Looking back and ahead, a New Year's greeting from Director Kate Gilbert. In a decade from now when Greater Boston is a must-see destination for public art enthusiasts I believe we’ll look back at 2015 as a pivotal year. 2015: the year public art became an integral part of the re/development of engaging public spaces, the year when artwork selection processes shifted from juried to curated, and the year we learned to balance spectacle and civic engagement.
What comes to mind when you think about public art in Boston? Boston is a city rich in history, but also in imagination. We’re a mecca for start-ups and people who believe anything is possible. We know how to have fun too! Does our art reflect that?
It's starting to. Whimsical public art is reinvigorating the cities public spaces and gaining national attention: from Höweler + Yoon Architecture’s iconic Swing Time at the Lawn on D, to Janet Echelman’s ethereal sculpture on the Greenway, to Figment’s upcoming Giant Typewriter. As part of our mission to help Boston define its public art identity, Now +There joined forces with theBoston Society of Architects and the D Street ArtLAB at the Lawn on D for "Play in Public Art," a conversation with the artists, architects, and citizens who are making public art happen in Boston.
In an art town as small as Boston, worlds often collide. Recently N+T’s own Kate Gilbert sat down with fellow SMFA alum Thomas Stevenson to discuss his latest project, “Living Room”, commissioned by theLawn on D at Gilbert’s suggestion. The following is an excerpt of the conversation between artist and curator about how “Living Room” came to be, about fear in public spaces, and about learning to be flexible when you come upon big rocks in your tiny sandbox.