New Central Square Exhibition Space “Art Interactive”
To Hold Pre-Opening Party Sept. 20
By Susie Davidson
A new non-profit exhibition space is set to open at the corner of Bishop Allen Drive and Prospect Street in Central Square. With a museum-like format, weekend-only hours, free admission (with a $5 suggested donation) and 2,700 visible, ground-floor square feet for its planned interactive and technological presentations, Art Interactive is a fresh concept in an art-friendly area.
Founders Emanuel Lewin and Irene Applebaum-Buchine have combined their experience in business, the arts, design, and public relations since 1999, when they began developing the project with artists and members of the public. It was incorporated in October, 2001; other AI advisory board members members include Joseph Ketner, Director of the Rose Art Museum in Waltham and Kathryn Brew, curator at Eyebeam Atelier in New York.
“The purpose of the Art Interactive,” said Lewin, “is to provide a public forum that fosters self-expression and human interaction through the development and exhibition of art which is contemporary, experimental, and participatory.” Lewin, who chairs Performance Motion Devices, Inc., a Lincoln-based high-tech company he began in 1994, and Applebaum-Buchine, who also comes from a design and business background, chose the location, architecture and organizational mission with an unencumbered environment for free expression in mind.
“The Art Interactive is a great idea with committed people behind it,” said technology art curator and Boston Cyberarts Festival organizer George Fifield, who sits on the AI board as well. “It will be a much-needed showcase for interactive and technological art, and the idea of a public-centric space should make it a fun, accessible place for showing new art.” Four shows are planned per year at the venue, which will be open Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
AI is one of the few venues to open in Cambridge in the last ten years with a museum-like mission. To that end it will be seeking to build relationships with area corporations, which would benefit through special lectures and seminars, free employee admission, and publicity. Varied membership packages will be offered, including a Student and Artist Membership ($25), Basic Membership ($79), Curator’s Circle ($250) and Director’s Circle ($1000), which will include, depending on the level, newsletter subscriptions, lecture admissions, merchandise discounts, press previews, special events and Director’s Lunches.
“There will be particular interest in our emphasis on observer-centric art,” Lewin noted. “In other words, the focus will be on art that is interactive, or that which incorporates the observer in some way. This is consistent with our interest in creating an art space that encourages people to learn about themselves and their fellow man.”
On Sept. 20, AI will hold a Pre-Opening Party and Art Preview from 6-9 p.m. at the 130 Bishop Allen Dr. location. The event will feature works by Jane Marsching, Michael Mittelman, Andrew Nuemann, Scott Snibbe, Jeff Talman and Camille Utterback and will be curated by Denise Markonish. The space will open its doors to the public on Sept. 27.
“Artists from all over the world,” said Lewin, “are creating objects and experiences which stimulate entirely new modes of human interaction. These art pieces can operate at a visual level, an auditory level, a tactile level, and even a virtual level.” At the new space, it appears that artists and viewers will be able to enjoy both the room to explore and the ability to experience each one of them.
The Art Interactive is located at the corner of Bishop Allen Drive and Prospect Street, near Central Square. For membership information and schedules of events, please call 617-498-0100 or visit www.artinteractive.org.