"A vision of what women artists can do for our city..."

VALUING ONE WOMAN’S VISION

Dynamic and full of life, Silvia Lopez Chavez is the second featured artist in our Year of the Woman programming and we, along with the Esplanade Association, are elated that we can give her a long-overdue opportunity to manifest her vision to it’s fullest expression.

 Photo credit: Dominic Chavez

Photo credit: Dominic Chavez

With each new Year of the Woman project, we seek to bring people who have traditionally been left out of the art world into the spotlight. Both Ann and Silvia bring the voices and perspectives of marginalized groups into their art. This, of course, means bringing themselves into the work as well.

"This mural represents all the colorful people from Boston.” - Silvia Lopez Chavez in The Boston Globe

Patterned Behavior is a counterbalance to the first #YOWArtists project, See Her, by Ann Lewis.

Lewis began her process by first identifying a critical social issue (the rights of incarcerated women), selecting a community partner and collaborators (CRJ the women of McGrath House) and then selected a site her collaborators would see every day (808 Tremont Street). Her participatory process and the resulting 3-story mural motivates us to work for change and understanding.

 Photo credit: Dominic Chavez

Photo credit: Dominic Chavez

Patterned Behavior, on the other hand, is site-specific — inspired by the patterns of people using the Esplanade — and the expression of one artist. It is a piece that reflects a deep pride of place and seeks to bring joy to all who walk (or bike, or scooter through) the path where it lives. It turns a space designed with cars in mind back into a place for people.

“Not everybody uses the Esplanade for recreational purposes, and we want people interested in arts and culture to come into the park as well,” Crimmins said. “The more a park is used, it adds to people’s quality of life. We’re very lucky in Boston with all the green space that we have.” - Jennifer Crimmins, Executive Director, Esplanade Association for the Boston Metro

But, both See Her and Patterned Behavior are examples of what contemporary, public art can be and the many ways it can catalyze a community. There are no boundaries with this kind of art making, only connections to be made and built upon.

Boston is quickly catching up to cities like Cambridge, Lynn, Salem, and Worcester which embrace murals as a way to reflect the culture and contemporary attitudes. Eye-catching murals are popping up in unexpected places — most recently in the Underground at Ink Block — and it just may be that the seeming "mural mania” is a harbinger of more public art to come. We hope so! Being part of the grassroots effort to produce and promote contemporary public art in Boston puts Now + There and the artists we support in a position to engage in current events and cultural change.

"It’s crucial in Boston, Kate Gilbert said, to show that public art is more than just the historic statues so frequent in our city. Art gives people a way to think about public spaces differently, she said, and create places where people can connect. [It's] estimated that 100,000 people will be able to see the new mural, from vehicles, bike traffic and foot traffic." - Boston Metro

We are proud in our role as public art facilitator in this dynamic partnership between an arts organization, an artist and a service organization to render our relationships with local artists and our knowledge of the public art process in Boston to bring high-quality, contemporary art to a well-known, well-travelled, and well-loved part of the city. With the support of the Esplanade Association’s powerful fundraising effort, we maximized the potential impact of the work and the city at large. And we proved that collaborative partnerships do work!