Joy++

Augment by internationally-acclaimed artist Nick Cave is a singular artwork, an exuberant social experience, and a call for Boston to come together in public and cultivate joy across the city. Created as an open question “what brings you joy?” this multi-faceted project asks us to reflect on the power of the individual versus the collective and on the difference between happiness and joy as a means to confront a time fraught with division. The inflatable sculpture and community created building wrap will be on view at 555 Columbia Rd. in Dorchester’s Upham’s Corner neighborhood from September 25, 2019 through April 2020.

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The Installation

transforming a building, reflecting the vibrancy of Upham's

On display through April 2020, the installation will spill out windows of 555 Columbia Avenue and be accompanied by a custom-designed building wrap comprised of collages made by members of the Upham’s Corner community during the public workshops facilitated by local artists and our partners at DS4SI. Visible to the public 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, Augment will be a beacon of happiness, creativity, and togetherness built hand-in-hand with the neighborhood.

Installation of the  Augment  sculpture in progress at 555 Columbia Rd. September 18, 2019. Photo: Faith Ninivaggi

Installation of the Augment sculpture in progress at 555 Columbia Rd. September 18, 2019. Photo: Faith Ninivaggi

This project marks a critical transition point and growth in Cave’s practice in public space. Themes of togetherness, assemblage, and finding joy in sadness are hallmarks of Cave's civic-minded work.  Augment evolves Cave's interest in how bodies navigate civic spaces by engaging dedicated community partners and brokering thoughtful relationships with stakeholders in the neighborhoods where the artwork will be presented. 

By partnering with Design Studio for Social Intervention (DS4SI) to host and facilitate a series of workshops designed to explore how we can come together to spread joy across communities Augment purposefully and thoughtfully engages with the spatial justice work DS4SI has been doing in Upham’s Corner over the last 8 years. At a time when the City of Boston has labeled Upham’s a new “Arts and Innovation District”, DS4SI seeks to mobilize local artists, organizations, and residents to imagine and prototype what the district could be like if it prioritized local cultures, communities and artists. 

Over 5 months, DS4SI and local artists Destiny Polk, L’Merchie Frazier, Barrington Edwards and Wilton Tejeda led collage workshops at Upham’s Corner community sites like the local library, churches, schools and community programs, gathering over 100 collages based on the prompt “what brings you joy?”  Each workshop fostered increased dialogue around public space, public art, and how joy is profoundly personal but also collective, shared and cultural.

In addition, DS4SI and Wilton Tejeda brought a mobile collage cart out on the streets to engage passers-by who might not know about the workshops or the upcoming installation. 

The images shared and stories told are being used as the basis for the building wrap at 555 Columbia Avenue, where the sculpture will ultimately be installed. The collages are also being exhibited in local businesses and on public light post flags. To Lori Lobenstine, DS4SI Program Design Lead, this public work is critical: “We want people to know this is coming and to feel a part of it. Each workshop was not just a chance to come together and express what brings us joy, but a chance for the community to hear about Nick Cave and what was coming to Upham’s.”

Local artist partners:

L'Merchie Frazier is a fiber artist, holographer and poet, has served as Director of Education and Interpretation for the Museum of African American History, Boston/Nantucket for fifteen years, was an inaugural Boston Artist in Residence and a Destination Upham's artist with DS4SI.  

Barrington Edwards has been an artist and community activist in Boston for over four decades. He holds a BFA in Communication Design and a MSAE in Art Education from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design and is currently a member of the Visual Arts faculty at the Boston Arts Academy. He is a Surdna and an Expressing Boston fellow, a publisher of comics and graphic media and works as a freelance artist and consultant. Barrington is a member of the Boston Comics Roundtable, a co-founder of Comics in Color (an affinity group for nerds of color), active with DS4SI, and with the Black Speculative Arts Movement. He currently works to develop his practice as an art maker and social practice developer in concert with his teaching practice. 

Destiny Polk is the founder of Radical Black Girl, a multi-media artist, Destination Upham's artist, and currently a resident artist at Hibernian Hall’s new artist residency program.

Wilton Tejeda is a visual artist, MassArt student, former ExpressingBoston Public Art Fellow at DS4SI, and a mentor at Artists for Humanity (AFH). 

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The Joy Parade

SEPTEMBER 14, 2019
South end to upham’s corner

We’re took the jubilation of Nick Cave’s Augment to the streets with Boston’s first-ever joy parade! The inflatables along with more than 75 Boston-area artists & performers, and 500 members of the public joined in a celebratory three-mile procession relocating the sculpture, creating a joyful public spectacle, and bridging the South End and Upham’s Corner neighborhoods.


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Together with our partners, we activated neighborhoods from the South End to Upham’s Corner, celebrating community joy, and putting the power of collective making on display.

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The Exhibit

Free EXHIBIT Viewing Hours
Parade preview days

Thursday September 12 | 10 am to 6 pm
Friday September 13 | 10 am to 3 pm

We’re getting “parade ready” during parade preview days! Click here for flag and mask making activities happening during the preview.

All events and the exhibition are at the Cyclorama at the Boston Center for the Arts, 539 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02116.

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Nick Cave

Messenger first, Artist Second

Augment marks a new avenue for Cave’s practice in public space. Themes of togetherness, assemblage, and finding joy in sadness are hallmarks of Cave's civic-minded work.

Nick Cave’s public collections include the Brooklyn Museum, New York; Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR; the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; the National Gallery of Victoria, Australia; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA; and the Trapholt Museum, Kolding, Denmark, among others.

Cave has received several prestigious awards including: the Americans for the Arts 2014 Public Art Network Year in Review Award (2014) in recognition of his Grand Central Terminal performance Heard - NY, Joan Mitchell Foundation Award (2008), Artadia Award (2006), the Joyce Award (2006), Creative Capital Grants (2002, 2004 and 2005), and the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award (2001). Cave, who received his MFA at the Cranbrook Academy of Art, is Professor and Chairman of the Fashion Department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

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Get Involved

BE PART OF HISTORY

We’re taking the jubilation of Nick Cave’s Augment to the streets with Boston’s first-ever joy parade on September 14!

Marshal the joy

Are you a naturally organized and spirited individual? Now + There seeks parade marshals to help keep the flow of joy moving through the streets on September 14.

Celebrate. amplify. augment

Give today to support this one-of-a-kind project and help ensure this vibrant, exuberant artwork conjures shared happiness and brings people together across Boston!

 
 

Partners

Produced in partnership with

design studio for social intervention

DS4SI’s mission is to change how social justice is imagined, developed and deployed in the U.S. Situated at the intersections of design thinking and practice, social justice and activism, public art and social practice, and civic / popular engagement, we design and test social interventions with and on behalf of marginalized populations, controversies and ways of life.


with generous support from

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