Rob Stull and the Eliot School
October 26, 2021
Rob Stull is a fine example of a local artist with a long-standing relationship (8 years) with the Eliot School. “He’s kin. He’s part of the family,” says Executive Director Abigail Norman. He came to the Eliot School in 2013 wanting to teach his passion—comic art, sequential art. He began teaching adult and children’s comic classes as well as life drawing.
“Back then, we were starting to examine how do we work with our students, especially in the Boston Public Schools. How do we meet them where they're at and provide them with outlets and opportunities to pursue the arts?” explained Associate Director Alison Croney Moses.
“As a renowned illustrator and artist, Rob was a really great example to show young people that if they were interested in the arts, they could really succeed. He was a visiting artist for classes for Boston Public School middle school kids, and he was able to speak to the dedication and time invested to build up his career.”
And what a career, Stull is an accomplished illustrator, curator, designer and creator of comic books and graphic art. He worked for over two decades for every major publisher in the comics industry, including Marvel and DC Comics, where his projects include Spider-Man Adventures, Iron Man, X-Force, Wolverine, Nightwing and more.
He was an Artist-in-Residence at the MFA Boston where he created six comic book-like drawings for the museum’s “Writing the Future: Basquiat and the Hip-Hop Generation” exhibition. Three were enlarged to 25 feet and displayed outside on the front of the Museum.
Stull made history as the first local artist to have his work hanging in the columns of the MFA in 150 years. His banners were followed by those of Ekua Holmes, a fellow local, African-American artist.
Stull remembers a very special connection to the Eliot School. “If you're connected with the Eliot School, you feel that support that just comes naturally, that sense of community, family really--you know Abigail Norman, Alison, and the folks that have come and gone. The parents were also very supportive.”
When approached by the Fenway Art Walk sponsors, Stull brought the public art opportunity to the Teen Bridge students. He recalls, “Samuels & Associates approached me about my own personal art installation. They came back to me to develop a workshop in some capacity, and without a moment's hesitation I thought about Teen Bridge and how Alison and I have been trying to work together. Abigail was my first call.”
The Teen Bridge mural is now on view at the Fenway Art Walk through mid-December 2021, at 86 Van Ness Street, Boston.
“[The mural] was a really proud moment for me just to brag about creating something like that, partially because I’d never done it before.”
– a Teen Bridge student
Photo by Emma Elizabeth Photography