Thursday, May 9, 2013

ArtWalk Spring 2013

May 10-12  |  For a map of participating artists, performances, gallery exhibits, public artworks, and other activities click here>>

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Studio View - Jennifer Lewis

FPAC takes a sneak - peek at artist Jennifer Lewis' studio space:

I'm Jennifer Lewis. I'm a illustrative painter residing in the Fort Point area of Boston. I work out of my studio at Midway Studios. My studio is a lovely space with great light, high ceilings and huge windows. When the weather is nice I open the windows and oil paint, any other day I work in acrylics.

I share my studio with my husband, and our two cats Missy and Snacks. My husband is an artist as well, he sews monkey heads and paints creepy critters. Sundays we usually spend together, first we have breakfast with coffee, then some sketching or painting and movies. Below are some images of a typical "lazy" Sunday in my studio.



Previously I used to work on the floor, now I have two designated workspaces, my computer desk for smaller paintings and sketches and the little beat-up wooden table in front of the t.v. for paper cutting and messier work. 

I collect a lot of things that offer me artistic inspiration. Here I have some small plastic figurines from my favorite artists, these are an affordable way for me to acquire art. I also collect books, comics and vintage labels. 

You can see more of my work at, the Made In Fort Point store or during the Fort Point open Studios.

Thanks for visiting my abode.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Inspiration - Douglas Urbank

NEW - FPAC is asking what inspires artists' work in a new blog series called "Inspiration."  Check out what inspires Douglas Urbank, Fort Point artist and filmmaker.

"I make short experimental handmade films, but the artform I value most is drawing.  Long ago I made sculpture, but gave it up completely.  At some point I felt I had reached an impasse with my own drawing and turned to making films.  My representational drawings have often been inspired by film, but I never imagined I would be a filmmaker.

I’ve always listened to the radio, since childhood, and I am fairly tuned in to the sound world around me.  So another influence on my art is music or—more generally—sound, live or recorded.  Since 2001 I've hosted a radio program focusing on experimental music and sound art and have immersed myself in the local experimental music scene." - Urbank

Drawing, film, and music are all represented in this short list:

1. Mathis Gothart Nithart (aka Matthias Grünewald): (c. 1470 – August 31, 1528): Studie zu einer Klagenden Frau:  Incredibly delicate, alive and human.

2. Max Beckmann, (German 1884-1950): The Family, from the portfolio Hell:  One of the greatest draftsman ever.

3. Salvador Dali, (Spanish 1904-1989):  The City of Drawers, Study for The Anthropomorphic Cabinet.  I don’t care what anyone thinks about Salvador Dali, this is a beautiful and masterful drawing.

4. Brice Marden, (American 1938): Cold Mountain 6 (Bridge):  Inspired by the poems of Chinese poet Hanshan from the Tang Dynasty era.

5. Jacob Epstein, (American 1880-1959): Bust of Rebecca:  Known as a pioneer of modern sculpture, particularly for “Rock Drill”, Epstein also worked more naturalistically.  The first piece of his that I saw is The Visitation at the Hirsshorn Museum in Washington, DC , which caused a bit of a scandal.

6. Linda Hayden, from The Blood on Satan's Claw directed by Piers Haggard (British, 1939):  One of a handful of dark and pessimistic Vietnam era horror films, set in 17th century England. Great soundtrack and one of my favorite opening credit sequences.  The devil takes possession, one by one, of young people within a small village, in a creepy mirror of the youth rebellion of the 1960s.

7. Luther Price, American:  I first saw Luther Price’s film, Home, at Studio Soto before it had ever occurred to me to make a film myself.  Luther is the artist who introduced me to experimental filmmaking and showed me that I could make handmade films.  He is the real thing.

8. Living, directed by Frans Zwartjes, (Netherlands 1927) and starring Frans and his wife, Trix:  Zwartjes films are dryly hilarious and erotic with wild camera work, wonderful experimental soundtracks and great opening credits.  And mostly, nothing much happens.  From 1971.


9. Veronika Voss, directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder, (German 1945-1982), part of his BRD Trilogy:  Unbelievably prolific filmmaker who also directed plays and TV series, acted and did other creative stuff.  Died at 37.  I saw my first Fassbinder film at about 20 and wasn’t really ready for it.  Odd and experimental, humane and disturbing.

10. Natalia Goncharova (Russian, 1881-1962): Cover and lithographs for the book La Cité (text by Alexandre Roubakine):  My long-time interest in spoken word and sound art recordings dovetails with a more recent interest in concrete poetry and graphic design using text.  This is a good example of the latter.

To learn more about the work of Douglas Urbank, visit:

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Interview with Dawna Davis - Jewelry Artist & Designer

FPAC:  How did you learn your craft as a wire-jewelry artist?
DD:  I found art later in life after having several different careers. I was living in Southern California at the time and took a couple of wire classes at Otis College of Art and Design to learn the basics but beyond that I'm self-taught.  I've taken a workshop in knitting with wire and one in weaving with wire but I like to make up designs and stitches as well.

FPAC:  How do you find the balance between being an artist and a business woman?  Any tips or tricks for artists on selling work?  
DD:  As most artists will tell you, the business side is the hardest part.  I've never been interested in marketing, branding and everything else that goes into business but if you want to succeed you have to learn how to make them work for you.  I was a member of the Artist Toolbox last year and it helped a lot.  To be honest, if I did everything I should do business-wise I'd have no time to create art.  I don't know if there is a balance where I'm concerned.  I find sometimes I have to put all my energy into the business end and other times go full speed ahead creating pieces for shows or sales.  As far as tips are concerned... you just have to get out there, meet people and make connections, show them you are passionate about what you do.  Also, social media is important.  I'm just starting to use it.

FPAC:  Who or what inspires your work?  
DD:  When I first started putting my bead "collections" together I was quite influenced by my favorite places in California:  Sequoia, Mojave, Seamist and by shape and color: Purple Passion, Midnight Moods, Ametrine...  I love to look at beautiful and interesting metal and wire work, but try to not be influenced by other jewelers' work. I want mine to be fresh and original.

 FPAC:  What are your favorite beads and stones to work with and why?  
DD:  My favorite color has always been purple, so any collection that incorporates it is special.  Ametrine is a favorite.  It's a cross between citrine and amethyst.  I love bright blue lapis and of course, sleeping beauty turquoise.

FPAC:  If you could set up shop anywhere in the world, any personal or economic reservations aside, where would you go?  
DD:  That's a hard question.  I spent 4 years in Australia - love it there - and I have good friends there but my favorite place is Italy.  The combination of scenery, history, the people, the food and the way I feel there is magical.

FPAC:  Where can we find/see/purchase your work?  
DD:  My jewelry is on consignment in Taos, NM and Key Largo, FL but locally MBrann in Mashpee Commons, Minerva's Owl in Roslindale Square, The Store atArsenal Center for the Arts, Bead and Fiber in the South End (where I also teach wire classes) and of course, our FPAC store, Made in Fort Point.  I also see customers by appointment in my studio.

FPAC:  Given all the new small businesses, restaurants, and buildings popping up around  Fort Point, what are you MOST excited about?  
DD:  I don't think there is one thing I'm most excited about.. I guess it's more the hope that as we get more populated and popular we will attract more "convenience" retail like a CVS or a Trader Joe's and more civic space and it will have more of a neighborhood feel.  I also hope that the Artist District is not gobbled up by the Innovation District, but that we can co-exist.

To learn more about Dawna Davis, log onto:

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Factory 63

Last week property developers, Gerding Edlen opened their doors for the public to come and explore Factory 63, a newly renovated building positioned on the corner of Melcher Street and A Street in Fort Point. Factory 63 is home to over 30 apartments and a common space aimed at creating a vibrant and sustainable environment.

Exterior of Factory 63

The building opens to a unique entry space that provides areas for tenants to gather, work, and hold meetings. When entering the building you are greeted with a wall installation by local artist from goodgood, Karen Stein-Shanley, and this first impression suggests this space will be a haven for a collaborative and creative conversation. 

Process by Karen Stein-Shanley 
Foyer of Factory 63

From the entry-way, the space opens up further into a bright, lounge area with modern furnishings and a kitchen/bar area.  The rest of the walls in the main space are lined with additional local artists' work that Gerding Edlen purchased with the help of the Fort Point Arts Community.  Artworks are by Karen Stein-Shanley,  Dorothea Van Camp, Gary Stubelick, Joanne Kaliontzis and Jodie Baehre.

Above:  View of Factory 63 Community Space
Fun Fact - The entire building has minimized its carbon footprint by using green energy.  Gerding Edlen is strong advocate for energy efficiency and comfort.  Read more about the green giant >>

Above: Solar Flare and High Voltage by Dorothea Van Camp. 
Both works were created in 2012 and are screen prints with oil and wax on panel.

Above: Painting in Background - Melcher Street I by Jodie Baehre

Above: Study for Ruth, Shore, Foster, and Gainer by Joanne Kaliontzis
Digital collage on wood panel (2012) 

 Above: Urban Frontier by Gary Stubelick
Around the corner from the main gathering space is a small meeting room that seats 4 and a larger working area that seats about 12-15 people at two six foot tables.  The smaller space has a door for a bit more privacy and although the larger space is open, there is a curtain that can be drawn to section it off from the main area.  

View of meeting room spacePrint in background -Tools of the Trade by Karen Stein-Shanley

The last part of the first-floor space is a long curved wall that Design Museum Boston will be utilizing for rotating exhibits.  Design Museum Boston is a newcomer to the area and the first Museum of its kind  in the region, dedicated solely to design.  Known for creating elaborate and extremely well crafted exhibits, we are excited to see what they will bring to Factory 63.

An elevator off the common space takes you up to the rest of the building where the 30 plus rental units are.  These units are divided into artist live/work units (approximately $1300), innovation units (approximately $1700+), and market rate units (beginning at $2200.)

Images from Gerding Edlen, Factory 63

The 5 artist spaces that can only be rented to those with proper artist certification are approximately 700 - 800 square feet. Hard wood floors with large windows and tall ceilings are a chic city-dweller's dream.  The artists' units come with a ventilation system, in-unit laundry, closets, and modern kitchen appliances.  The studios may be a bit tight for more than one person to live and work in, but the common space on the first level and ROOF- DECK make up for this. Yes, I said roof-deck and it is equipped with gardens and grills!

Don't get too excited yet! -  The application process for the artist units is not available quite yet and due to the large number of people expected to apply, these units along with several of the other units in the building are on a lottery system...but hey it only takes one to win!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Winter Public Art

FPAC presents Winter Public Art: light-based temporary art  installations along the Fort Point Harborwalk.

Listener By ‪goodgood (Karen Stein Shanley),  ‪New American Public Art (‬Dan Sternof Beyer, Kawandeep Virdee, Bevan Weissman‬), and Matthew Shanley.  Listener is an interactive light installation that responds to the ambient and intentional sounds around it, transforming static space into a dynamic public place.  It is located on the Fort Point Channel Harborwalk between Congress Street and Northern Avenue, outside of the Boston Children’s Museum.

Canopy by Michael Moss and Claudia Ravaschiere.  Located on the Fort Point Channel Harborwalk between Summer and Congress Streets, outside of Channel FItness Canopy is the laser projection, Canopy, that creates a dimensional, impressionistic canopy with myriad points of green light layered over a cloudscape. Using holographic technology, the artists create an unexpected experience on the public walkway along the Fort Point Channel.

 Image above: Canopy, courtesy of Ravaschiere&Moss

Our Winter Public Art is supported by funding from The Fort Point Channel Operations Board.
2012-13 Winter Public Art was selected by a jury. Thank you to our selection panel: Sarah Hutt, artist and former Director of Visual Arts for the City of Boston and member Boston Art Commission; Kate Gilbert, artist and creative projects manager and former project manager for public art at Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway Conservancy; Lisa Greenfield, artist and previous FPAC Winter Public Arts Installation artist; Vivien Li, President, The Boston Harbor Association; Charlayne Murrell-Smith, Vice President, Boston Children's Museum.  Additional thanks to the Boston Children's Museum, Channel Fitness, and NAI Hunneman.