Brighter Together @ the MFA

Photo by Nir Landau
Art Workshop @ JCDS
Art Workshop @ JCDS
Art Workshop @ JCDS
Art Workshop @ JCDS
Art Workshop @ JQOP
Art Workshop @ JQOP
Art Workshop @ Timilty
Art Workshop @ Timilty
Art Workshop @ Timilty
Art Workshop @ Timilty
Art Workshop @ Browne
Art Workshop @ Browne
Art Workshop @ Maimo
Art Workshop @ Maimo
Art Workshop @ SSDS
Art Workshop @ Rashi
Art Workshop @ Rashi
Art Workshop @ DMD
Art Workshop @ DMD
About the Installation
Installation
Timilty students help with the installation
Timilty students help with the installation
Timilty students help with the installation
Students' invisible ink ideas about bringing out their hidden light
Installation
Brighter Together
Photo by Nir Landau
Brighter Together
Invitation to add to the installation
Brighter Together
Photo by Ashley Buckholtz
Photo by Nir Landau
Brighter Together
Brighter Together
Browne Student visits her work
Photo by Nir Landau
Photo by Nir Landau
Photo by Nir Landau
Photo by Nir Landau
Photo by Nir Landau
Photo by Nir Landau
Photo by Nir Landau
Photo by Nir Landau
Photo by Nir Landau
Brighter Together
Brighter Together
Brighter Together
Brighter Together
Brighter Together
Photo by Tova Speter
Brighter Together
Brighter Together
Brighter Together
Brighter Together
Brighter Together
Brighter Together
Brighter Together
Photo by Nir Landau

"Brighter Together" 2018

I was honored to be commissioned by the Jewish Arts Collaborative to create a large-scale art installation at the Museum of Fine Arts during their annual Hanukkah celebration. For the months leading up to the event I worked with over 130 middle school students from 8 schools/programs to create over 500 individual pieces that were then included in the installation. 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 lightbulb with glowing markers to "add their light," by sharing things that brighten their day on a sticky note and adding it to create the word "SHINE," and by participating in a scavenger hunt to collect beads and and them on slinkies suspended from the center hoop. 

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

Brighter Together
A collaborative, interactive blacklight experience
Mixed media, 2018

About the Art
Our world is a brighter place when everyone’s light comes together. 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 holiday. The center column represents the ninth branch of the menorah, called the Shamash (“helper”), which is the candle used to light all the others. Enhance the light of the Shamash by attaching beads collected from the scavenger hunt; and add your images and words to embrace the idea that we are ‘Brighter Together.'    

The suspended artwork was created by over 130 middle school students from diverse backgrounds; and each streamer was tied on by a participating student artist. Their work includes unique doodles, patterns, and drawings representing how they “add light” in their home and school environments.  Look closely at the black and white chains for an invisible ink surprise from the students sharing examples for bringing out the hidden light in others. 

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 130 middle school student artists from eight groups partnered with Tova on this project. Student artists are identified by glowing beaded bracelets, say hello to an artist if you see one!  

Many thanks to all the student artists from:

Browne Middle School in Chelsea
Divas mentoring divas in Dorchester
The Jewish Community Day School in Watertown
Josiah Quincy Vivaldi Orchestra in Boston
Maimonides School in Brookline
The Rashi School in Dedham
Solomon Schechter Day School in Newton
Timilty Middle School in Roxbury

 

Thanks to Emily Bhargava, Ashley Buckholtz, Anyahlee Suderman, and Marriah Vengroff for their installation support.

View a slideshow of the student workshops here.

Read 275 ideas (from middle school students) for how to help bring out the hidden light in themselves and others. A sample:

How can you bring out the hidden light in others?

·     Be unexpectedly generous

·      I can show them their wonderfulness

·      A bright smile makes others happy

·      By believing in them

·      Give hugs and give them often

·      Always be open to making new friends

·      Be respectful and don't judge other people's dreams, wishes, and thoughts

·      I will show people how important they are

·      When I stand up for my best friend

·      Give them a chance to shine

How can others help bring out your hidden light?

·      They can help by making me feel like part of the community

·      You can try to really get to know me and what I like

·      When they show that they care about me

·      They can help make me feel comfortable

·      By really listening

·      If people make me laugh, give me advice, and maybe even food, I could show my hidden light

·      Sometimes I just need someone to do nothing with

·      By accepting me for who I am not who they want me to be

·      Make me laugh to let my light shine

·      Show me you won't make fun of my true self


 

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