Over the past three years, Now + There has commissioned works by four dynamic artists working in diverse disciplines. Each new project we’ve produced has come with its own set of challenging installation requirements and unique modes of public engagement, necessitating novel inventions, flexibility, creativity, and a reliance on robust partnerships to make them a reality. (And oh, the permits they’ve required!)
Supporting Now + There artists has also brought us into vibrant Boston neighborhoods and proven that the demand for public art is great.
But the road to serving our neighborhoods with public art is decidedly less clear when there are too few local artists equipped with the knowledge of how to produce complex public art projects — not for lack of effort or desire, however — and a deficiency of funds to do so.
As we produce more high-impact projects, more frequently, we want Boston artists to be a part of our plans, and we want to share our knowledge with them.
Today, we’re excited to announce the Now + There Public Art Accelerator, which will serve local artists with the curatorial, technical and financial support they need to develop new temporary artworks in Boston in 2018. This pilot program is funded by a generous private donor who cares deeply about community and the arts.
This six-month-long pilot program will demystify the often-confusing process of public art by coaching six artists in the skills and sensibilities necessary to conceptualize compelling neighborhood-centric temporary public artworks. Plus, artists will receive full funding (between $15,000 and $30,000) to realize their projects.
By equipping artists for the challenges of making work in the public realm and walking them through the processes involved in creating impactful public art, we will accelerate careers and create a pipeline for sustained, high-quality public art projects.
Twenty-nine artists were nominated for the 2018 Public Art Accelerator by Boston-area curators and our 2018 cohort was selected by a jury of public art experts and practitioners including Rob Gibbs, Karin Goodfellow, Beth Kantrowitz, Mary Tinti and Lisa Tung.
The six Boston-area artists chosen for our first year represent the broad range of public art practices today and we are thrilled to begin working with them and building a cohort together.
Meet the 2018 Now + There Accelerator Artists
Katarina's artistic practice consists of drawings, models, collages and installations. Burin has recently published the first monograph of the work of Petra Andrejova-Molnár a fictitious character who Burin conceptualizes as deeply involved in the development of architectural movements during the early 20th century. Recent solo exhibitions include the Neubauer Collegium at the University of Chicago, Kunstverein Langenhagen, Ratio 3 and P! (New York). Group exhibitions include the Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, and the Aspen Art Museum. A recipient of a Schloss Solitude fellowship, a Graham Foundation publication grant as well as the 2013 James and Audrey Foster Prize, Burin is currently Lecturer of Visual Art at Harvard University and a 2017 Radcliffe Fellow.
Ryan is a Boston-based inter-disciplinary artist with a background in West African drum and dance, jazz and new-music composition. He composes extensively for contemporary dance and produces multi-media performance works and installations through the studio he co-directs - Masary Studios. He holds a degree in performance from Berklee College of Music, apprenticed extensively in traditional music, dance and instrument-building in Guinea, West Africa and works regularly with prominent public and performing artists throughout New England. Ryan is most proud to be the father of two beautiful children, Jafiah and Maya.
Lina Maria Giraldo
Lina is a Colombian born, Boston-based artist focusing on Interactive Storytelling towards social change. With a diverse body of work ranging from digital educational tools, public installations, and screen-based computer generated work, she explores the questions of being Latino, the impact of Mankind on our surroundings and the power of collective storytelling. Over the last 15 years, her work has been focused on creating messages where she depicts the fragility of our environment, community equality and immigration concerns. She likes to think of her work as a visual poem with an educational and civic purpose. One that explores the search for a society that is responsible for its consumption, environment and understands its own communities from within its storytelling. It is a journey of exploration and research for better ways to create spaces of communication by building alongside with the community she works with while exploring different ways of storytelling and new paths of conversation. From her window installations in Poppy Fields through massive digital projections like Rain or collective storytelling using cellphones in City Journalist, Lina explores how art can help understand the challenges of our society.
Cynthia Gunadi and Joel Lamere
Together, Cynthia Gunadi and Joel Lamere founded the Brookline-based architectural practice Gunadi Lamere Design in 2010. As a team, they are preoccupied with architectural craft at all scales, from furniture design to urban strategy, with the conviction that highly crafted design, quality, and longevity are intricately linked. Joel is an Assistant Professor of Architectural Design and Homer A. Burnell Chair at MIT, where he has been teaching courses in architectural geometry, design, and representation since 2007. His research addresses the future of building practice, through innovation in emerging means and methods. Cynthia has led and managed projects ranging in scope and scale from residential renovations to campus design and master planning. Throughout her architectural career, she has been invested in the possibilities of typological innovation, questions of perception and promenade, and design strategies that allow site and urban scale to inform the architectural.
Stephen is an artist and arts educator living and working in Boston, Massachusetts. Born and raised in Roxbury, Stephen graduated from Massachusetts College of Art and design in 2009 with a focus in illustration. His life’s work aims to address the persistent lack of positive, multi-dimensional representations of African and African diasporan cultural discourses. This deficit is ever present in arts education, commercial and fine arts. He creates and facilitates the creation of art and media that hopes to eradicate the aspects of institutionalized and indoctrinated racism that is still prevalent in our communities at large through an asset-based and collaborative lens.
Stephen’s work focuses on the aesthetics, philosophies and key symbols inherent throughout Africa and the Diaspora. He strives to create a dialogue between contemporary Black cultures and the ancient African world. Through visual comparison of shared philosophies and aesthetics ubiquitous among Black peoples he seeks to describe a complex and varied Black aesthetic.
Ekua currently serves as the Assistant Director at the Center for Art and Community Partnerships at Massachusetts College of Art and Design and Director of sparc! the ArtMobile, MassArt's art-inspiring, art-transforming vehicle retrofitted to create and contribute to community based, multidisciplinary arts programming currently focused in Mission Hill, Roxbury, and Dorchester MA.
She is a fine artist whose mixed media collages explore universal themes of childhood, family, and remembering. She uses news clippings, photographs, vibrant color and skillful composition to infuse her work with energy. In 2015, Holmes took the children’s book world by storm with her illustrations in Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer: The Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement, written by Carole Boston Weatherford. The book went on to receive numerous awards, including a Silver Medal from the Society of Illustrator’s Original Art exhibition, four starred reviews, Robert F. Sibert and Randolph Caldecott Honors, and a Coretta Scott King John Steptoe New Illustrator Award.
Accelerator artists will produce their final projects in Boston between June and October, 2018. Keep an eye out for our cohort in a neighborhood near you very soon. In the meantime, if you would like to recommend a space, issue or concept that our artists should address, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check back soon for more information on the artists, the program, and all we have in store for 2018. We are honored to be introducing this Accelerator to Boston and continuing to build a public art city together.