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.”


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


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.


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.

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, 2015

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?, 2015

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