By Steven Froias
UPDATE: On The Wall Posters: Street Art is now available for sale! The poster book features artists who worked with Superflat NB to bring public art to New Bedford the past several years. The book is from Adams Media, an imprint of the publisher Simon & Schuster, and is available in your local bookstore and online. In New Bedford, you can purchase a copy at Footprints Bookshop in The Kilburn Mill, 127 W. Rodney French Blvd. Online, you can find it at bookshop.org, which supports independent booksellers, or Amazon and other digital retailers.
Below is the original story on how the publication came about…
NEW BEDFORD, MA – When Dena Haden, director of downtown’s Co-Creative Center and founding member of the public art mural group SuperFlat NB, received an unexpected email some months back, she couldn’t have imagined the consequences opening it would have on the reputation of New Bedford as a uniquely creative community.
The email was from Adams Media, an imprint of the publisher, Simon & Schuster. Would, it asked, SuperFlat NB artists be interested in compiling a book featuring street art as practiced in New Bedford?
The answer was easy. “Hell, yes!”
Today, SuperFlat NB is thrilled to officially share with #NBcreative that 20 of their artists will be featured in a new book from Adams Media, the specialty imprint of Simon & Schuster. Available for pre-sale here, On The Wall Posters: Street Art will be released this fall and will include 30 graffiti-inspired wall posters for readers to tear out and hang up.
Further, On The Wall Posters: Street Art with New Bedford SuperFlat NB artists will be prominently displayed in Urban Outfitters stores upon publication. Yes – the multinational lifestyle retail corporation headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania will be delivering New Bedford art to the world!
Dena Haden explains that she immediately grasped that the email she opened that day was a significant recognition of the many talented artists SuperFlat NB has worked with and their impact on the street art community. She later learned that a member of the team at the publishing house is from nearby Fairhaven and therefore was familiar with work of SuperFlat NB in New Bedford.
What followed was months of collecting and curating images of street art from all over the city, representing both temporary and permanent work. From 300 images, 30 were selected for the book containing work by 20 artists that SuperFlat NB has worked with since launching in 2017. It will begin arriving in Urban Outfitters stores and other retailers this October 17, 2023 and will also be available for purchase online.
In announcing the book, the publishers write, “The evolution of art in the streets has shaped the way many of us see the world, and has quickly become a way for people to express themselves and create their own voice. Today, street art is used worldwide for self-expression and to add character to unexpected places.
“Experience the art around you by bringing this collection of 30 expressive prints in On The Wall Posters: Street Art into your own space. From wildstyle graffiti tags to colorful b-boy characters to pop art, stencil-style murals and more, these posters transform any room.
“A collection by friends of Superflat NB—a group that facilitates public art throughout New Bedford, Massachusetts, while providing more access to the arts—these prints are the perfect way to personalize and customize an area, whether you are decorating your bedroom, dorm room, apartment, or other living space.
“Each poster is 11″ × 14″ and comes with perforated edges for easy removal. Choose your favorites, tear them out, and give your eyes something interesting to look at. No matter how you use them, these mural prints are sure to create a bold space that you’ll actually want to hang out in.”
It’s pretty wild to think that the work of artists from SuperFlat NB will come off the walls of New Bedford and get between the pages of a book and then find new walls to bring to life literally around the globe.
But then again, SuperFlat NB grew quickly in New Bedford from a Quixotic idea to harness the power of street art for the common benefit into a dynamic collection of artists who have made their mark throughout the city. Its guiding principle finds resonance in downtown’s destination work of public art, the “Love” mural in Wings Court.
After successfully navigating the pandemic – indeed, working through it to bring more murals to the city – the publication of On The Wall Posters: Street Art represents both a milestone as well as turning point for the group.
Now, it will be interesting to watch as SuperFlat NB rides a wave of publicity for itself and the City of New Bedford and charts a course into a future that includes this stunning achievement of bibliography.