Brighter Beyond @ the MFA

Brighter Beyond, Photo by Nir Landau
Workshop at Timilty Middle School
Workshop at Maimonides School
Workshop at JCDS, Photo by Ilana Coolidge
Workshop at Blackstone School
Workshop at Blackstone School
Workshop at DMD
Workshop at DMD
Workshop at Rashi School
Student scratch art
Workshop at JCDS, Photo by Ilana Coolidge
Workshop at JCDS, Photo by Ilana Coolidge
Workshop at JCDS, Photo by Ilana Coolidge
Workshop at Rashi School
Workshop at Rashi School
JCDS students with glowing bracelets
SSDS students with glowing bracelets
SSDS students with glowing bracelets
Maimonides students with glowing bracelets
Timilty students with glowing bracelets
Rashi students with glowing bracelets
Discovery Club After School @ the JCC, helping with the flames
Keshet IAC helping with the flames
Discovery Club After School @ the JCC, helping with the flames
Keshet IAC helping with the flames
Keshet IAC students with glowing bracelets
Installation Information @ the MFA
Brighter Beyond, Photo by Nir Landau
Visitors admiring their contributions, Photo by Nir Landau
Contributing to the installation, Photo by Nir Landau
Tova helps a visitor add glowing beads to the installation, Photo by Nir Landau
Contributing to the installation, Photo by Nir Landau
Contributing to the installation, Photo by Nir Landau
Brighter Beyond, Photo by Nir Landau
Brighter Beyond, Photo by Rachael Farber
DMD dancers (and Becky), Photo by Nir Landau
Photo by Julie Vanek
Visitor artwork
Visitor artwork
Visitor artwork
Visitor artwork
Visitor artwork
Visitor artwork
Visitor artwork
How will you brighten tomorrow, collaborative sticker mural
Brighter Beyond
Student scratch art
Student scratch art
Brighter Beyond
Brighter Beyond
How will you brighten tomorrow, collaborative sticker mural
Visitors' ideas for how they will brighten the world
Visitors' ideas for how they will brighten the world
Visitors' ideas for how they will brighten the world
Visitors' ideas for how they will brighten the world
Visitors' ideas for how they will brighten the world
Visitors' ideas for how they will brighten the world
Brighter Beyond, tape by Anyah
Brighter Beyond, tape by Anyah
Brighter Beyond, tape by Anyah

"Brighter Beyond" 2019

I am so excited to have been invited back by JArts and the MFA to create my second glowing installation in celebration of Hanukkah. I led community art workshops with over 180 students in eight communities (Newton, Boston, Cambridge, Roxbury, Dorchester, Watertown, Brookline, and Dedham) and included their creations in my installation at the museum. The interactive piece allowed visitors the opportunity to add to the installation through three glowing art activities. Brighter Beyond is inspired by the theme of light as a metaphor for hope and strength, and demonstrates the impact that radiating our light, positivity, and communal strength can have in our community and in our world. 3500+ people of all ages are estimated to have visited the museum during the event and over 500 of them contributed to the installation by decorating a mason jar with glowing markers to "add their light," by sharing ways they will "brighten tomorrow" on a sticker and adding it to a collaborative mural, and by attaching glowing beads on slinkies suspended from the center hoop. 

Read below for the full artist statement for this giant glowing artwork displayed at the museum!

Brighter Beyond
A collaborative, interactive blacklight experience
Mixed media, 2019

About the Art

Brighter Beyond is inspired by the theme of light as a metaphor for hope and strength, resilience and community. In the center of the room, the eight suspended columns (plus one in the center) represent the eight branches of the Menorah or Hanukkiah, a candelabra lit during the eight night celebration of Hanukkah. The center column is the ninth branch of the menorah, called the Shamash (“helper”), which is the candle used to light all the others; and represents our communal interest in helping add light in the world. Enhance the glow of the Shamash by attaching beads and add your own images and words to the walls of the installation room to embrace the idea that our world is a brighter place when everyone's light comes together AND when we radiate our light outward in our communities and beyond. 

  

The mandala scratch art guiding you around the room was created by third - twelfth grade students from diverse backgrounds in eight different Boston-area communities. Students added their colorful light on a plate and then covered it with black paint signifying that we might not always be comfortable or able to share our light (our true selves) with others. Students were then asked to etch onto the edge of the plates how someone else might bring out their hidden light. Students connected across communities through the art-making process as their darkened plates were brought to the next group to reveal the colorful light hidden beneath. 

About the Artists

This project was facilitated by lead artist Tova Speter. Tova is an artist, art therapist, and community muralist based at Gorse Mill Studios in Needham, MA. Tova works with people of all ages and abilities and has led collaborative art experiences with over 50 communities in the Greater Boston area as well as internationally in Argentina, China, Panama, and Israel. More info at www.tovaspeter.com

Over 180 youth artists from ten groups partnered with Tova on this project. Their initials are on the glowing “sparks” suspended around each flame. Student artists are also identified by glowing bracelets, say hello to an artist if you see one!

Many thanks to all the student artists from:

ARCK Boston’s partnership with the Blackstone Innovation School in the South End

Cambridge Street Upper School in Cambridge

Divas mentoring divas in Dorchester

The Jewish Community Day School in Watertown 

Maimonides School in Brookline

The Rashi School in Dedham

Solomon Schechter Day School in Newton

Timilty Middle School in Roxbury

... and our youngest artists from Discovery After School Club @ the JCC of Greater Boston and Keshet IAC!

Thanks to Anyahlee Suderman, Avital Dayanim, and Daisy Hutter for their installation support, along with Maria, Victoria, Carol, Rachael, and Pete - I couldn't have done it without all of your help. And, of course, Scott and the "A team" at the MFA - you guys are the best!

View a slideshow of the student workshops here

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