Reception: Friday, October
6, 7 - 10 pm
Artists' Talk: October 12 @ 7 pm at the Gallery @ Green Street
A juried group exhibit of photographs produced by High School aged participants of workshops held during the creation of "Crossing Paths", a public art project created by Corey Tatarczuk and Denise Marika
Boston Herald, Monday, October 16th, 2000
Young adults, Hub artists have enjoyed
Visual arts/by Mary Sherman
Monday, October 16, 2000
Mention public art and most people take a hike.
for years public art amounted to what derisively became known
``Plop Art.'' That was followed in the '80s by works spouting politically correct
Now a middle
ground finally has been reached, and public art, thankfully, has
become both public and art, as revealed in a new projection installation on
Columbus Avenue and a related exhibit at the Gallery @ Green Street.
of concrete buttresses posited along the Southwest Corridor,
between Roxbury Crossing and Jackson Square, celebrated video artist Denise
Marika and artist/community activist Corey Tatarczuk have created a stunning,
eye-catching portrait of the area's young people. At dusk, the blank chunks come
alive. They become projection screens for a series of black-and-white stills of
young people from the breakdance group Floor Lords. Caught in energetic poses,
the Lords push out against the spaces' confines, a metaphor for what these youths
face every day.
is titled ``Crossing Paths.'' Sponsored by Visible Republic, an
organization dedicated to placing temporary artwork in the public sphere, the two
artists also worked with students from New Mission High School and Bikes Not
Bombs, an activist organization that channels goodwill through bikes. They set up
photography workshops at Roxbury Community College, during which 16 young
artists photographed their world in ways that conveyed their hopes, fears and
The teens then
submitted their photos to James Hull, curator at Gallery @ Green
Street, who selected pieces for exhibition. The results are a moving look at how
these youths see themselves and their surroundings; often the depictions are of
emptiness, as in Brigitte Hunt's photograph of a Laundromat and Luis Santiago's of
a desolate alley.
In other cases,
the imagery is bleak, as in Ronni Armstead's picture of a
disintegrating car submerged in leaves, or touching, as in Philip Moise's portrait of
a sleeping teen and Shari Roberts' image of a young woman. Lashonda Jemmot's
photo of kids playing ball (they look more like pawns on a chessboard) is just plain
work with these young people and numerous neighborhood groups,
Marika and Tatarczuk decided to project images of energy and limits to portray
these youths' lives. And, they report, the breakdance group seemed like the ideal
vehicle. Both agreed that this was one of the hardest projects they've done. They
had to secure numerous permits and community approvals as well as deal with
generators and electrical problems.
Two and half
years later, the project has finally come to fruition and, given
public response, it seems to be a huge success. The day that the projections went
up, the artists heard a scream from a car, ``Hey, that's me!'' and then a screech;
next they saw a woman proudly looking at herself. Likewise, the opening at Green
Street was jammed.
people were pointing out pieces they wanted to buy. And, if that
enough of an impact on the community and the participating youths, there's the
fact that a number of the teens have gone on to photography-related endeavors,
including working for Artists for Humanity, a photo lab and the school yearbook.