Inside-Out Gallery: “Roots of Innovation in Somerville”

The theme for this year’s ArtBeat festival in Davis Square is “Roots”, and Artisan’s Asylum was asked to do a thematic installation for the gallery space in the windows of the CVS in Davis Square to be on during the festival. We decided on a theme of “Roots of industry in Somerville”, showing examples of work currently made by Asylum members as well as images of industry historically in Somerville. My main contribution, aside from coordination, was to create a huge collaborative map that took up the entire back of one window.
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Modular Map Installation – Nighttime Display

We finally installed the modular map project yesterday afternoon, and it’s now on display for anyone who walks through Davis. It looked very minimal in the daylight, almost easy to miss, but at night the paper construction gets a little more interesting. Here’s some photos from last night:

The installation will be on view only through July 30th, so make sure to check it out in the next couple weeks!

Modular Map Installation – Progress

The display windows of the Davis Square CVS, which are prominently visible in the middle of the square, often house works by local artists or exhibitions relating to current events in the neighborhood. This month they will have a combination of both — an installation I’m putting together reflecting this year’s ArtBeat theme, “Migration”. I’m working on some “migrating” dimensional maps, a flock of birds, and a series of large-scale map “scrolls” as a backdrop. 
This was my preliminary installation sketch (not quite to scale):
The modular, dimensional map project has definitely been more time-consuming than I had anticipated, although I have made efforts to streamline the process. The problem is that it’s so difficult to anticipate what the parts will look like together before you have multiple in front of you. Here’s a progress shot of the first one I made:

It turned into the large one on the right in this photo, and in the detail below. Note how the more recent ones I’ve done are smaller, have more “legs” (to take up space as well as add movement!) and are much less dense:

Painting in the fields/squares may well be the most time-consuming part. (I actually calculated it out at one point, when I feared that the project was doomed: for each triangular segment, I spend about 1 minute average on tracing and cutting out, 5 minutes drawing the map, 1 minute gluing, but 12 minutes painting). 

The installation goes up on Friday morning. I’ll be sure to post photos!

UPDATE: We’ve decided to postpone the installation until Tuesday (partially because it’s a LOT more work on my end than I anticipated!). It’ll be up from July 10 – August 3 July 30th, and during ArtBeat, which is July 21st.

UPDATE 2: I showed a segment of the installation in an art crit meetup last night and I’m excited about how it looked all together. Here’s a photo:

I also got a lot of great feedback about it. It hadn’t occurred to me, even with the dimensional “folded” shape, that they look like an animation of paper folding itself (especially since these particular pieces are all a similar size), and that the shape could refer to paper road maps as well as topography.

Paper Teapots: Map and Pop-up

I’ve been very busy at the gallery lately getting everything ready for the teapot exhibition that just opened. Artists working in all different media submitted teapot sculptures both functional and conceptual. Unfortunately, and sort of ironically, I was too busy with the administrative end to have much time for my own teapots, but I made small versions of my two ideas: a map teapot, and an urban pop-up teapot.
The city pop-up one was made in the same way as the pop-ups I recently had at M55, but instead of two blocks, there were about eight different sections, including a handle and a spout.

The map teapot was planned out like a globe, with an inserted spout and a lid on top. I started with the same ink blot technique as I would for a flat map, with a fork around where the spout would be inserted, and then drew around it, making sure that the roads would be continuous once the whole thing was sewed up.

 And here they are installed in the exhibition: