The Urban Culture Institute is the proud recipient of a 2017
Businesswoman Award from CV Magazine for Best Woman-Run Arts & Culture Initiative 2017 in the Northeastern United States. The dedication and hard work of the entire team at the Urban Culture Institute contributed to this achievement. Many thanks to Dieta Sixt, Stephanie Sherman, Ricardo Barreto and Anne Marie Purkey Levine for all their hard work.
The Urban Culture Institute stands out because it is deeply rooted in community. Christina Lanzl's philosophy is to "listen and enable". The Institute's practice is creative and multidisciplinary, working with diverse clients, communities and institutions, artists, design teams and professionals in the creative and service sectors. Expertise and projects range from advisory services and public art facilitation to cultural planning and public engagement. Projects typically bring together a range of diverse partners and communities, offering opportunities to come together and find consensus, an undertaking that is often delicate and fraught with challenges. Lanzl observes that keeping the goal in mind is crucial to achieve a positive outcome, for the greater benefit of all.
Through its work, the Urban Culture Institute brings together and enables people of all backgrounds and abilities to fulfill the desire for an improved quality of life, the enhancement of cultural economic development and creative placemaking. The Institute facilitates the development of high quality arts and cultural assets, helping others by bringing expertise and resources to the table: a unique combination of curatorial expertise, savvy and efficient process with an eye towards positive outcomes for the built environment and economic impacts.
CV Magazine notes that its Awards are based on merit:
"To ensure this, our in-house research team will go in-depth to find the industry firms and leaders who deserve acknowledgement for their outstanding performances within the sector. Winners of this award can rest assured that their win was one that was truly deserved."
Read the editorial on page 11 of the Award Supplement.
The World Metrorail Congress Americas took place at The Inn at Penn Station in Philadelphia on June 28 and 28, 2017. The conference surveyed strategic discussions related to light rail planning and management in metropolitan areas. Sandra Bloodworth, Director, MTA Arts & Design, Metropolitan Transit Authority in New York City chaired the roundtable, Ridership Engagement: The essential role of art and design in engaging your ridership and communities. Presenters included Katherine Dirga, Program Manager Arts Administration of MARTA in Atlanta GA, Elizabeth Mintz, SEPTA Director of Communications, Philadelphia artist Ray King as well as Caitlin Martin, Media Communications Manager of the Association for Public Art in the conference city. Christina Lanzl of the Urban Culture Institute’s contribution to the conversation focused on questions related to placemaking in transportation planning:
The Fort Point Arts Community’s (FPAC) art lending program showcases artists from Boston's Fort Point and beyond. LogMeIn, a global company with headquarters in Fort Point, has been a strong ally of the arts and culture in the neighborhood. LogMeIn provides worldwide solutions for remote control, file sharing, systems management, data backup, business collaboration and on-demand customer support of PCs, servers, Macintosh computers, smartphones and other connected devices. FPAC offers an art-lending program, art commissioning and corporate art consulting services. Working together benefits the partners and strengthens the arts and culture in Fort Point, a neighborhood on South Boston’s waterfront. FPAC is committed to working with clients and artists so that specific needs and expectations are being met. Investing in art, culture and Boston artists improves the quality of life in your surroundings, creates sense of place and identity and stimulates growth. Services are provided on a fee-based structures tailored to individual budgets and requests. Participating artists benefit through art loan honorariums and art commissions. Christina Lanzl manages the program as FPAC Project Director since July 2015, working hand-in-hand with Executive Director Emily O'Neil and the FPAC Board of Directors, chaired by Jen Mecca.
The third long-term exhibition at LogMeIn features works by Emily Cobb, Monica Chiang, Nathan Evans, Ian Kennelly, Sterling Mulbry, Kimberly Radochia, Claudia Ravaschiere and Jonathan Stark. On August 18, LogMeIn celebrated the installation of six works by Elisa Hamilton, Dylan Hurwitz, Karen McFeaters, Andrew Neumann, Krina Patel and Tom Wojciechowski. The works highlight LogMeIn’s truism “Possibility Increases with Connectivity”. The group of place-specific commissions were the result of an open FPAC call for artists in fall 2014. LogMeIn's Simply Possible, a corporate identity project. The success of this first initiative at LogMeIn's world headquarters in Boston is now introduced to their offices around the world, as well.
Nick DeLuca. "LogMeIn Marks Fort Point Expansion By Showing Off Neighborhood Artists." BostInno, August 19, 2015.
"LogMeIn Enlists Art Community to Help Re-launch Brand." nasdaq.com, August 18, 2015.
Simply Possible Artist Statements
1. Elisa H. Hamilton
Crayon, ink, gouache, and oil pastel on paper.
48 pieces, 7" x 7" each
The art that I make is grounded in the belief that we are constantly surrounded by reasons to be joyful. I strive to bring the inherent brilliance of our everyday places, objects, and experiences into vivid focus. I work from life, captivated by the honest vibrancy of our ordinary surroundings. I explore everyday subject matter with ordinary materials such as crayon, ink and paper- heightening what may be considered commonplace with multi-layered works that revel in color, texture, depth and shape. The subject matter I choose speaks not only to our day to day surroundings, but also to our broader human experience; relationships, expectation, triumph, loss- but above all, hope.
2. Dylan Hurwitz
untitled (Fort Point 2015)
Oil and acrylic on canvas
48” x 60”
untitled (Fort Point 2015) is the result of a collaboration between a group of LogMeIn employees and artist Dylan Hurwitz, where the artist performed on piano while LogMeIn employees danced on a canvas stage with paint. The piece is part of a larger project of Hurwitz's that utilizes music and dance to create paintings. As a trained pianist and painter, Hurwitz's work is often the result of an attempt to bridge both practices.
3. Karen McFeaters
Full Spectrum Triptych
Acrylic on canvas
24” x 72" (three 24 x 30" canvases)
Full Spectrum Triptych is my depiction of the way business has been conducted over the years, past and present. The first of the three paintings is monochromatic, representing an antiquated model of doing business when people where anchored to large buildings to get things done. The center painting introduces more color as the bridge between the "new" buildings and the "old," as well as the connection between the old way of doing things and the new. The third painting is the brightest and most colorful of the three canvases, depicting Fort Point, home of the original innovators (the artists) and now also the home of innovators in technology, such as LogMeIn. A neighborhood rich in history and ripe with potential, I'm proud to call it my home.
4. Andrew Neumann
digital ink jet print, solid-state media player, video module
48" x 36"x 6"
Crane (matrix) is a meditation on construction cranes, all shot out one specific window in my studio in Fort Point. Documented over an 18-month span, the piece depicts different weather patterns, and is constructed as a matrix of still video images juxtaposed against a single video screen, contrasting the "static" versus the "dynamic".
5. Krina Patel
approx. 70" x 48" x 8”
Simply Connect is a fun interactive piece that evokes childhood memories while referring to LogMeIn's work of enabling people to simply connect. The motif on the game pieces is inspired by Hungarian embroidery acknowledging the company's early connection to Hungary.
6. Tom Wojciechowski
20” x 72”
This piece is part of my series titled Writing with a Camera, where a stationary light source becomes the writing utensil of a moving camera. The project is a singular fit for LogMeIn's tag line. Using the headquarter building's sign and a neighborhood streetlamp, I spell out the words in dynamic fashion.
Chelsea Art Walk in Chelsea, MA from June 13 to 14, 2015
Chelsea artists and friends are exhibiting their work this weekend from 12 noon to 6 pm. Ten exhibitions at ten locations include the Gallery @ Spencer Lofts, the Historic 1657 Bellingham-Carey House (a former governor's mansion) and One North (a residential building). Those who like good coffee should stop by for a well-brewed cup and see the show at The Chelsea City Cafe & Gallery, where one meets local artists and a pleasant coffee crowd. For the beer fans, Mystic Brewery offers micro-brews, food and the exhibition "Street Art".
Port Park at 99 Marginal Street is a favorite spot. A curated selection of videos on jumbo screens can be viewed inside two shipping containers next to the basketball court. Filmmaker Allison Cekala's 27-minute video, Fundir, narrates the story of the giant salt pile sited adjacent to Port Park story. The film documents the mining of the road salt in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile and ends with the municipal facility's routines during the seasons.
Port Park is a brand new waterfront hangout with great views of the Tobin Bridge and surrounding harbor-side. The design by Landing Studio of Somerville, MA features industrial remnants unique to Chelsea's history as an industrial harbor. Old truck load racks have been turned into look-outs and giant skeletons of former oil tanks now bound an amphitheater and a water play area.
More info on the Chelsea Art Walk at chelseaartwalk.com.
The City of Boston is the proud home to one of the oldest public schools in the country: the Mather School. This exciting Green Space Improvement Project will result in the creation of a permanent public art installation with surrounding landscape improvements. The permanent project will be located at the Church Street entrance of the building. The area is highly visible, very active and serves as an important bridge between the school and the surrounding neighborhood. The aim of the project is to transform the existing greenspace and its surroundings into a more welcoming, comfortable public site and functional school entrance.
A search to find artists/designers for this project is currently underway. Artists, designers or teams comprised of an artist and a landscape architect are invited to forward their qualifications for this exciting public art and improvement project by May 22nd. As this is a historic site with many uses, collaborative teams of artists and landscape architects or a landscape architect with expertise in public art are particularly encouraged to apply. Preference will be given to local and regional applications.
This project is a collaborative effort between the City of Boston's Edward Ingersoll Browne Trust (BF), the Boston Art Commission (BAC), the Boston Public School Department, the Mather School Parent Council, and the Art Selection Committee of the Green Space Improvement Project. Christina Lanzl of the Urban Culture Institute is facilitating the project.
A $200,000 budget is anticipated. The project will be funded in part by the Edward Ingersoll Browne Trust Fund, a public charitable trust administered by the City of Boston Trust Office. Three shortlisted finalists will receive $3,000 honoraria for initial concept development and presentation.
Deadline for submission of qualifications is May 22, 2015 at 1:59pm EST. The full Request for Qualifications (RFQ) can be downloaded here. Contact Christina Lanzl, Urban Culture Institute, with questions related to the project.
by Christina Lanzl
Richard J. Bertman’s oeuvre encompasses fifty years of sculptures in welded steel, wire, fabric and carved wood as well as pen-and-ink drawings. His studio work is complemented by a distinguished career in architecture as founding principal of CBT Inc., a Boston firm of international stature co-founded by Bertman, Maurice Childs and Charles Tseckares in 1967. Bertman was educated at Harvard University (B.A. 1956), the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (B.Arch. 1961), and the University of California at Berkeley (M.Arch. 1965).
As an artist, Richard Bertman is best known for his whimsical mechanical sculptures. He has also created several hundred exquisite pen-and-ink drawings of architectural icons he drew locally and on travels around the globe. Bertman began sculpting during his graduate studies at Berkeley. Early pieces were exhibited at the University of California’s Worth Ryder Museum in 1965, and as part of the “Search for Young Talent” juried surveys sponsored by the Massachusetts Cultural Council in 1966/67, at the Fitchburg, Framingham, and Worcester Art Museums. The effort of starting and developing an architecture practice resulted in his working privately for many years but in 1988 he began exhibiting his work again. Solo shows were mounted by the MIT Museum (1990), Boston’s St. Botolph Club (1995), and by the Boston Center for the Arts (2010), among other venues.
Though the human form has been Bertman’s focus, his work ranges from figurative to abstract. Particularly the early, small-scale sculptures appear like three-dimensional spatial drawings. His early, abstract works show the influence of abstract expressionist sculptor David Smith and surrealist Alberto Giacometti, particularly the latter’s concern with the figure in space, as in Metamorphosis (1965) (Ill. 1). The early cubist forms of modest scale are clustered assemblies of steel rods in parallel arrangement, suspending form in a spatial framework.
In the 1980s, Bertman removed the exterior frameworks. The resulting, figurative wire sculptures of heads portray the artist’s immediate family and personal friends. Facial features evolve from minimalist wire constructions, using bent strands of wire to create form. The portrait series in bent wire or welded steel rod include likenesses of well-known Bostonians, such as patrons of the arts, Sandy and David Bakalar (1994) (Ill. 2), Boston Globe architecture critic Robert Campbell (1997), developer and known art collector Bruce Beal (1998), as well as former Massachusetts Governor Mike Dukakis and his wife Kitty (2009).
Also in the 1980s, Bertman began creating his first kinetic sculptures, with movement driven either by hand or by an electric motor. The mechanical works were preceded by first experiments with moving parts during the mid-1960s. Humor often is an element of the artist’s mature kinetic sculptures, evidencing his wit, and inviting us to ponder the bright side of life while speaking to the humanity in us all. Rainmaker (1985) is a bicycle-like contraption with a series of mechanical and twisting components that pokes fun at our superstitions. A humorous self-portrait called Worried Man (Ill. 3) follows in 1989. This piece is both a self-portrait – a wire sculpture – and introduces a kinetic and a sound component. Worried Man’s face, limited to eyes, nose and mouth, is mounted on a white box that contains an electric motor and a tape recorder. At the push of a button, the facial features move, performing the “Worried Man Blues” recorded by the artist himself. Another wall-mounted wire sculpture, Marriage (1990) (Ill. 4), features a couple's babbling conversation, similar to Worried Man. Both works are humorous commentaries on everyday life.
An increase in scale marks the mature works of the 1990s and later. Bertman took up wood carving for his eight-foot tall Family Portrait (1991) (Ill. 5), a whimsical abstraction of his family inspired by Native American totem poles he encountered traveling in the Pacific Northwest. Continually introducing a broader range of materials and more technical feats, the mechanical sculpture, First Attempts at a Bionic Man (1994, revised 2009) (Ill. 6), consists of a life-size figure suspended in a steel frame. Motion is activated by the push of a button that brings the silver-painted wood sculpture to life, as the exposed wires and pulleys are activated through an electrical motor. This “contraption”, as the artist affectionately refers to his mechanical sculptures, visualizes movement on two parallel tracks, first, utilizing the limbs and head, and second, in the series of levers clearly visible behind the figure. The mechanics are deliberately exposed, unlike those of his earlier Worried Man. First Attempts at a Bionic Man is both funny and a sardonic reference to constraints, technology and progress. Other major kinetic sculptures are Searching for Leonardo (2002) (Ill. 7), Fish (2004), Hootchy Kootchy (2005), Contraption (2007) and Symphony #1 (2011).
Bertman references concepts like movement, space and flight in the form of humans, animals and machines. Searching for Leonardo (Ill. 7) was inspired by Leonardo DaVinci’s renderings of flying machines, which Bertman animates through an electric motor activated by a foot switch, offering the user control in an interactive gesture. In addition, by exposing mechanical parts to the viewer, motion becomes transparent and accessible. This way, the creator also becomes educator, broadening our understanding of technology and science with a touch of comedy and magic. This interest continues to inspire Bertman’s latest studio project of a mechanical drum set in his continued path of artistic inquiry.
Urban Culture Institute
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