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MassArt hopes ArtMobile will drive creativity in Fenway community

Posted by Johanna Kaiser  November 22, 2011 03:18 PM

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Photo by Johanna Kaiser for boston.com

Ekua Holmes, community coordinator for MassArt's Center for Art and Community Partnerships, with the school's ArtMobile, a van designed to bring art projects to the community.

Art projects for all ages are set to roll right up to neighborhood schools and community organizations in a van designed--on the inside and outside--to foster art and creativity.

Massachusetts College of Art and Design recently unveiled its ArtMobile, SPARC, a retrofitted multipurpose van stocked with all the supplies needed to bring printmaking, painting, drawing, and many other arts and crafts to the community.

"Everybody has a creative spirit so if we can get people thinking about how they use creativity in their own lives and how important it is that would be a great goal," said Ekua Holmes, the community coordinator for MassArt’s Center for Art and Community Partnerships.

The school will collaborate with community organizations and schools to develop art projects and creative activities. The ArtMobile will then bring the supplies and guidance many organizations and underfunded schools need to create art and inspire students and adults.

Some of the ArtMobile’s upcoming projects include a poetry workshop, and a performance based on interviews teens conducted with senior citizens about their lives.

"We're hoping to always maintain that type of collaboration with the community because we are part of it as opposed to an institution in the community," Holmes said as she prepared for a festival celebrating the van’s unveiling where students, community groups, artists, and musicians painted body art, made postcards with stamps, and traced their hands on windows.

Even the name and design of the van were voted on by community members. The name SPARC, is not an acronym for anything in particular, said Holmes, but the center will work with individual groups using the van’s services to create a message that fits their goals.

Mariah Siegmann, a sophomore studying painting at MassArt, created the winning design for the van. It features swirls of greens and blues and the outline of notable buildings in the Mission Hill neighborhood.

“I was trying to get a flavor of the area, and we added people toward the back of the van and also on the sides trying to get a diversity and sense of community,” she said.

Kaiser can be reached at johanna.yourtown@gmail.com.

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