For 30 years the signage on the bricks of the former Haffenreffer Brewery smokestack had been missing the first three letters of its name. Late last year, the missing letters were restored with a cage-like crown displaying ‘HAF.’ Today we are chatting with local artist Bob Maloney about his inspiration and process for the smokestack restoration.
Join us on Thursday, March 2, 2017 for the unveiling ceremony!
K: Where are you from originally? Where do you live now?
B: I am a Massachusetts native. I grew up north of Boston in Saugus, land of Kowloon and the orange dinosaur. I moved to Jamaica Plain about 20 years ago.
K: How long have you been an artist? Where did you study art?
B: I’d say most of my life. My dad is a landscape painter and a really good cartoonist. He’s got a really good sense of humor so he’s always done cartoons. He is a retired art director so I grew up with some of the messy fine art side and the clean art director side. My dad went to MassArt which is where I also went to school. I grew up watching my dad paint and draw my entire life so that definitely affected my path. It was a natural segway for me. I started in high school with Saturday Studios and then applied for college there and continued and I actually teach at MassArt now. The Haffenreffer Chimney Restoration Project was the product of a grad school assignment at MassArt.
K: What inspired the Haffenreffer chimney project?
B: I enrolled in the Summer Low Residency MFA Program at MassArt in 2012. I graduated in 2015. The project came out of the response to a prompt that my teacher gave us that was to create some sort of large gesture in our landscape that was bigger than us and outside of our comfort zone. I can see the smokestack from a window of my house and it has always been something that’s nagged at me a bit. Growing up in the area I always knew it was Haffenreffer and not ‘Fenreffer. It was always a typo that I wanted to fix.