift.And for more drama the garage used to belong to a funeral home. Add that to the mix. Now then … there I was … a couple of hours a day for a couple of weeks … painting outside in a parking lot at the very busy Andrew Square area in South Boston. And guess what? It was a blast … every minute was a pleasure. What better way to paint than being right in the middle of the sights and sounds of the city. There’s nothing that will clean out a troubled sinus cavity like a fire truck firing up its siren from four blocks away to blast a clearance through the six street intersection of Andrew Square. And how better to get down with the peeps than listening to the drivers at red lights chatting with each other verbally, offering advice and suggestions … some using finger-based sign language.Art critics came by and made comments all day long … the young, the elderly, those in transition, family units … crossing over from out of the subway … heading in town … and from the projects … picking up stuff from the shops … long-time residents … newcomers … baby carriages … bicycles … skateboards … scooters … and the don’t-remove-these-from-the-shopping-mall-parking-lot shopping carts. Actually the conversation was cheerful … but the Southie zinger was always evident. “Whaddaya doin’ … community-service?” Also there was mumblings about me being on. rehab-work-release. For the rhythmic sounds of the city … the boom-boxes kept blasting out from cars halted at the red lights. It brought a certain salsa and hip-hop tempo to the stroke of my brush. And the spare-change people were out and about … enjoying the good weather. One guy came up and asked for money to do his laundry. Very creative. You know … you can’t make that stuff up.Officially the mural was finished on Labor Day … but I sneaked back a couple of times to touch up or changes a few things that I forgot … and now it’s really done. The Andrew Square Civic Association people commissioned the mural and lots of their people pitched in and helped with the painting … and with the cheerleading. It’s not in the T Station but on the garage wall in the small parking lot of the Andrew Square Convenience Store on the corner of Dorchester and Preble streets … diagonally across from Dunkin’ Donuts. Check it out.The accompanying photo shows the garage before … along with an image of the initial watercolor painting and a couple of pics of the finished mural.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Andrew Square Mural Almost Done!

If you’re out and about in Southie on Labor Day weekend … take a look at the mural I’ve been involved in at Andrew Square. The Andrew Square Civic Association commissioned it and its members have helped in the painting. The theme is the Andrew ‘T’ Station and the Street Cars, circa 1940. The mural is almost completed … It will be finished for Labor Day. Being basically a watercolorist (largest sheet has been 22 inches by 30 inches) I never painted anything near this huge anywhere at any time and it has been a blast. It’s 31 ½ feet wide and 9 feet high. Check it out … the garage wall in the small parking lot of the convenience store on the corner of Preble Street and the square. Photo of the uncompleted painting was taken yesterday (Wednesday).

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Be sure to join us and have a great time !!

Friday, July 31, 2009


This is just off the easel ... It's entered in the Marina Bay show ... I hope I don't lose it.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

My Irish Art Movie

Just a quick little movie to view some of my Irish Paintings!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


“Celtic Tiger” is a term describing Ireland in its period of rapid economic growth that began in the mid 1990s and transformed the country from one of Europe's poorer nations into one of the wealthiest. It’s a bit different now … since the economy has pretty well tanked during the past few years. However great changes took place during the surge … all basically for the better … yet somehow you’d wish certain things could be kept as is. (Being from Boston it might be necessary to make a note that the word ‘Celtic’ is pronounced with a ‘K’ sound (Keltic) not a ‘S’ sound (seltic) like in Boston’s roundball athletic team.)

On a trip to Donegal last September I came upon and painted an old thatched cottage. Thatchers are dying out and are taking their secrets and their talents with them. The tatch on many older thatched homes has been stripped and replaced with tin, slate or tile. And many others are left to the elements … or retired to serve as storage and work sheds.

I call this painting “Celtic Tiger”. Note the old homestead, which had served nobly and well as a family home for many generations. At the right an old abandoned tractor also sits in rustation, its glory days have also gone by.

Then sweeping to the left … there’s the sheep. The rest of the flock are in the far field but … there’s always the one that’s a bit different now, isn’t there? Very Irish.

Still on the sweep to the left … ladders, planks and saw horses are visible in and around the open doorway, jammed into areas where, for many years, and for many generations life began, evolved and passed. That life cycle is over and the home is now a storage area and workshop.

Up above … roof-grass is growing in the thatch. Without heat from the turf-fireplace the thatch besomes Impacted by seeds blown in by the Gaelic winds … and the thatch becomes prey to the Irish weather and bog-like dampness that characterizes the island nation. In time the thatch becomes so laden with soil, seed and rain … that the weight is too much for the slender timbers … also weakened by the dampness … and the thatch roofs collapse.

Back to the painting. Further to the left, sitting majestically behind a tall fieldstone gate post … the Mercedes … powerful and proud as a ‘tiger’. And beyond the Mercedes … unseen but implicit … the new family home … a handsome Irish McMansion completing the storyline for the “Celtic Tiger”.

So now … a toast to the ‘thatched houses’ … beautiful in their settings and economic necessities in their day … that now have become impractical as the new wave of “Internet Ireland’ took the youth from the green fields of home into the greener fields of finance. Still, the thatched cottage epitomizes visual Ireland … alongside the cross-patch meadows and grazing fields with their 48 shades of green. To the thatch and to the ‘Celtic Tiger’ … Slante!
-- Dan McCole