Beginning January 6th, 2017, local artist David Teng Olsen created a 170ft long mural title Evo at 395 Western Ave.

Olsen is a new media artist interested in collaborative and interactive experiences using both traditional and experimental visual techniques. Currently an Assistant Professor of Art at Wellesley College, Olsen spent 5 years working as a bioengineer and scientific illustrator, which heavily informs his work.

He uses a combination of new and traditional visual methods to create environments that explore ideas of science and life. Olsen has a B.F.A. from the University of Washington (Seattle) and an M.A., M.F.A., from the University of Wisconsin (Madison).

The 170ft long piece, titled Evo, is Olsen’s biggest piece to date. Comprised of bright geometric shapes and hand painted illustrations, Evo was inspired by the history of Allston and the people that spoke with Olsen while painting the mural. “I named it “Evo” because I could tell the neighborhood was changing and growing,” said Olsen. “The people that stopped to talk and tell their stories and the history of the neighborhood were all translated into the expressive lines speckled about the composition.”

During the 8 day painting process Olsen led a workshop with Charlesview Community’s after-school program, which is located right across the street from the mural. Coloring books based on the mural were created for the kids, allowing them to put their own spin on Olsen’s work. It also gave the kids an opportunity to talk to a working artist, prompting one to say “Are you telling me I can get paid to have fun when I grow up?”

An opening event will be held at the site on Saturday, February 18th from 12:00 – 3:00 pm.