Tuesday, July 3, 2012


Mobile art series hits Boston’s streets
Housed in a rented U-Haul truck, White Walls Boston brings installations to art-starved pockets of the city

By Eric Magnuson. Web only
Published online: 02 July 2012

Twice a year, Boston’s streets are packed with trucks as students move on and off campuses in the university-filled town. Throughout this summer, however, some of those lorries are hauling much more interesting loads than budget furniture.

A 26-foot-long rented U-Haul truck is bringing local artists to Boston neighbourhoods that don’t normally have a visual arts scene. The White Walls Boston mobile art series launched on 30 June, featuring the work Phototrop by the local artists Jesse Kaminsky and Vela Phelan.

Throughout the night, and “after a brief technical battle”, according to the project’s Facebook page, Kaminsky and Phelan drove their installation piece to four different locations where they parked and opened the back door to let passersby step inside to view their work. The piece consists of a rear-projection video beamed through an installation of thousands of blue strings cutting across every angle of the lorry’s interior.

The series’ organiser, Ethan Kiermaier, says he created the project due to “a lack of truly independent art spaces in Boston”. He says that participating artists are choosing the specific locations where they show their work. For Kaminksy and Phelan’s piece, they utilised the urban landscape, drawing people to their work by shooting the projection through the back-end of the lorry and directly onto nearby architecture.

The mobile series, supported by a grant from a local non-profit arts organisation called Berwick Research Institute, continues on 4 to 5 August with a performance piece by Maria Molteni that Kiermaier calls “a tent revival out of a truck”. The final date for the series is 1 September, featuring work by the local musician Shane Butler. Exact locations are to be announced soon.

Kaminsky says he was interested in working with the constraints posed by a lorry, not least of which is driving through Boston traffic. “Driving a 26-foot truck and finding parking in Boston on a Saturday night is a nightmare.”

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