Community activist, educator, great-grandmother, and muralist, Edy Boone is perhaps best known for her work on the iconic San Francisco Women’s Building mural Maestrapeace (1995). The epic Maestrapeace—a multi-cultural, multi-generational collaborative effort by Boone, six other women artists and many helpers—graces The Women’s Building in San Francisco, the first all women-owned and operated community center in the United States.
The self-taught artist left Harlem in 1978 when crack cocaine overran her neighborhood. She moved to the Bay Area where “you could see the sky, smell the flowers, and people were marching in the streets.” Edythe gained her reputation as a public arts advocate and artist, painting guerrilla murals against drug trafficking at midnight. collaborating and heading up a series of community mural projects such as Oakland Walls Speak with housing project residents (1986); Balmy Alley’s We Remember with the families of AIDs victims (1996); People’s Park’s Let a Thousand Parks Bloomwith the homeless (1997); and Berkeley’s Music on Our Minds with underserved teens in Youth Spirit Artworks (2009).
Edythe believes that art is for everyone, not just professional artists. Her mission is to empower individuals and transform communities through art. Whether she is working in a diverse collaborative of women artists on the MaestraPeace project, putting paintbrushes in the hands of Richmond seniors unfamiliar with art, or giving teens from rival groups a lesson in non-violent communication, Edythe uses art as a tool to foster empathy and compassion, change perceptions of the “other” and promote cross-cultural/interracial/intergenerational healing. She has taught thousands of students to find their creative voice, filling the Bay Area with colorful murals designed to bring dignity, pride and empowerment to the communities they grace.
Edy works in the mediums of acrylic, pastel, and watercolor, and often enhances her work with collage, drawing on the spiritual and cultural heritage of her subjects. Her personal studio art expresses the African American voice to a larger world in the tradition of Harlem Renaissance painters. Edy has exhibited widely in the Bay Area and is featured in a number of publications, including: “Painting the Town” (Dunitz and Prigoff), “San Francisco Murals” (Tim Drescher), and, “Voices of the Dream: African American Women Speak”, (Ed. Venice Johnson).