Slideshow, 2017 by Elisa Hamilton

Putting gutsy, generous, every day lives on view

In the Fall of 2017, Now + There commissioned artist Elisa H. Hamilton to create Slideshow, a multi-media project for HUBWeek's free event space on Boston’s City Hall Plaza. Using photography, analog slides, and storytelling, Hamilton and ten other Boston-area women put their gutsy, generous, every day lives on view to the public. This group — entrepreneurs, activists, educators and artists — are the heart and soul of Slideshow. 

Originally commissioned for HUBWeek 2017, Slideshow is a communal storytelling and photography series. The original iteration featured curated slide talks and an interactive photo exhibit created by the artist and ten Boston-area women. Each talk featured 25 images representing a week in the presenter's life. 

 Photo by Jean Hangarter

Photo by Jean Hangarter

stagg-giuliano-photography

UPCOMING:


On March 24, 2018, Elisa Hamilton and the ten original women will reunite as part of the Life in Stories Festival, at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum to create an intimate, communal story-sharing space in the Museum’s Living Room.

“By reconnecting with analog technology that we can touch and hold, we are reminded of how, in its time, the original slideshow allowed the exchange of ideas in a whole new way. Slideshow provides an entry point to public consciousness and conversation about our universal connections to one another and how we can bridge gaps through sharing, listening, empathy, and dialogue.” — Elisa H. Hamilton

This project was produced in conjunction with HUBWeek.

Thrive, 2017

Supporting women and feminist expressions. 

Thrive was a co-curated exhibition at The Beehive, in Boston, MA from September 13 — October 18, 2017 in celebration of the restaurant's 10th anniversary.

The eighteen paintings, photographs, and sculptures in Thrive championed feminist expressions in their subject matter and represented artists who are fiercely committed to non-traditional, collaborative artistic practices.

The eight artists in this all-female exhibition were chosen for the mastery of their craft, their stunning aesthetic, and their convictions. The works in this exhibition explore the power of female resilience and creativity—whether they are supporting incarcerated women, drawing attention to our impact on the environment, or lifting up the voices of underrepresented women. The exhibition artists support the production of knowledge that refuses to be reproduced in the dominant white cultural structure. Their work promotes social change and a world in which we can all thrive.

Thrive artist included Ann Lewis, Rania MatarMaria MolteniChanel Thervil, Silvia López ChavezElisa H. Hamilton, Evelyn Rydz, and the Safarani Sisters (Farzaneh and Bahareh Safarani).

 

Thrive was co-curated by Jennifer Epstein and Kate Gilbert, founder and director of Now + There, and is part of Now + There’s Year of the Woman programming. The exhibition takes its name from one of the works in the exhibition, a word hidden in Ann Lewis’ collage “Objects of a Dehumanized World”.  

Cover image: detail of "Shannon, Boston Massachusetts, 2010"  by Rania Matar; courtesy of Carroll and Sons.

Public Trust Panel & Book Launch, 2017

 

On March 6, 2017 at District Hall in Boston's Seaport, with artist Paul Ramirez Jonas and the artist ambassadors, participants, and volunteers of Public Trust, we reflected on the 956 promises spoken, drawn in a contract, displayed on a billboard and now collected in print as the Public Trust book.

Audiences viewed the moving Public Trust documentary from RAVA Films. Paul Ramirez Jonas and panel of participants and artist ambassadors including Jimena Bermejo Black, Furen Dai, Maria Finkelmeier, Silvi Naci, Chanel Thervil, and Graham Yeager spoke with moderator Dan Byers, Mannion Family Senior Curator at the ICA, about their experiences making and facilitating promises during the 21-day run of Public Trust.

 Watching  Public Trust , the documentary.

Watching Public Trust, the documentary.

Together, we looked critically at the promises made and their journey from hearts, to drawings, to a billboard and, now, to print. Among the evening’s highlights were surprises like that of participant Marcia, when she learned that the artist ambassadors facilitating each promise were scripted.

“You were very real. And that allowed me to be real.”
— Marcia


 
Graham, Marcia’s promise-taker, captured the magic of that first encounter at the table, 

 

“The project materializes when someone chooses to sit. That’s the beautiful part.”
— Graham
 L-R: Silvi Naci, Chanel Thervil, Jimena Bermejo Black, Dan Byers, Paul Ramirez Jonas. Photo: Lidia Russell

L-R: Silvi Naci, Chanel Thervil, Jimena Bermejo Black, Dan Byers, Paul Ramirez Jonas. Photo: Lidia Russell

For Martina, a volunteer and participant, the project was

“A call to be bigger than oneself.”

ORDER YOUR COPY TODAY

Public Trust is published by APC in collaboration with Now + There with support from the Elizabeth Graham Firestone Foundation and distributed by D.A.P. Visit the Now + There store to purchase a copy.


 L-R: Graham Yeager, Marcia Hulley, Martina Tanga, Silvi Naci, Chanel Thervil, Jimena Bermejo Black

L-R: Graham Yeager, Marcia Hulley, Martina Tanga, Silvi Naci, Chanel Thervil, Jimena Bermejo Black

 A gift of trust. Photo: Lidia Russell

A gift of trust. Photo: Lidia Russell

Joe, who promised to forgive his flaws, met Furen, who took his promise in Kendall. Joe told us, "I don't know anything about art, but I enjoyed myself."

 The exhibition of promises, curated by Paul Ramirez Jonas

The exhibition of promises, curated by Paul Ramirez Jonas

 

Public Trust, 2016 by Paul Ramirez Jonas

Considering the meaning of a promise

At 7 p.m. on Saturday, September 17, 2016 the final promise of Public Trust’s journey through Greater Boston was slowly written, one letter at a time, on the marque in Copley Square. That promise, “I promise to show up,” echoed the first one posted in Dudley 21 days earlier, “I will be a better citizen.”

Public Trust, the free interactive artwork by Brooklyn artist Paul Ramirez Jonas produced by Now + There, asked us to consider the meaning of a promise during a time when words matter. From August 27–September 17, Ramirez Jonas and a team of artist ambassadors went to three Greater Boston locations – Dudley, Kendall and Copley – and collected promises from 956 Bostonians.

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Regardless of age, status, or race, Greater Boston residents and tourists alike added to the Public Trust marquee of constantly changing pledges – yours, mine, scientists’, and those of our presidential candidates. Together, we created a piece of art about promises, those contracts we make with with each other and with ourselves, and the potent speech acts that keep a society together. 

Public Trust was generously supported by the Lewis Family Foundation, which believes that our communities grow stronger through artistic expression, and the generous contributions of individuals like you. 

Public Trust, the book, is published by APC in collaboration with Now + There with support from the Elizabeth Graham Firestone Foundation and distributed by D.A.P.

Public Trust mini-documentary by RAVA Films.


THE ARTIST

Paul Ramirez Jonas is no stranger to Boston. Born in California and raised in Honduras, Ramirez Jonas earned his BA from Brown University, his MFA in painting from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1989. He spent his first summer in the United States in Boston and later taught at the School of Museum of Arts/Tufts.

To engage completely with his projects, Ramirez Jonas often asks us, the participants, to contribute something: spare change, a wish…or even our own version of history. This reciprocity is a manifestation of trust and a social contract through which the viewer and artist create meaning.

His works have included large-scale monuments made of cork that allow impromptu messages to be pinned and creating new bodies of text. They’ve also included participatory pieces such as Cambridge’s Taylor Square, where he mailed 5,000 keys to the park to residents; and allowed them to shape the park’s future. This Boston based piece successfully led to Key to the City, a project presented by Creative Time in cooperation with the City of New York. Public Trust continues to build on his exploration of access, trust, and belonging. 

Paul Ramirez Jonas' selected solo exhibitions include Pinacoteca do Estado, Sao Paulo, Brazil; The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, Connecticut; The Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, Texas; and a survey at Ikon Gallery (UK) and Cornerhouse (UK). He has been included in group exhibitions at P.S.1 (NYC); the Brooklyn Museum; The Whitechapel (UK); Irish Museum of Modern Art (Ireland); The New Museum (NYC); and Kunsthaus Zurich (Switzerland). He participated in the 1st Johannesburg Biennale; the 1st Seoul Biennial; the 6th Shanghai Biennial; the 28th Sao Paulo Biennial; the 53rd Venice Biennial; and the 7th Bienal do Mercosul, Porto Alegre, Brazil. In 2010 his Key to the City project was presented by Creative Time in cooperation with the City of New York. The Contemporary Art Museum Houston is organizing a 25 year survey of his work to be presented in 2017. He is currently an Associate Professor at Hunter College, and The City University of New York (CUNY).

Explore Ramirez Jonas' work further by watching his October 2016 artist talk with Now + There and MassART.


THE SUPPORTERS

In 2015, the Lewis Family Foundation expanded its philanthropy into Boston's public art arena through the anonymous support of Now + There. Their support helped us establish firm roots and helped fund our first collaboration, "Faces of Dudley." 

Now, we are thrilled to announce that the Lewis Family Foundation is provided full funding for Paul Ramirez Jonas’ Public Trust. With their generous support, we are able to bring this timely project about promises to three Greater Boston locations and provide the opportunity to use art to give voice.

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.

Thank you to our generous supporters who contributed in the last three months to support Public Trust and more projects like it. 

Max and Beth Bardeen | Bonnie Bastien | Carly Blais | Boston Properties | William Cargill | Alberta Chu & Murray Robinson | Emily Day | Mark and Janet Edwards | Larry and Cheryl Franklin | Margaret Gilbert | Suzanne Gilbert Lee | Geoff Hargadon and Patricia La Valley | Hal and Jodi Hess| Beth Kantrowitz | Jeremey Liu | Robert Mason | Harry & Melinda Miller | Greer Muldowney | Daniel Ranalli | Jennifer Schmitt | Kathy and Gary Sharpless | Beth F. Terrana | Lisa Tung and Spencer Glendon | Natalie Williams | Anonymous (2)


Public Trust, 2016 (Copley)

September 11 — 17

Copley Square, Boston, was the final site of Public Trust, September 11–17, 2016. Click each thumbnail for more pictures from that time period. Read all the Copley promises here.

Public Trust, 2016 (Kendall)

September 3-10

Kendall Center, Cambridge, was the second site of Public Trust, September 3–10, 2016. Click each thumbnail for more pictures from that time period. Read all the Kendall promises here.

Public Trust, 2016 (Dudley)

August 27 - September 2

The Dudley Branch of the Boston Public Library, Roxbury, was the first site of Public Trust, from August 27–September 2, 2016. Click each thumbnail for more pictures from that time period. Read all the Dudley promises here.

Beyond the Bust, 2016

On May 5, 2016, Now + There co-hosted Beyond the Bust, Defining our Public Monuments, a panel and discussion to identify the legacy of Boston's ubiquitous bronze memorials and begin to redefine the concept of public monument. 

With our partners Big Red and Shiny and Artweek Boston, we engaged in a lively discussion with panelists Julian Bonder (Principal, Julian Bonder + Associates; Partner, Wodiczko+Bonder; Professor of Architecture, Roger Williams University), Halsey Burgund (sound artist, musician, and MIT Media Lab research affiliate), Nick Capasso (Director of the Fitchburg Art Museum), Karin Goodfellow (Director of the Boston Arts Commission), Lillian Hsu (Director of Public Art at Cambridge Arts and artist), and Cher Krause Knight (Associate Professor of Art History, Emerson College and co-founder of Public Art Dialogue).

Beyond the Bust was held at Roxbury Community College and live-tweeted, both in an effort to engage a wider audience. A Storify recap of the conversation told through social media can be found here.

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Fieldworks: Season One Screening, 2016

 

On April 11, 2016, with Massachusetts College of Art and Design N+T co-hosted the Boston debut of FIELDWORKS: Season One, A Blade of Grass’ film series.

Through film we explored the impact of socially engaged artists Mel Chin, Brett Cook, Pablo Helguera, Fran Ilich, Jan Mun, SexEd: Norene Leddy & Liz Slagus, and Jody Wood.

Following the screening we discussed the medium of film to disseminate ideas, ABOG's fellowship program, and the impact of public art with Deborah Fisher, Founding Executive Director of A Blade of Grass (ABOG).

FIELDWORKS: Season One films can be viewed for free on ABOG's website. For more in-depth information on the featured artists and their community participants and collaborators, check out ABOG's forum. FIELDWORKS Season One is produced by RAVA Films and One Hundred Seconds with A Blade of Grass, a New York City based organization nurturing socially engaged art. 

I think social practice is an evolution of institutional critique.
— Deborah Fisher
It’s not about makeovers,
it’s about self-esteem.
— Jose Montanez, stylist and project participant in Jodi Wood’s Beauty in Transition
 

Paul Ramirez Jonas Artist Talk, 2015

On October 28, 2015, Now and There co-hosted a talk by Paul Ramirez Jonas with Massachusetts College of Art and Design

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. To engage completely with his projects, 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. His works have included large-scale monuments with cork boards for impromptu messages and performative pieces in which he mailed keys to the nearest 5,000 residents of Cambridge’s Taylor Park to explore notions of access, trust, and belonging. Read more about Jonas on our blog, visit his website and watch his presentation.

Faces of Boston, 2015

Faces of Boston (October 8, 2015) was the second (surprise) location for the Inside Out Project's Photobooth Truck in Back Bay Station. Over the course of the day, 389 portraits were taken and over 125 were pasted the front of the station and the bus terminal. Read about the origins of the Back Bay location and its link to JR's Hancock tower mural in the Boston Courant.

Faces of Dudley, 2015

Faces of Dudley (October 7, 2015) was a community mural and portrait of a community in transition created with Inside Out Project's Photobooth Truck and The Up Truck.

259 portraits of Dudley Square (Roxbury, MA) residents, business owners, and visitors were taken in the Photobooth truck and 174 prints were pasted to the outside of the Dudley Branch of the Boston Public Library. 

During the day, participants were asked, "What can't someone know about you just by looking at your portrait?" Answers to these questions and all the portraits are featured in Faces of Dudley a full-color book donated to the Dudley Square Public Library as a permanent artwork and reminder of that day when a community came together in pride. Paperback versions of the book are available, at cost, from Blurb.

Learn more about Faces of Dudley in the Boston Globe's "The New Face of Public Art" (pdf here) and the video below.

Learning from Our Communities, 2015

Learning From Our Communities (September 10, 2015) was a simple community engagement project initiated at the Emerge festival at City Hall. We asked the public a variety of questions regarding their thoughts and opinions on what their neighborhoods need as well as the gems and resources they cherish. 

Read the blog for more answers to this and other questions.

No one knows that I'm really good at _________.

Play in Public Art, 2105

Play in Public Art (July 19, 2015) was a lively outdoors panel with co-sponsors BSA Space and the D Street ArtLab and the artists, architects, and citizens who are making public art happen in Boston. We explored the role of play in three current public art topics – spectacle, site, and architecture – in a fast-paced, round-robin discussion followed by Q&A.

Panelists included Ian Deleón (interdisciplinary artist), Chris Frost (educator and exhibiting ArtLAB artist), Kate Gilbert (D Street ArtLAB curator and Now and There director), Kelly Goff (educator and exhibiting ArtLAB artist), Mary Hale (educator and architect at Shepley Bulfinch), Robert Lobe (exhibiting ArtLAB artist), Amanda Parer (exhibiting ArtLAB artist), Alice Vogler (artist, curator for Time, Body, Space, Objects, part of the Isles Arts Initiative) and Arts Program Manager at Boston Children’s Museum. Moderated by Chris Wangro, Lawn on D Impressario and Artistic Director.

Read our wrap-up complete with panelist quotes on the blog.

Where's the Art?, 2105

Where's the Art? (May 6, 2015) brought together artists, architects, and placemakers who gave examples of their work and discussed the spectrum of practices in public art...and the gaps in between. Held during ArtWeek Boston with co-sponsors NEFA's Fund for the Arts and the Boston Center for the Arts along with other organizations who nurture artists and the artistic practice in Boston.

Presenters included artists Cedric Douglas, Megan McMillan, Liz Nofziger and architect Rob Trumbour of Artforming talking about the definitions of public art and what we can do to support more of it in our communities.

Learn more about the panel in our wrap-up summary and video.

Where's the Art images courtesy of NEFA and Jeffrey Filliault