Project

Unless by Stephanie Cardon, 2018

Photo by Ryan McMahon

Photo by Ryan McMahon

In this dramatic floor-to-ceiling installation at the entrance to the landmark Prudential Center marketplace, Cardon used orange construction debris netting, made by many hands from the Boston community and embroidered with text from the Pope’s 2015 Encyclical, Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home. The vibrant contemporary tapestry disrupted the cool marble and glass entrance, posing questions of climate justice and sustainability, and the mounting urgency to act together to effect positive change.

UNLESS was commissioned by Boston Properties and produced and curated by Now + There with our friends at Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción, Villa Victoria Center for the Arts, Massachusetts College of Art, and Boston Center for the arts.

Climate change knows no borders and nationalities but its effect is putting further strain on the divisions we see across race and class. This is the time to come together across our differences to care for each other and our common home.
— Stephanie Cardon

See Her by Ann Lewis, 2017

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In July of 2017 Ann Lewis, worked with women in a local residential reentry facility run by Community Resources for Justice, to create See Her. See Her a mixed-media mural, illuminated the specific realities, desires, and decisions facing women transitioning out of prison. The mural features one of the facility residents, Laura, a Boston native, as a reflection on the inherent worth, strength, and potential of all women.

...it feels imperative to use our collaborative talents to highlight, honor, and support a community that is often invisible. Women, in particular, who are caught up in our correctional systems are often overlooked.
— Ann Lewis

Open House by Liz Glynn, 2018

Liz Glynn. Installation view, Open House, 2018, on Commonwealth Ave Mall. Cast Concrete. Organized for Boston by Now + There, Open House was commissioned and originally presented in 2017 by Public Art Fund in Central Park, New York in cooperation with the artist and Paula Cooper Gallery.

Liz Glynn. Installation view, Open House, 2018, on Commonwealth Ave Mall. Cast Concrete. Organized for Boston by Now + There, Open House was commissioned and originally presented in 2017 by Public Art Fund in Central Park, New York in cooperation with the artist and Paula Cooper Gallery.

At the turn of the 20th century, New England’s wealthy elite gathered in opulent private salons and ballrooms in Boston to define their social status. These gathering spaces were the seat of power, privilege, and politics in the city. Open House, an installation created by Los Angeles-based, Boston-born artist Liz Glynn, is organized for the Commonwealth Avenue Mall by Now + There. Originally commissioned by the Public Art Fund in cooperation with the artist and Paula Cooper GalleryOpen House was first presented at Doris C. Freedman Plaza in Central Park, New York. This new installment of Open House transforms the Commonwealth Avenue Mall West into an open air ruin of a ballroom. In this work the artist highlights class distinctions and the dynamics between public and private space and beckons you to take a seat and linger. Bringing this work to Boston during a time of rapid development, we are sparking a dialogue about economic inequality and supporting Glynn’s desire to incite -more- future action

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

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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.

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.

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.