The Green Monster is more than just a 37-foot wall out in left field at Fenway Park. It’s a symbol of Boston, an icon for Major League Baseball, and a fixture for right-handed batters. Fans have watched countless home runs fly over it from the likes of baseball legends J.D. Martinez, Andrew Benintendi, and Rafael Devers of the 2018 season. Speaking of which — how about those Red Sox?
In honor of our ninth World Series win and the fourth this millenium, The Times caught up with Island artist M-C Lamarre. She knows as much, if not more than any other die-hard, that the Green Monster is more than just a wall. For Lamarre, it makes up about 75 percent of her livelihood.
“I was painting every day during the World Series,” Lamarre said in an interview with The Times.
Lamarre paints wall-sized murals of the Green Monster in homes across America and Canada. On Monday, she completed her 201st.
“I watched the beginning half of Sunday’s game with my client,” Lamarre said. “The rest I watched with my folks.”
Lamarre installed her 201st Monster in a home in Manchester N.H. The artist grew up in Amherst, N.H., where her parents live today.
“I’m number eight out of 10 children,” Lamarre said. “There were six boys and four girls. Growing up, when it came to watching television, majority ruled and sports were always on. Being a Red Sox fan was ingrained in me at a very early age.”
Lamarre is an artist, and is known for her repurposed work displayed on-Island. While traveling for work, she noticed Red Sox fans were everywhere, and was inspired to paint Green Monster murals on walls and in backyards. She installed her first one in May 2004.
Her initial goal was to paint one in every state, but demand called for more murals in some states than others. In 2012, during Fenway’s 100th year anniversary, she realized she was nearing 100 murals.
“It hit me that I could actually hit 100 Green Monsters before the end of the year,” Lamarre said. “It was a major milestone for me. Now that I’ve hit 200, everyone’s saying I gotta do 300. My monsters are now in 23 states in the U.S., and three in Canada. People can’t believe I’ve been flown out to British Columbia to paint Green Monsters.”
There’s only one of Lamarre’s Monster murals on-Island, two, if you include the one outside her Oak Bluffs home. The murals make-up 75 percent of her work as a full-time artist. The repurposed art makes up the other 25 percent.
According to Lamarre, scoreboards have to be at least 2-by-4 feet in order to “count” in her Monster challenge. She’s recently started creating portable ones for transient families, like people in the military, and for young kids, so they can grow up and take them anywhere. “Because being a Sox fan is lifelong,” she said.
Her 201st Monster took about five days. She finished it Monday, the day after the World Series win. The scoreboard reflects Game 1, where the Sox beat the Dodgers 8 to 4. Depending on size, scale, and detail, murals can take Lamarre anywhere from one day to a week.
“Clients can pick from my Monster menu,” Lamarre said. “The more details they want, the longer it takes.”
In celebration of her 200th mural, she bought two bleacher tickets for Game 2 of the ALCS.
“As much as I love being in the park, it’s tough for me to sit at a game and not be able to see the scoreboard,” Lamarre said.
Despite being out of plainsight, she noticed the error light on the Monster was red — for the past 14 years, she’s been painting it green.
“I walked around desperately trying to find out when it changed. Everyone I talked to said, ‘No, it’s always been red…’ Then I reached out to a Red Sox historian, and found out that until the end of the 2016 season, the error light was green. Much earlier on in Red Sox history it was red, but since I’ve been painting it, it’s been green. My 201st Monster is the first one I’ve painted with a red error light. I’m still learning as I go.”
Some may ask, Don’t you get tired of painting the same wall?
“Not at all,” Lamarre said. “Every space is different, which presents a different aspect to the mural and scale. I’m also fascinated by clients’ stories. Why are people choosing to do this? I’m honored to be trusted in these spaces.”
Lamarre reflected on her first Red Sox game in the mid-80’s. She remembers emerging from the tunnel under luminescent white lights. It goes the same for just about every kid — wide eyes and a vivid memory, because like Lamarre said, being a Sox fan is forever.
If you’re interested in one of M-C Lamarre’s murals, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 617-794-5515. She’s anticipating a busy couple weeks.