IN THE NEWS
Breathe life 3 coverage
Wonderland First Look At Rob 'ProBlak' Gibbs’ New Roxbury Mural 'Breathe Life 3'., May 31, 2019
“There’s things that need to be properly documented, for us by us,” Gibbs tells me, “…to encourage other young brothers and sisters coming up. This is me giving back.”
WBUR Rob 'Problak' Gibbs Breathes Life Onto The Walls Of A Changing Boston, June 5, 2019
All of Gibbs' “Breathe Life” murals feature thematically linked imagery, including meticulously detailed Afros and the blacks and deep violets of outer space. Gibbs’ murals explode from brick and stone, transforming walls into celestial depictions featuring black youth. In street art, “you’re told that black is a color you should stay away from,” Gibbs said. “I'm using it in a different context. It's not the absence of space. It's to open up into a different universe.”
Bay State Banner Breathe Life 3 — Rob Gibbs returns to Lower Roxbury with a new Mural, June 12, 2019
Gibbs hopes to spread delight through the neighborhood that turned him into one of Boston’s most prolific street artists. He says, “What’s the worst that can happen, you end up smiling? I wanted it to be something that’s as infectious as a yawn, something that was positively contagious.”
WGBH Boston Public Radio interview with Margery Eagan and Jared Bowen (2:25) June 13, 2019
Announcing our 2019 season new codes
common home coverage
The Boston Sun "Now + There Has Big Plans for the Upcoming Year," June 1, 2018
We are in this because we want public art to reach another level,” said Kate Gilbert, executive director of Now + There. “We are going to be a public art city – are you with me?
open house coverage
Delicious Line Review: Open House, August 20, 2018
Commonwealth Avenue Mall has been transformed…"Open House" could be the set of a fashion shoot, a puppet show, or a wrenching, unexpected breakup. Whatever happens, the carefully detailed artifacts, entombed in concrete, will literally have their days in the sun, casting a far different shadow in this narrow Boston park than they have elsewhere.
Boston Globe Four art installations in Greater-Boston you'll want to see, August 16, 2018
Liz Glynn’s “Open House,” brought here by the public art agency Now + There, gets entirely down to earth, casting furnishings and architectural details of a Gilded Age ballroom in concrete and placing them on the Commonwealth Avenue Mall. The work is…pointed about class, exclusion, and access. Embalming her ballroom and bringing it outside, Glynn employs materials familiar to housing developments, not posh estates.
Improper Bostonian Sitting Pretty, August 3, 2018
WGBH Boston Public Radio Get a Taste of the Gilded Age, August 3, 2018
In a new public art exhibit in Kenmore Square, the Gilded Age comes back to life.
WGBH Morning Edition Arts this week, August 2, 2018
Glynn recreates the opulent elements of that ballroom and opens it to the public in acknowledgment of rising income inequality. “It's been really a pleasure actually just seeing people lounging around on it,” says Glynn. “It's such a joy to see people that might not ever walk inside museum walls just walk up and use the work and be able to interact with art in a way that that feels very open.”
Wonderland Recreating A Gilded Age Ballroom Outdoors In Boston To Mull Our Economic Future, July 30, 2018
The artwork… places a group of cast-concrete copies of luxurious Louis the XIV sofas, footstools, chairs and arches into the plaza. The sculptural grouping can feel like a monument or a mausoleum. Or like the wealthy denizens of Wall Street have occupied the public promenade. “We’ve reached the type of economic inequality not seen since the Gilded Age and the economic thinking suggests the [income] gap is only going to grow greater,” Glynn says. “I’m not a policy-maker. I’m just an artist. It’s creating a space for everyone to ask these questions, like what kind of city does Boston want to be in the future?”
Boston Globe A new public art installation puts the ruins of a Gilded Age ballroom by Kenmore Square, July 27, 2018
“Nothing gold can stay,” wrote Robert Frost. Golden sunsets fade. Blond hair grays. And gilded ages end, corroding like cheap metal left outside too long. What remains when the gilding falls away? What do the ruins of an opulent epoch look like? Liz Glynn gives a glimpse in a new public art installation on the Commonwealth Avenue Mall, between Kenmore Street and Charlesgate West.
WBUR ARTery Art Installation In Kenmore Square Transforms An Opulent Ballroom Into A Ruin, July 26, 2018
[Glynn] has taken a symbol of American extravagance, of inaccessible wealth and transformed it into a space for all — a democratizing force.
Boston Magazine New Public Art Brings an Opulent Ballroom to the Comm. Ave. Mall, July 26, 2018
The title of Glynn’s exhibit, Open House, calls to mind the increasingly common for-sale signs littering lawns and sidewalks in cities all across the United States. Who can afford to be inside—let alone own—a space as opulent as a ballroom or a mansion these days?
Gone are the days of ornate gold-plated silken sofas, ushered out by the utility and practicality commonly seen in modern public housing. Instead, members of the public are welcome to take a seat—not a very comfortable seat, but a seat—on a chair or sofa and consider the dynamics of public and private space, wealth, and power.
Boston Sun "Braintree Native Creates Gilded Age, Concrete Furniture to Spark Conversation about Access to Space", July 13, 2018
The public is invited to not only come and sit on the furniture, but also begin to reflect on where we are right now in our socioeconomic times, and how closely the divide is today as it was in the Gilded Age when the ballroom that the artwork is referencing was created.
Delicious Line Stephanie Cardon: Unless Heather Kapplow, December 6, 2018
[Cardon’s] process is beautiful, both as it is visible in the final work, and as it is explained in the accompanying signage. The text wraps around the environment beyond the window, and the orange patchwork of squares glowing around the atrium puts the viewer gently inside a set of problems that can't be escaped by shopping.
NECN “UNLESS Urges Action on Climate Change,” November 21, 2018
Boston Day Book “UNLESS a Public Art Installation in the Prudential Center", Nov. 19, 2018
Boston-based artist Stephanie Cardon has transformed the lobby into a statement on sustainability, climate justice, and how working together can create positive change.
The Boston Sun - “Orange Neon Construction Netting Sparks Dialogue about Climate Justice,” November 15, 2018
DigBoston “UNLESS: Massive Piece of Art Tells Simple Message About Global Warming,” November 8, 2018.
Artist Stephane Cardon is using a large artwork to tell a simple message: Climate change is a pressing, unavoidable crisis that we must take fast action to remediate. Her 3,400-square-foot piece in the entryway of the Prudential Center uses vibrantly colored construction debris netting, a sustainable choice of material. Cardon is also a professor at MassArt, and she shared more about her exhibit with DigBoston.
Boston Art Review “Stephanie Cardon’s Massive Installation Calls for Climate Action At the Entrance to The Prudential Center,” October 27, 2018
A striking public art installation gives the main entrance of Boston’s Prudential Center a makeover as UNLESS, created by Stephanie Cardon…examines climate change as a social and economic crisis through material production and consumption. Upon my first interactions with UNLESS, I was struck by the impact of this massive installation in a commercial space.
Wonderland “Public Art In Prudential Center Atrium Is A Call To Halt Global Warming,” September 30, 2018
WBUR “10 Public Art Installations To See In Greater Boston This Fall,” September 27, 2018
“Unless” is the latest installation from public art curator Now+There. The piece, by Boston artist Stephanie Cardon, aims to highlight the urgency of the global climate crisis. It achieves this in part by being extremely hard to ignore…Made entirely out of recycled construction materials with the help of five MassArt students who were displaced from their homes during the Caribbean’s devastating 2017 hurricane season, “Unless” points to the human cost of global warming.
2018 Public Art Accelerator coverage
NewTV with Jay Sugarman - October, 2018
Wonderland "What Happens If You Plant 10,000 Sunflowers At The Heart Of Boston’s Black Community?," June 12, 2018
WBUR, The ARTery “10 Public Art Installations To See In Greater Boston This Fall,” September 27, 2018
Boston Globe Artist Ekua Holmes wants to plant hope all over Roxbury July 11, 2018
Bay State Banner Ekua Holmes illustrations to be featured in two new books and Sunflower Project August 29, 2018
Boston Globe Stephen Hamilton, The Founders Project August 11, 2018
WBUR, The ARTery This Artist reimagines Black and Brown Youth as Royalty November 15, 2018
WCVB TV, CityLine, The Founders Project December 2, 2018
WHDH, Urban Update, Sunday, January 6, 2019
Year of the Woman coverage
The Boston Globe "Best of the New: 19 new and fun things to do for families, couples, and singles," January 11
America’s women-driven political protests inspired “Year of the Woman,” art by mostly local female artists, shepherded by public art nonprofit Now and There.
Hyperallergic "Best of 2017: Our Top 20 Exhibitions Across the United States," December 21
One of Boston’s highlights this year was not a show exactly, but a series of public art projects (plus one indoor exhibit) assembled by nonprofit public art curator/producer Now + There. Under the overarching title Year of The Woman, and with a mission that included “lifting up community voices, and exploring the power of female resilience and creativity,” Now + There commissioned two large-scale mural projects; a multimedia storytelling project in a shipping container; and a gallery exhibition laser-focused on women artists “fiercely committed to non-traditional, collaborative artistic practices.”
Take Magazine "Honoring Generous Lives," October 9
Elisa H. Hamilton is a space maker. The Boston-based multimedia artist focuses on shared narratives and the inherent joy in the everyday. Her latest project, Slideshow, celebrates ten of the “ordinary extraordinary” women living around the city she calls home. Made for HUBweek 2017 in collaboration with Now + There, a nonprofit dedicated to creating meaningful public art in Greater Boston, Slideshow fuses art and technology in an intimate expression of community.
Patterned behavior coverage
WBUR Artery "Another Mural Pops Up In Boston — This One Painted Entirely By Women," September 12
With brushes and rollers, women stand on ladders and crouch near the ground to apply bright paints to a dreary concrete wall along the Esplanade. A lot of women, actually.
“Some people stopped to ask if it was an all-female construction crew,” says local artist Silvia López Chavez.
The Beacon Hill Times "Colorful Mural Comes to the Charles River Esplanade," September 7
The Chelsea Record "Chelsea Artist is Highlighted in New Mural on the Charles River Esplanade," September 8
What was once a dark, graffiti-ridden, sore patch along the beautiful Esplanade is in the midst of being rejuvenated through a colorful, dynamic mural that is currently in the works.
The brightly colored mural will reflect the daily cacophony of fast paced bicyclists, skaters, joggers, boat traffic, and the rhythm of vehicles that pass daily along the Charles River Esplanade.
The Boston Globe "The Esplanade Gets its First Mural," September 6
Bikers and joggers along the Charles River Esplanade may have noticed some new additions to the pillars just west of the Massachusetts Avenue bridge — a heron spreading its wings over red and orange stripes, a turquoise cloud bursting with black dots and a yellow paper airplane soaring under Charlesgate.
And finally, around the corner — an explosion of colors, impossible to ignore.
The Boston Sun "Colorful, Dynamic Mural Comes to the Charles River Esplanade," August 31
What was once a dark, graffiti-ridden, sore patch along the beautiful Esplanade is in the midst of being rejuvenated through a colorful, dynamic mural that is currently in the works.
The brightly colored mural will reflect the daily cacophony of fast paced bicyclists, skaters, joggers, boat traffic, and the rhythm of vehicles that pass daily along the Charles River Esplanade.
Boston Metro "New mural along Charles River will help revitalize Esplanade," August 24
Thousands of drivers, cyclists and pedestrians go past the Bowker Overpass on the Esplanade every day, but soon, there will be a reason for them to stop and stare.
Curbed Boston "Charles River Esplanade’s first commissioned artwork: ‘Patterned Behavior’," August 23
The Charles River Esplanade will soon get its first-ever commissioned work of public art.
Boston artist Silvia López Chavez will take about three weeks to finish what she’s calling “Patterned Behavior,” a colorful mural meant to reflect “the daily cacophony of fast paced bicyclists, skaters, joggers, boat traffic, and the rhythm of traffic that pass daily along the Charles River Esplanade,” according to the Esplanade Association, the nonprofit that maintains the ribbon of waterfront park.
Boston Magazine "The Charles River Esplanade Is Getting a Fancy New Mural," August 22
The Esplanade Association has announced plans for a mural on the Esplanade. The new art, the first-ever professional mural along the Esplanade, was designed by Silvia Lopez Chavez and is called “Patterned Behavior.” It will adorn the Bowker Overpass. The painting process will start shortly, and the artwork will remain in place for two years.
SEE HER COVERAGE
WCVB Boston Cityline "See Her & New Beginnings," original air date October 22
The See Her Mural by Ann Lewis helps start dialogue about female incarceration. New Beginnings Re-Entry Services, Inc. seeks to support women re-entering society. Together they are a group of women helping other women who need it most.
WBUR Morning Edition "'Just Give Us A Chance': South End Mural Aims To Evoke Empathy For Incarcerated Women," July 19
Women transitioning out of prison face many obstacles, like finding employment. In Boston's South End, an artist is bringing attention to incarcerated women by confronting passersby with a vivid image of one. WBUR's arts reporter Maria Garcia reports for Morning Edition.
WBUR Artery "How The Problem Of Mass Incarceration Inspired A New South End Mural," July 19
Ann Lewis had been checking her phone to keep an eye on the weather forecast for the day. A storm was due around mid afternoon. And the artist, visiting Boston from her home in Detroit, needed to make sure the polyurethane she was using to seal a four-story mural would have a couple hours to dry before the rain hit.
The mural, called “See Her” at 808 Tremont St. in Boston's South End, is a portrait of a woman with curious mechanical-looking rings hiding one eye. A maze of lines runs diagonally up from the bottom. Decode it and it spells out the word “Choice.” Lewis’ inspiration behind the mural is the mass incarceration of African-Americans, many for minor drug charges.
Big Red & Shiny "Activist Artist: An Interview with Ann Lewis," July 18
Earlier this spring, Ann Lewis drove from Detroit to Boston to create a four-story mural. This wasn't just any mural. Lewis would paint the mural on a building in Boston's historic South End and would work with residents of the McGrath House (a re-entry residence run by Community Resources for Justice for formerly imprisoned females) to create its design. Over two workshops, the women created collages from Lewis's prompts for them: "Who I Am Now” and “Who I Want To Be In The Future.” From those collages Lewis created See Her, a black, white, red, and gray mural focused on an image of Laura, one of the women from McGrath House.
I spoke with Lewis a few weeks ago to discuss her previous works (which include installation, painting, and performance), as well as her process and thematic focus of See Her.
The Boston Sun "Ann Lewis Puts Finishing Touches on Mural in South End," July 14
On a hot, sunny afternoon on Monday, June 26, artist and activist Ann Lewis was hard at work putting up the finishing touches on her mural See Her that showcases the hopes, doubts and humanity of the incarcerated women of the McGrath House.
Commissioned by Now + There, this temporary mural reflects the specific realities, desires, and decisions facing women transitioning out of prison.
The Bay State Banner "Brushstrokes behind bars: Muralist works with and for incarcerated women" , July 13
Last week artist and activist Ann Lewis began work on “See Her,” a public mural at 808 Tremont Street in Boston’s South End. The temporary mural, up until October 2018, is being created in partnership with the women of the McGrath House, a reentry facility where incarcerated women serve the final six months of their prison sentences. In this way, the creation of the mural serves as both a rehabilitation tool and a commentary on our culture of incarceration.
The Boston Globe, "A South End mural makes a big impact," July 5
Laura Minot shielded her eyes from the afternoon sun and gazed up at the 45-feet-tall mural. The focal point of the piece — a blown-up photo of her face that had been glued to the wall — was missing, a casualty of a bad storm a few days before.
Still, the artwork was much bigger than she expected.
“I didn’t realize it was this public,” Minot said. “At first I was a little nervous, but I was OK with it in the end because I’ll stand up for women all day long.”
Artnet News, "A New Boston Mural Highlights the Voices of Incarcerated Women," July 5
A new mural in Boston is shining a light both on mass incarceration and issues facing women. Detroit artist Ann Lewis created the piece based on the stories of women who have been in prison, holding art-making workshops with them in preparation for the project.
The Boston Sun, "SELC Approves Temporary Mural," June 16
A barren, graffiti riddled wall located on the border of the South End and Lower Roxbury, will soon be home to a temporary mural. The South End Landmarks Commission (SELC) gave the final approval for a temporary mural on the south facing façade of 808 Tremont Street.
PUBLIC TRUST COVERAGE
The Boston Globe, "Public art project to explore the nature of trust," August 23
Is your word really your bond?
The question lies at the heart of “Public Trust,” an interactive public art project that over the next three weeks will set up shop at various locations around Greater Boston. Conceived by Brooklyn-based artist Paul Ramírez Jonas, the collaborative project asks participants not merely to consider the meaning of their words, but also to ponder the use (and, let’s face it, during this singular election cycle, abuse) of that most essential social currency: the promise.
Boston Neighborhood Network News, "New Public Art Project Starts Aug. 27," August 23
Kate Gilbert of There + Now talks about a new public art project--"Public Trust"-- that will post a changing set of promises in Dudley Square, then at two other locations. Interview for BNN News.
WGBH Boston Public Radio, "A New Public Art Project Asks: What Does It Mean To Make A Promise?," August 30
At first glance, one of these things is not like the others: "Pope promises to visit Italian quake victims." "New Massachusetts Law Promises Gender Pay Equality." "I promise to listen more and eat better."
The first two are headlines that could be ripped from any newspaper in America over the last few days. The last one is a pledge made by an individual. But all three represent promises—and all could be found in artist Paul Ramirez Jonas's interactive public art project in Dudley Square, "Public Trust."
The Boston Sun, "An Interactive Public Artwork 'Words Matter' Travels through Boston," September 1
Standing out in Dudley Square, is a large 16 by 16 foot billboard with black lettering on a white backdrop reading the time, weather, and headlines including “Pope Pledges to visit Italian Quake Victims” and “New Mass Law Promises Gender Pay Equality” that has passerby’s curious.
Universal Hub, "Public Pledges in Dudley Square," September 1
Through tomorrow, Now and There is sponsoring Ramirez Jonas to compile pledges of all sorts on a sign board outside the BPL branch in Dudley Square.
Jewish Boston, "Vows for a New Year, On a Billboard," September 2
Cruise through Boston and you’ll see an enormous, slightly mysterious billboard in Kendall and Copley squares. No, it’s not a Herb Chambers ad: The billboard showcases public declarations of trust pulled from the day’s headlines, whether it’s Mick Jagger promising to support his eighth child or a company pledging equal pay for equal work. The billboard will stay in each neighborhood for a week at a time, with a twist.
WCVB 5 CityLine, "Fall into Art," September 4
Now + There and PUBLIC TRUST on view now through September 17 in Dudley, Kendall, and Copley Squares.
Bay State Banner, "Pinky Promise," September 6
In a world of 24-hour news cycles and questionable PR statements, it’s increasingly difficult to know who, and how, to trust. Paul Ramirez Jonas’ public art piece “Public Trust,” in collaboration with public art organization Now and There, examines what it means to make promises in contemporary society. The traveling installation features a 16-foot-high board that features daily promises from media sources. Individuals can come, speak with the artist, and make their own promise that is then temporarily displayed at the center of the board.
WBUR's The Artery, "New Interactive Public Art Installation Asks Us To Consider The Meaning Of A Promise," September 12
When Melania Trump stared straight into the camera and said, “My word is my bond,” and those words were stolen — whose bond was it? Were the words binding at all? Did that constitute a public promise? What value do any of our words have, and has that value wavered over time?
Hyperallergic, "Building Public Trust Through Individual Promises," September 12
BOSTON — Paul Ramirez Jonas has challenged the idea of public space — and how it is demarcated from the private — throughout his 25-year career of making highly formal participatory work. In his latest project, Public Trust, Jonas thrusts public spaces, and the populaces who inhabit them, into the form, function, and force of his work. Installed at three different public squares around Boston over a three-week period until September 17, Public Trust is heavily orchestrated and theatrical, relying on a troupe of artists to enact it and engage with the public in a kind of social contract.
Art New England, "Paul Ramirez Jonas: Public Trust," September 13
Internationally acclaimed artist Paul Ramirez Jonas has returned to Boston this summer following his 2005 Cambridge-based project, Taylor Square. Taylor Square operated through public participation; Ramirez Jonas mailed 5,000 gate keys to residents living near the minuscule, enclosed-yet-public Taylor Square park and encouraged them to copy and share those keys, thus creating a real sense of public ownership for the park. Likewise, Public Trust exists through public engagement.
Press Contact: Barbara Quiroga
“SEE HER,” A COLLABORATIVE MURAL IN BOSTON
LIFTS UP STORIES OF INCARCERATED WOMEN
Boston, MA (June 20, 2017) - - - Artist activist Ann Lewis begins work this week on See Her, a new public mural in Boston’s South End at 808 Tremont Street, a property owned and managed by The Community Builders adjacent to the historic People’s Baptist Church of Boston. The public is invited to stop by the mural site through the month of June and watch the process unfold.
See Her, a temporary mixed-media mural, was conceived by Lewis and created in collaboration with women at the McGrath House, a reentry facility where incarcerated women serve the final six months of their prison sentences. McGrath House is a program of Community Resources for Justice (CRJ). The mural was commissioned by Boston non-profit Now + There, known for its temporary, site-specific public artworks. See Her is the first artwork in Now + There’s Year of the Woman programming.
“This piece aims to champion feminist expressions in the realm of public art by supporting a female artist, lifting up community voices, and exploring the power of female resilience and creativity,” stated Now + There Executive Director Kate Gilbert. “We are proud to support Lewis’ vision which emphasizes the power of the choices we make every day.”
Lewis is known for delving courageously and unabashedly into the heart of pressing social issues. Trained in both graphic and fine art, the artist will use photographic imagery and paint in creating the 42’x38’ mural which will reflect on the inherent worth, strength and potential of women. “With my work See Her, I am asking viewers to look past their presumptions and see the human, the woman looking back at them,” Lewis said. “We cannot face the challenge of mass incarceration without first recognizing the value of those entrenched in our criminal justice system.”
Lisa Chute, Assistant Program Director at McGrath House, said that Lewis’ work with residents of the reentry center was a “perfect partnership.” “The women will see this mural on display in their community and know that they helped to create it. It’s a huge validation and a testament to their creativity and perseverance.”
“As part of the South End for more than 50 years, The Community Builders is thrilled to host this powerful mural at our South End Apartments development.
The public art will be a vibrant addition to the neighborhood for residents and neighbors to enjoy,” said Stephanie Anderson Garrett, vice president of communications and fund development. The public is encouraged to join in the conversation with the artist and Now + There through social media. Limited edition signed prints of the mural will be available for purchase with a portion of the proceeds supporting CRJ. To learn more visit http://www.nowandthere.org/.
Ann Lewis’ practice takes the form of street murals, community organizing, curatorial projects, and site-specific installations. Her work is about motivating social change within communities and championing those who are disempowered. In early 2014, while based in New York City, Lewis garnered national media attention when she installed an oversized police tape banner that read ‘GENTRIFICATION IN PROGRESS’ at the former graffiti mecca 5 Pointz in Queens, New York. In the fall of 2015, she was asked by the Obama administration to exhibit her work at the White House to discuss equality and mass incarceration. (www.annlew.is)
Community Resources for Justice (CRJ) has been improving public safety for more than 135 years, helping some of our society's most challenged individuals develop their full potential. CRJ works to help men and women leaving incarceration to successfully re-enter mainstream society, steers at-risk youth toward productive lives, and offers adults with developmental disabilities the chance to flourish while living in the community. CRJ maintains a national-scale research and consulting practice, the Crime and Justice Institute, which works with local, state, and national criminal justice organizations to improve public safety and the delivery of justice. (www.crj.org)
The Community Builders, Inc. (TCB) is one of America’s leading nonprofit real estate developers and owners. Our mission is to build and sustain strong communities where people of all incomes can achieve their full potential. We realize our mission by developing, financing and operating high-quality housing and implementing neighborhood-based models that drive economic opportunity for our residents. Since 1964, we have constructed or preserved hundreds of affordable and mixed-income housing developments and secured billions of dollars in project financing from public and private sources. Today, we own or manage 11,000 apartments in 14 states. We are headquartered in Boston with regional hubs in Chicago and Washington, D.C. (www.tcbinc.org)
Now + There is a non-profit organization dedicated to creating temporary, site specific and impactful public art projects in Greater Boston. Its mission is to deliver thought-provoking, public art projects that advance new definitions of public art, acculturate Boston to the cultural, social and economic benefits of art, and help define Boston's essential public art identity (www.nowandthere.org)
# # #
Contact: Barbara Quiroga T: 617.413.3888
PAUL RAMIREZ JONAS’ “Public Trust” HONORED TODAY
BY AMERICANS FOR THE ARTS AS OUTSTANDING PUBLIC ART PROJECT
WASHINGTON, DC (June 16, 2017) - - - Paul Ramirez Jonas’ interactive, temporary work, “Public Trust,” was honored today at Americans for the Arts’ 2017 Annual Convention in San Francisco as an outstanding public art project. Commissioned in 2016 by Boston non-profit Now + There, “Public Trust” is among the winning roster of 49 projects chosen from 325 entries nationwide by a jury through the Public Art Network Year in Review program. Public Art Network (PAN) is the only national program that specifically recognizes the most compelling public art and is the only professional network in the US dedicated to advancing public art.
During the early Fall of 2016, “Public Trust,” took center stage in three Greater Boston locations: Dudley Square, Kendall Square, and Copley Square. Created by Brooklyn artist Paul Ramirez Jonas, this interactive artwork asked the public to consider the meaning of a promise during a time when words especially mattered – at the height of the 2016 presidential campaign. From August 27 to September 17, Ramirez Jonas and a team of artist ambassadors set up a 16’ billboard of constantly changing pledges taken from the day’s headlines. Promises were collected from nearly 1000 individuals. Each individual’s promise was added to the marquee, alongside the promises and pledges from world leaders, politicians and celebrities taken from that day’s news. Regardless of age, status, or race, Greater Boston residents, students, and tourists added to the “Public Trust” artwork. Together, artists and the public created a piece of art about promises, those contracts we with make with each other and with ourselves, and the potent speech acts that keep a society together. “Public Trust” was made possible by a generous donation from the Lewis Family Foundation. To read all the promises made and experience the power of “Public Trust” Click Here to purchase the book.
On hearing the news, Kate Gilbert, Executive Director of N+T said, “Public Trust” gave Bostonians an opportunity to take part in a national conversation in a very personal way. I’m thrilled that Ramirez Jonas’s work has been recognized by Americans for the Arts for its ability to spark a conversation and change hearts and minds.”
“These selected works reflect the incredible diversity of public art projects, including temporary to permanent, sculpture to performance art,” said Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. “The -more- innovation of work demonstrated in the Public Art Network Year in Review shows the breadth of talent from artists around the country. I congratulate them and their commissioning groups for these community treasures.” The art works selected for the Public Art Network Year in Review can be seen on this page. The complete presentation, which includes photos and descriptions of the 49 works, is available for purchase through Americans for the Arts’ store.
The Public Art Network is a program of Americans for the Arts, designed to provide services to the diverse field of public art and to develop strategies and tools to improve communities through public art. The network’s constituents are public art professionals, visual artists, design professionals, and communities and organizations planning public art projects and programs.
Americans for the Arts is the leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education in America. With offices in Washington, D.C., and New York City, it has a record of more than 55 years of service. Americans for the Arts is dedicated to representing and serving local communities and creating opportunities for every American to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts. Additional information is available at www.AmericansForTheArts.org.
Now + There is a non-profit organization dedicated to creating temporary, site specific and impactful public art projects in Greater Boston. Its mission is to deliver thought-provoking, public art projects that advance new definitions of public art, acculturate Boston to the cultural, social and economic benefits of art, and help define Boston's essential public art identity. (www.nowandthere.org)
Contact: Barbara Quiroga T: 617.413.3888
Now + There presents
Paul Ramirez Jonas’ newest artwork, Public Trust
August 27 – September 17, 2016
Boston, MA -- (July 29, 2016) --- Bostonians will soon see a large billboard (16’x16’) installed in three Greater Boston neighborhoods: Dudley Square, Kendall Square, and Copley Square. The billboard is part of Paul Ramirez Jonas's newest artwork, Public Trust, an interactive sculpture of changing promises. Public Trust asks us to make a promise and to think about the value of our words. This temporary artwork gives voice to the community and was commissioned by Now + There, one of Boston’s most compelling new arts organizations.
Opening first in Dudley Square on August 27, Public Trust will remain in each community for one week. For 21 consecutive days, artist Paul Ramirez Jonas will ask us to consider the nature of promises, the potent speech acts that keep a society together. People of all ages are invited to make a promise that the artist will record in a contract, a drawing they can keep. The promise is then “published” on the large billboard in context with promises made by our politicians, scientists, economists, even weather forecasters, all chosen daily from headline news. Thirteen Boston artist-ambassadors, trained by Ramirez Jonas, will help facilitate the process.
Public Trust was created specifically for Boston. It is free and open to everyone, eight hours a day. This public artwork is supported by The Lewis Family Foundation, which believes that our communities grow stronger through artistic expression.
Now + There Director Kate Gilbert states, “Public Trust prompts us to consider the impact of our words; how they define us, and how they can build community.” Ramirez Jonas adds, “Public Trust asks us to examine what we can make with our words; what is the nature of promises, what can be kept, what is legally binding, what is a fact, what will never come true, and what is the nature of our values.”
Public Trust - Locations and Dates:
August 27 – Sept 2: Dudley Square (Roxbury), the center of Roxbury’s black culture, at the Dudley Branch of the Boston Public Library, 65 Warren Street (Dudley Station, MBTA Silver Line).
September 3 – 9: Kendall Square (Cambridge), in the nexus of innovation, technology and entrepreneurship, 315 Main Street (Kendall/MIT, MBTA Red Line).
September 11 – 17: Copley Square (Boston), surrounded by iconic landmarks including Trinity Church and the Central Library in Copley Square, the nation’s first large, free municipal library, 560 Boylston Street (Boylston, MBTA Green Line).
Now + There is a non-profit organization dedicated to redefining public art by creating impactful, temporary, and site-specific public art projects in Greater Boston. Its mission is to advance new definitions of public art, acculturate Boston to the cultural, social and economic benefits of art, and help define Boston's essential public art identity.
The Lewis Family Foundation seeks to empower young people, develop courageous citizens and leaders, level the playing field for educational and job opportunities, and create strong strategic alliances. The Lewis Family Foundation believes that our communities grow stronger through artistic expression.
More about the artist: Public Trust is consistent with Ramirez Jonas’s interest in public spaces, and language as contract. Past projects include his popular 2010 “Key To The City,” developed for Creative Time in cooperation with the City of New York, where the artist distributed 20,000 keys that opened twenty private and public spaces that together formed a portrait of urban public space. Ramirez Jonas is no stranger to Boston. The artist has one permanent work in Cambridge, MA at Taylor Square, where neighbors have been bestowing the power of the key to a tiny park through Ramirez Jonas’s 2005 project, “Taylor Square.” Read more here.
Over the past 25 years, Paul Ramirez Jonas has sought to challenge the definitions of art and the public and to engineer active audience participation and exchange. He often asks participants to contribute something: spare change, a wish, their own version of history. This reciprocity is a manifestation of trust and a social contract through which the viewer and artist create meaning. He is represented by Nara Roesler Gallery (Sao Paulo) and Koenig & Clinton Gallery (NYC).
# # #
IN THE NEWS
BOSTON PROPERTIES FINDS ART IS KEY
Boston Properties (BP) has entered into the public art realm at the request of tenants in its 200 Clarendon Street Tower.
Gilbert said the portraits of locals and commuters at Back Bay Station were a contrast to the unrecognizable figure on the tower.
"It was nice to add a local component to this otherwise international artist," she said.
Download the PDF version for the full story.
Frias, Jordan. "Boston Properties Finds Art Is Key" The Boston Courant [Boston] 13 Nov. 2015: A1. Print.
The new face OF PUBLIC ART
Cassandra Selmon watched from a bench at the Dudley branch of the Boston Public Library as volunteers dragged brushes slathered with a paste across an image of her face on the building’s wall.
Satisfied with the portrait’s position, the volunteers quickly moved on to the next picture: a candid shot of Selmon’s goddaughter, Kimberly Wade, her fist beneath her chin.
Then they pasted the next image, the face of a man whom Selmon thought she recognized from the neighborhood.
Annear, Steve. "‘Inside Out’ Art Project Puts Murals of Residents’ Faces onto Public Buildings." Boston Globe [Boston] 06 Oct. 2015: B4. Print.
Artist Behind Mural On Former Hancock Building Wants To Take Your Photo
The secretive street artist behind the giant photo-mural that appeared high up on the side of the former Hancock Building in late September has another project coming to Boston.
On Wednesday, Oct. 7, a delivery truck with a photobooth inside will be at the Dudley branch of the Boston Public Library to take photos of visitors from about 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The “Inside Out Photobooth” is one of a number of photo trucks stationed around the globe that the French street artist JR...
Read the rest on WBUR's ARTery.
Cook, Greg. "Artist Behind Mural On Former Hancock Building Wants To Take Your Photo." The ARTery. WBUR, 05 Oct. 2015. Web.
April 7, 2015
Where’s the Art? Exploring the spectrum of public art practices
Free public art panel co-sponsored by New England Foundation for the Arts, Now and There, and Boston Center for the Arts during ArtWeek Boston
(Boston, MA) New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA), Now and There and Boston Center for the Arts (BCA) are pleased to present Where’s the Art?, a panel on May 6 that brings together artists with designers for a healthy discussion about the many definitions of public art and what we can do to support more public art in our communities.
“We are delighted to support this conversation and join forces with organizations that nurture artists and artistic practice in Boston,” said Cathy Edwards, Executive Director, NEFA.
Featured panelists include Cedric Douglas, artist and creator of the mobile art lab Up Truck; Megan McMillan educator, writer, sculptor who with her partner Murray recently completed a project for Toronto’s Nuit Blanche; Liz Nofziger, creator of “Bounce,” the community-sized ping pong table at the BCA; and Rob Trumbour, a principal at the public art and architecture collective Artforming.
The panel is coordinated and moderated by Kate Gilbert of the recently launched Now and There, a non-profit dedicated to creating temporary and site specific projects for, and with, the community of Boston. Says Gilbert, “In the discussion of place-making and art-in-the-public-realm it often seems like the philosophies and interests of artists are left in the shadows.”
Veronique Le Melle, President and CEO Boston Center for the Arts noted, “The BCA represents the intersection of artist and audience, what better setting for a conversation on place-making. We are pleased to partner with Now and There and NEFA to bring this conversation to the community.”
WHAT: Where’s the Art? exploring the spectrum of public art practices
DATE: May 6, 2015
LOCATION: Plaza Theatre at the Boston Center for the Arts, 539 Tremont St Boston, MA, 02116
Where’s the Art? is a free event but registration is required. Visit http://www.nowandthere.org/events/ to register and for more information.
ABOUT THE CO-SPONSORS:
NEFA builds connections among artists, arts organizations, and funders, powering the arts to energize communities in New England, the nation, and the world. NEFA is a nonprofit that operates in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the New England state arts agencies, with additional funding from foundations, corporations, individuals and other government agencies. Part of NEFA’s Public Art program, the Fund for the Arts supports nonprofits for artist selection and implementation of new site specific works. www.nefa.org
Now and There is a non-profit organization dedicated to creating impactful public art projects in Greater Boston. Formerly UrbanArts, Now and There delivers thought-provoking, public art projects that advance new definitions of public art, acculturate Boston to the cultural, social and economic benefits of art, and help define Boston's essential public art identity. www.nowandthere.org
Boston Center for the Arts (BCA) is a not-for profit performing and visual arts complex that supports working artists to create, perform and exhibit new works; builds new audiences; and connects art to community. The BCA serves arts audiences through exhibitions, live performances and community events, and supports artists through affordable studio, rehearsal and performance space on the historic South End site. The BCA’s two-acre campus is home to hundreds of working artists, as well as several nonprofit arts and educational groups that provide a wide spectrum of services. www.bcaonline.org
ABOUT THE ARTISTS:
Cedric Douglas is an artist and designer, who combines the use of idea, graffiti ideology and raw creativity to connect, inspire, and interact with the community. Douglas is inspired by public art because of its accessibility. His latest project, The UpTruck is a mobile arts lab that was created to engage residents in a co-visioned, co-created process leading to a final design and implementation of a permanent art structure for the Uphams Corner Community. www.theuptruck.com
Megan McMillan, artist, writer and SMFA faculty member together with her partner Murray McMillan create a blend of installation, video, performance and photography. The McMillans recently created “The Shifting Space Around Us” for Toronto’s Nuit Blanche and “What We Loved and Forgot: Installation” for Boston's Lawn on D inaugural season. www.meganandmurraymcmillan.com
Liz Nofziger brought “Bounce”, a colorful, interactive outdoor installation to the BCA plaza last summer as part of the BCA's Temporary Public Art Residency program. Made up of three conjoined, regulation-sized ping pong tables, custom-engineered to form an oversized Community Ping Pong Court the project added a sculpture presence to the plaza as well as sheer delight to all who played on it. www.nofzilla.com
Rob Trumbour is an architect, educator at Wentworth Institute of Technology and Design Principal at Artforming. Artforming is a Boston-based collective of artists, educators and design professionals whose mission is rooted in the conception, fabrication, and installation of multi-sensory public art and architecture intended to foster individual contemplation and open public dialog. www.artforming.org
Artists’ images furnished upon request.
ArtWeek Boston is an initiative of the Citi Performing Arts Center, whose mission is to be a champion for nonprofit innovation in Boston and provide arts and entertainment to the greater community. ArtWeek Boston is a twice-annual 10-day collection of events throughout the city that features unexpected and creative experiences that are interactive or offer behind-the-scenes access to artists or the creative process. Spring ArtWeek will be May 1–10. www.artweekboston.org
Contact: Kate Gilbert, 617.283.1841