Somerville residents chosen as artists for Street Pianos Boston



Somerville residents, Ben Kauffman, Lois Blood Bennett, Liz LaManche, and Jason Chase, that have been selected as artists for Street Pianos Boston returning to Boston from September 23 – October 10, 2016. Artists of all backgrounds, artistic abilities and experience in different mediums were encouraged to apply through a public application process. The artists selected represent a variety of geographic locations, backgrounds, and mediums. 
Ben Kauffman works for a software company during the day living in Somerville. Kauffman spends his nights and weekends in his studio painting. Kauffman is returning to the program, have participated in Street Pianos Boston 2013. Lois Blood Bennett is a Somerville resident whose designs are digital abstracts based on fractal flames, a mathematical construct capable of creating great complexity from relatively simple equations. Liz LaManche is a painter with an architecture and design background living in Somerville. LaManche spent 10 years studying and performing aerial silk and was a founding member of the Boston Circus Guild. Jason Chase is a resident of Somerville as well as a painter and teacher in the studio department at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

 

The work to create the pianos has begun and will continue through August 26 at the Innovation and Design Building in Boston. Once completed, the pianos will be tuned up before they are installed in every neighborhood across the city.

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Sixty Local Artists to Transform Pianos into Public Art For Street Pianos Boston 

 

Celebrity Series of Boston to Bring Luke Jerram’s Popular Art Installation

Play Me, I’m Yours Back to Boston September 23-October 10, 2016

 

July 25, 2016 Boston, MA — Sixty local artists have been selected to participate in Play Me, I’m Yours, Luke Jerram’s popular public art installation that will make a return visit to Boston this fall, courtesy of Celebrity Series of Boston. From September 23 – October 10, 2016, Street Pianos Boston will feature sixty pianos, decorated by these artists and placed in public outdoor spaces in every Boston neighborhood and select Cambridge locations for the public to play and enjoy. Each piano will feature a simple invitation: “Play Me, I’m Yours.” 

 

Artists of all backgrounds, artistic abilities and experience in different mediums were encouraged to apply through a public application process. The artists selected represent a variety of geographic locations, backgrounds, and mediums. Nineteen artists are returning to the program, having participated in Street Pianos Boston 2013. Forty-one of the artists are new to the project. The artists represent neighborhoods from across the city as well as Greater Boston. In addition to painting and illustration, the artists work in sculpture, quilting, woodblock printing, dance and music, all mediums they will bring to bear as they create the pianos. 

 

“We are incredibly pleased with the response to our call for artists for Street Pianos Boston. There has been great enthusiasm about being a part of the installation and sharing a vision for these pianos with the entire city,” said Gary Dunning, Celebrity Series President and Executive Director. “The process has resulted in a strong, diverse group of artists and we can’t wait to see what they create.”

 

Both amateur and professional artists will be participating in the installation. For many, art is a full-time job but others balance their art with other efforts. For example, one of the selected artists is a professor of chemistry at Boston University. Another is an assistant professor of entrepreneurship at Suffolk University. One is an editorial assistant for an arts publication in Boston, another is a creative director at an advertising agency and yet another is an arts therapist. 

 

There are six artists who are alumni of the Massachusetts College of Art, along with one professor from the school. There is another artist who is a teacher at Boston Renaissance School, and two schools, the Hurley School in Boston’s South End and the Sumner School in Roslindale, are taking on the creation of a piano with help from their students. 

 

The work to create the pianos has begun and will continue through August 26 at the Innovation and Design Building in Boston. Once completed, the pianos will be tuned up before they are installed in every neighborhood across the city. The host locations for the pianos will be announced in early September.

 

Play Me, I’m Yours was created by UK artist Luke Jerram and has been touring internationally since 2008. Celebrity Series of Boston first produced the installation in Boston in 2013 when more than 500,000 people across the city engaged with Street Pianos Boston, sharing music and song in a citywide festival. More than 1,500 pianos have now been installed in 50 cities across the globe, from New York to London. The project has reached more than 10 million people worldwide, with each new city that commissions the work becoming part of a growing legacy.

 

In Boston, Play Me, I’m Yours is produced by the Celebrity Series of Boston, as part of Arts for All!, a community engagement initiative that reaches over 10,000 individuals annually through master classes with main stage artists in public schools and conservatories; hands-on, interactive workshops for youth led by a core group of Boston-area artists; free community concerts in Boston neighborhoods; free and discounted tickets to main stage performances; and large-scale, public participatory performance projects such as Street Pianos Boston.

 

Funding support for Street Pianos Boston 2016 is generously provided by Amy and Joshua Boger, The Boston Foundation, the Stephanie L. Brown Foundation, the Klarman Family Foundation, Donna and Mike Egan, Eleanor and Frank Pao, Gentle Giant Moving Company, The Innovation and Design Bldg., the Downtown Boston Business Improvement District, and Fund for the Arts, a public art program of the New England Foundation for the Arts.   

 

“The Boston Foundation is thrilled to provide support for the second presentation of Street Pianos Boston, a fantastic participatory public art installation. As Boston’s community foundation, the Boston Foundation is committed to fostering vibrant neighborhoods, and believes innovative public art projects like these are an exciting way to actively engage Bostonians and visitors across the city and bring communities together,” said Paul S. Grogan, President and CEO of the Boston Foundation. “Celebrity Series has played an important role in Boston’s arts and culture sector for decades and we are excited to partner with this important organization as it moves to take on more art projects in the public realm.”

 

To learn more about Play Me I’m Yours, visit celebrityseries.org or streetpianosboston.org or follow the process on social media using hashtag #streetpianosboston.

 

ABOUT CELEBRITY SERIES OF BOSTON

Celebrity Series of Boston was founded in 1938 by pianist and impresario Aaron Richmond. Over the course of its 78-year history, Celebrity Series has presented an array of the world’s greatest performing artists, including Sergei Rachmaninoff, Arturo Toscanini, Ignace Paderewski, Artur Rubenstein, Vladimir Horowitz, Glenn Gould, Fritz Kreisler, Jascha Heifetz, Isaac Stern, Andrés Segovia, Kirsten Flagstad, Marian Anderson, Luciano Pavarotti, Béla Bartók, Igor Stravinsky, Martha Graham, Ballet Russe De Monte Carlo, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Mstislav Rostropovich, and the New York City Opera Company.

 

The Celebrity Series has been bringing the very best performers–from orchestras and chamber ensembles, vocal and piano music, to dance companies, jazz, and more–to Boston’s major concert halls for 78 years. The Celebrity Series of Boston believes in the power of excellence and innovation in the performing arts to enrich life experiences, transform lives and build better communities. Through its community engagement initiatives, the Celebrity Series seeks to build a community of Greater Boston where the performing arts are a valued, lifelong, shared experience–on stages, in schools, at home– everywhere.

 

The Celebrity Series of Boston, Inc. receives generous support from Amy & Joshua Boger, Leslie & Howard Appleby, the Boston Cultural Council, The Boston Foundation, the Stephanie L. Brown Foundation, Charlesbank Capital Partners LLC, the Susanne Marcus Collins Foundation, Deloitte LLP, Donna & Mike Egan, Foley & Lardner LLP, Gabor Garai & Susan Pravda, David & Harriet Griesinger, Zachary Haroutunian and the Garbis & Arminé Barsoumian Charitable Foundation, the Charles and Cerise Jacobs Charitable Foundation, Paul L. King, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, Joseph McNay, the National Endowment for the Arts, the New England Foundation for the Arts, Eleanor & Frank Pao, The Peabody Foundation, PTC, the Cynthia and John S. Reed Foundation, the Royal Little Family Foundation, the Stifler Family Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Henri A. Termeer, Michael and Susan Thonis,Tufts Health Plan, Sanjay & Sangeeta Verma, Nancy Richmond Winsten, Anonymous, and many others.

For more information about Play Me, I’m Yours or to arrange an interview with the artist behind this artwork please contact Luke Jerram in the UK via luke@lukejerram.com or call +44 (0)117 925 8243 or +44 (0)7972 300941 (cellphone).

  

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