(This site is still here as an archive.)
Meet Me at the Table
Meet Me at the Table: A Project of the
Public Art Incubator (PAI) Program
The Public Art Cookbook has arrived! Share the recipes, conversations and ideas that were shared amongst the Meet Me At The Table participants. Sample from the pantry gift box to create your own dish or public art project.
To purchase your own copy of the Meet Me At The Table Cookbook and Public Art Pantry, please email the Meet Me At The Table staff using the Contact Page. Each purchase of $45 includes a limited edition cookbook, spices and selections from the essential pantry list, beautifully packaged by the Berwick staff! You can also download a pdf version of the cookbook here.
Mission of The Public Art Incubator and Meet me at the Table
During 2007 and through the spring of 2008, the Berwick's Public Art Incubator Program (PAI) curated Meet Me At The Table, a series of four unique dinner events that brought together artists, community organizers, urban designers, arts administrators, activists and other interested individuals to discuss the potential of socially based, temporary works to activate public spaces in the metro Boston area.
This year long project evolved out of the Berwick's interest in expanding our network beyond the arts community, and challenging the ways in which the Public Art Incubator program has operated since its inception in 2005.
Throughout the Meet Me At The Table conversation series, the Berwick invited culinary and visual artists to create menus that aesthetically and gastronomically evoke the specific topic of each conversation. This project was launched in late 2006, with the final dinners completed in January and February of 2008. Each of the dinners brought new faces and perspectives to the table and helped shape the direction and conversation of subsequent dinners.
The intentions behind these dinners were varied but interrelated:
- To literally bring people to the table in order to address issues that impact the quality of, and relationships behind, the public art being created in the cities of Cambridge, Boston, and Somerville.
- To meet and begin conversations with potential partners, so that future public art projects can evolve out of previously identified, shared interests.
- To create a platform by which individuals, organizations and municipalities can continue these conversations to the benefit of the wider communities who are ultimately affected by the quality of and intention behind artwork situated in public spaces.
- To research and document the dinners and public art making in this region in order to create a creative tool that displays PAI’s findings for a future public event
Importantly, the PAI curators, Meg Rotzel and Susan Sakash, felt that the Berwick could learn much from other socially-engaged (non arts-specific) fields in terms of how to foster effective collaborations and ways to make art that challenges viewers to take on a more active role in the way they perceive and interact with the world around them. And at the same time, they were interested in learning how to keep this work accessible to those who do not approach it first through the lens of contemporary art. The ultimate goal of the project has been to work towards an effective model for experimental, temporary public art production in the Boston area. We also hoped to delve into what role the Public Art Incubator program might play within that model.
Meet Me At The Table ultimately intended to serve as a platform from which the various parties invested in the production of and interaction with public art have an equal voice in shaping the dialogue around pertinent issues on these subjects.
Meet Me At The Table is generously supported by the LEF Foundation, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and the Boston Cultural Council.
The Berwick’s Public Art Incubator began in 2005 as a residency program that supports artists who make temporary artworks in public places. In particular, Berwick PAI artists use their residency period for projects that are still in the research and development stage, incubating their ideas and building relationships with partnering organizations and individuals. The Berwick works within the realm of social public spaces, drawing upon the knowledge base and resources of local artists, neighborhood organizations, activists, educators, citizens and arts organizations. Through our programming and artworks we position ourselves as learners who create collaborative conversations through socially focused artworks.