This past summer TEMPOart commissioned four monumental sculptures by Daniel Minter called Mother’s Garden. These sculptures, which are located near Kennedy Park in East Bayside, evoke the food and spirituality of the African Diaspora. In conjunction with this project, and in partnership with World To Table, TEMPOart sponsored four dinners for recently arrived immigrants and longtime Mainers. Our goal for the year, to help bring Portland’s diverse communities more closely together through art and food, was a great success.
In addition to the dinners, we sponsored four youth art and writing programs, including those offered by the Telling Room and Mayo Street Arts. We also hosted summer interns from the Portland Museum of Art.
Each year new TEMPOart projects enliven Portland’s public spaces. They serve as catalysts for addressing important issues and ideas that can help make our city a richer and more interconnected community.
For the coming year our theme is Resilience in Place, a concept that will enable us to explore and respond to challenges posed by imminent changes in our natural and social environments. From a field of 14 artists we are pleased to announce that Jesse Salisbury has been invited to create an installation for TEMPOart 2020. The sculpture will be located at Fish Point along the Eastern Trail, an easy walk from both Fort Allen Park and Commercial Street.
We have another exciting announcement. After 6 years of reliance on an all-volunteer board, TEMPOart has hired its first full time executive director. We are happy to welcome Tony Adams who will start work in December. Tony brings many years of experience in non-profit arts management as well as a deep commitment to multiculturalism. We hope you will have a chance to meet him in the near future.
TEMPOart continues to grow and to provide unique ways to encourage community connectionsand conversations. Our challenge in the coming year is to support both our ambitious 2020 project and our new professional staff.
We have had so much fun welcoming local youth educational programs to engage with our Welcome Feast project this summer. First, we hosted a community painting party to collaborate with Daniel Minter as he wrapped up production of the sculptures before installation day. Kids got a chance to learn about printmaking and see how an artist prepares for a big public project! Students from various youth art and writing camps have engaged with the project by responding to the sculptures with writing and art making. Students from the Telling Room, Oak Street Studios, Mayo Street Arts, Love Lab Studio and the Portland Museum of Art have all spent time contemplating concepts of community, what it means to be welcoming and how food and art can bring people together.
Here is a poem written by Elizabeth Thomas, one of the Portland Museum of Art 2019 Homer Fellows:
By Elizabeth Thomas
2019 Homer High School Fellow at the Portland Museum of Art / rising senior at Portland High School
Powerful winds dance among our silent bodies
Painted wood creates our faces
And our structure which stands
Now old in the sun
Has grown fond of her light
We turn our faces left
Perhaps our gaze is cast on something fixed
Something which brings strength
Matching the burnt umber wood which crouches under our painted tones of fire, yellow, and blue of the sky
We taste of fire and ash
Yet here we stand
New Direction for 2019 Art & Programming
For over a year now, we have been working with the artist Matthew Mazzotta on his Shifting Tides project. While Matthew’s concepts are beautiful and fit our mission, the Board of Directors has recently voted to cancel the project. Even with generous and enthusiastic in-kind support from so many involved in our waterfront and building communities, the project’s costs have more than quadrupled. We cannot move forward and remain good stewards of your support.
With that decision behind us, we are already working toward a new project for the summer of 2019 that will support our mission and make the city proud. We will start engaging with artists in Maine and elsewhere for their ideas. We see an exciting path forward and can’t wait to show you what’s next.
SHIFT OF SHIFTING TIDES
Matthew Mazzotta’s SHIFTING TIDES is now planned for installation on Portland’s Back Cove basin in June of 2019 by TEMPOart.
TEMPO has had many supportive meetings with city officials over the past two months, including the Temporary Art Committee, Parks Department, Planning and Zoning, Harbormaster, Department of Environmental Protection and Army Corps of Engineers. All parties have been committed to ensuring the success of the project and, several weeks ago, it became clear that success would entail additional time for permitting and fabrication.
This is a one-of-a-kind project, so changes in the path to completion are normal and can only make it better. Plans for partnering with World to Table to host a series of community meals inside the SHIFTING TIDES “dining room” have already gained great support from other community organizations and local chefs. Between now and June 2019, we expect to find even more opportunities to take advantage of the SHIFTING TIDES’ unique platform for community connections.
Matthew Mazzotta’s lecture at Architalx, “The Architecture of Social Space,” was a great success. To hear his lecture and learn more about his engaging kinetic installations in communities throughout the world, you can watch the video which will be posted after the series ends at vimeo.com/architalx.