TEMPOart Portland, Maine
Environmental activist artist, Matthew Mazzotta, hosted an Outdoor Living Room in the Back Cove of Portland, Maine, a one-mile tidal estuary basin on the northern side of the downtown district. Curated by Christina Lanzl of the Urban Culture Institute, Mazzotta's TEMPOart intervention served as an artistic inquiry into ecology and the environment in a framework of research and innovation. Environmental degradation, global warming and the rising tide are just a few major developments impacting the fragile coastal landscape. Simultaneously, ecology and sustainability continue to be more and more forcefully explored by leading public artists. What kind of responses are possible to reveal or reverse negative impacts, perhaps even with an effect of social and economic benefits?
Sustainable considerations and design go beyond the mere provision of special features for various segments of the population. What kind of creative thinking can expose or incorporate inclusive designs that asks at the outset of the process how a site can be made sustainable, aesthetically pleasing and functional for the greatest number of users? What kind of projects and installations can result from this approach? What are the possibilities of an ecological, environmentally sound approach that will better protect and utilize resources of all kinds? Can sustainability be understood to include environmental, economic, and social sustainability? What are the opportunities to develop placemaking with art that considers conservation, responsible use of resources and a well-conceived site that might offer poetic sense of place, interactive opportunity, and is beautiful to behold?
TEMPOart energizes Portland’s public spaces through temporary art installations, engaging residents and visitors, enriching its creative community and enhancing the city’s reputation. TEMPOart provides opportunities for artists to experiment with new mediums, highlight current issues and engage a wide public audience. The organization partners with other non-profit educational and cultural institutions, using each project to inspire innovative learning opportunities for all ages. TEMPOart is a privately -funded 501(-c)(3) non-profit organization.
About Matthew Mazzotta
Matthew Mazzotta's work is conceptual in nature, resulting in permanent and temporary public interventions that range from the creation of new social spaces in communities to addressing more pressing environmental issues, but always with a focus on place and public participation. He has completed over a dozen major public art and design-build projects as well as artist residencies in the U.S., Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Matthew is the recipient of a Loeb Fellowship at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. He graduated from MIT’s School of Architecture and Planning with a Master of Science in Visual Studies in 2009 and received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Outdoor Living Room
Matthew Mazzotta offers opportunity for dialogue with the local community through his Outdoor Living Room process. The Outdoor Living Room is a comfortable place where people converse, discuss or simply enjoy each other’s company. Local residents lend pieces of furniture, rugs and accessories, which are then arranged at a central location. Like any good host, Matthew sets out refreshments and invites everyone who passes by to join him in conversation. His premise is to engage without any preconceived notion of what the outcome might be. The dialogue happens without regard to impetus, whether the intent is meeting the artist, other residents or to participate in the project. The goal is to initiate a profound exchange, offer ideas for implementation, apply best practices, and to inspire proactive thinking.
Outdoor Living Room with Matthew Mazzotta in Portland, ME
Wednesday, June 21, 2017 | 2-3:30 p.m.
Back Cove Trail parking lot off Preble Street, behind Hannaford Supermarket at 295 Forest Avenue, Portland, ME 04101
Matthew and the TEMPOart team listened and engaged in conversation with about 50 community members who came to the beautiful Back Cove waterfront. Many thanks to Furniture Friends, a nonprofit organization that provides donated furniture to people in need throughout Greater Portland.
The Architecture of Social Space: Architalx Lecture by Matthew Mazzotta
Thursday, April 5, 2018 | 6:00 p.m.
Portland Museum of Art, 7 Congress Square, Portland, ME 04101
Learn more about the Architalx event.
Keyes, Bob. “Want a say in Back Cove public art piece? Tell its creator.” Portland Press Herald, June 20, 2017.
“2018 Curator Announced!” TempoArt, April 13, 2017.
For additional information please email Christina Lanzl.