With ‘Still Running: An Art Marathon for Boston,’ BU students hope to help the city heal through artistic collaboration

Untitled

Two days after the bombings at the Boston Marathon, Boston University students Taylor Mortell and Luca De Gaetano were seated in painting class, their first since BU had resumed classes. But nobody painted that morning.

“We naturally formed a circle and were trying to talk about it,” Mortell says. “Everyone was very shaken up by what had happened. Out of this group discussion, Luca and I had expressed that we wanted to do something to help the community heal.”

Two days later the friends had created ‘Still Running: An Art Marathon for Boston.’ They put out a call for art through their contacts in the art community — as well as through various social media outlets including Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr — asking any and all to donate original works of art — inspired by the events at the marathon and by Boston at large — for the project.

“We hope to bring the art community and the general community of greater Boston together in an effort to give back and heal together,” says Mortell. “There are so many different art programs and art associations around Boston, and I think it would be awesome to see them working together on something. And, it is important to us to have the product of this cooperation be friendly and accessible to the general public. We want to show that each individual contribution matters, and that collectively, we could say something very powerful. We really like the idea of an art show for Boston, by Boston.”

And, as the name of their project suggests, it’s less a show than an ongoing community collaboration.

“We will be having a series of ‘Art Marathon’ events and smaller exhibitions in the year leading up to the 2014 Marathon,” says Mortell. “[At which point] we hope to have a larger final exhibition of these works and sell them to benefit local charities.”

A mixed-media submission by Mass Art student Alyssa Aviles
A mixed-media submission by Mass Art student Alyssa Aviles

During this process, Mortell and De Gaetano plan to, in turn, give much of the donated artwork they receive as gifts of thanks and “gestures of kindness” to local police stations, runners, the injured, and anyone who was involved in the tragedy, in any capacity. They also hope to, eventually, raise enough money to be able to donate to the One Fund as well as other local non-profits that have aligned themselves with the cause.

To present their project to the public, and stimulate more involvement, they’re holding their first “marathon” this Saturday at BU’s 808 Gallery. To be clear, it’s not a show, but a participatory art event. It’s “confusing for a lot of people,” says Mortell. “We’re inviting all the different art communities of the greater Boston Area and the public to come together and make artwork together to kick off the Still Running effort. We are hoping to get a large enough volume of work from the event to get a small traveling exhibition going to continue to promote awareness and get even more people involved.”

The event is open to all, and Mortell and DeGaetano will provide all paper and art materials. Participants are invited to work from each other’s community portraits as well as to sketch sneakers and running shoes they’ll have on hand for inspiration.

“I think it would be interesting to have a collection of drawings of running shoes alongside drawings of shoes that people wore to the event,” says Mortell. “I personally like this because I think it puts an emphasis on the community aspect of the event while keeping the marathon theme relevant.”

Thus far, the project has received submissions and proposals from interested artists ranging in age from 7 to 89, a testament to the spirit of community both in this town’s art scene and Boston as a city.

For more information visit bostonartsmarathon.com.

The first Art Marathon is Saturday, May 25 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Boston University’s 808 Gallery, 808 Comm. Ave., Boston. The event is free and open to the public. 



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Police seek man accidentally released a year early…

Cops are keeping an eye out for a Bronx man who was reportedly let out of Rikers Island a year before his released date.

National

Pioneers for domestic violence push on

Reporter was commissioned to write this in-depth article. Two decades have passed since the O.J. Simpson trial captivated the country. But in the 20 years…

Local

Newest java joint in bastion of hipness is…

Little may represent the change the neighborhood is undergoing right now like the arrival of the first Starbucks. The chain which is ubiquitous in Manhattan, opened a Williamsburg store at…

National

Black and white are the new orange at…

By Brendan O'Brien(Reuters) - Black and white are the new orange in a Michigan county where the sheriff has made a wardrobe change for jail…

Music

Avey Tare's Slasher Flicks more accessible than Animal…

Believe it or not, Avey Tare — the man in the mustachioed mask pictured here in the pool of blood — may have made the poppiest music of his career.

Entertainment

‘The Leftovers’ recap: Season 1, Episode 4, ‘B.J.…

Last week’s episode of “The Leftovers” was apparently a fluke, because this week’s episode returns to focusing on the Garveys and it is so boring.…

Movies

Interview: Luc Besson says 'Lucy' is very different…

Filmmaker Luc Besson talks about his new film "Lucy," how it's different than "Limitless" and his crazy first conversation with Egyptian actor Amr Waked.

Music

Weezer releases first new song since 2010

Weezer releases "Back to the Shack," their first new song in almost six years.

NFL

'Vicktory dogs' travel road to rehabilitation seven years…

Of the dozens of dogs groomed by Bad Newz Kennels, 48 were rescued and 22 of the pit bull terriers have emerged at Best Friends Animal Society.

MLB

Yankees looking at trade for Cliff Lee, according…

Yankees looking at trade for Cliff Lee, according to report

NFL

Giants lineman Chris Snee to retire: Reports

The Giants report to training camp on Tuesday, but Chris Snee may not be there when they do.

NBA

Carmelo Anthony talks about his charity work in…

As he is used to doing every year, NBA All-Star Carmelo Anthony is going to visit Puerto Rico to do work for his foundation.

Tech

RocketSkates let users roll with a motor

Los Angeles company Acton has raised funds on Kickstarter to roll out a nifty alternative – motor-powered "RocketSkates."

Tech

Knicks star Carmelo Anthony becomes a tech entrepreneur

He's been an All-Star, an Olympian, and a celebrity spokesperson. Now NBA player Carmelo Anthony is adding the position "tech entrepreneur" to his resume. Along…

Tech

Ulises 1 is the world's first singing satellite

A group of artists and engineers in Mexico have unveiled Ulises 1, the world's first opera-singing satellite.

Home

Wallscape on a budget

Skip the wallpaper and ombre an accent wall instead.