Somerville Journal by Julia Taliesen
On May 12, Somernova, in partnership with the Somerville Arts Council and Call To Art, announced the Somernova Art Project, a collaboration to create a public art installation in Somerville.
“During these unprecedented times, amidst a pandemic that keeps us apart, the power of art continues to prevail, and offer ways to keep us connected,” reads the project callout. “Even in the face of new challenges, the Somerville community remains resilient and hopeful. The goal of this project is to support local artists during these financially challenging times while offering an opportunity for the community to come together to celebrate and commemorate the spirit of the city we love.”
The submission deadline is May 21, a winner will be selected by May 28, and the project must be completed by June 24. All projects must comply with the city’s COVID-19 public safety guidelines. Artists will be paid $15,000 plus the cost of materials, and there is an additional $2,500 in fellowship money to be awarded to the most interesting proposals and ideas.
Artisan’s Asylum member Skunk is excited to be on project jury.
“The Somernova Art Project’s mission is to encourage emerging artists to dream big and to go big – think of Somernova as a large-scale canvas for high-impact art to take place,” he said. “I’m lucky to have been asked to help find an artist who’s ready for expressing on a monumental level. It’s important because art is a lifeline to sanity and humanity, particularly during dark times.”
Skunk is the artist behind the locally-famous Dyanna sculpture, which stands outside Aeronaut Brewery and Brooklyn Boulders at the entrance to the Somernova campus. The project location – at the Dane and Tyler streets – includes a large vertical wall, a private green space, and chain link fence.
“Being a repurposed-metal sculptor, my work tends to be fairly monochromatic so I’d love to see some exciting use of color: something that grabs the viewer’s attention and makes them smile,” he said. “The buildings on Somernova campus are big, and there’s plenty of space, so there’s lots of opportunity for an artist to flex their creative muscles. Besides the financial support, Skunk said this exposure can be a wonderful thing for an artist.
“When an artist work is showcased at Somernova it touches a lot of minds,” he said. “Dyanna, my piece outside of Brooklyn Boulders, has not only been an ambassador of the Somernova community, she has been a personal agent to promote what I’m capable of as an artist.”
Want to apply? Head to somernova.art for details.
“Best said by contemporary artist Gerhard Richter, ‘Art is the highest form of hope,’” said Collin Yip, managing director of Rafi Properties and owner of Somernova. “We want to give people an opportunity to create public art that celebrates the spirit of the city we all love – a visual reminder of our city’s hope and resilience.”