Past Artist Residents

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Chanel Thervil | BCA Public Artist Resident June 6–August 26, 2016

Chanel Thervil has been selected as the BCA's summer 2016 Public Art Resident, to realize her project Emergence: What does hope look like?—a participatory temporary public art project that explores notions of aspiration and optimism. The project includes several public conversations as well as the creation of a sculpture that will be created with community input and located on the BCA's public plaza from July 14 through October 26, 2016.

Thervil is a Haitian American artist and educator who creates mixed media artwork that explores the relationship between the multiplicity of individual identity while simultaneously existing as a part of a larger community. She has exhibited her work and taught art in public schools, galleries, and museum settings in New York City and Boston. In addition to her work with sparc! the ArtMobile at MassArt's Center for Art and Community Partnerships, she currently serves as the Community Outreach Coordinator and Visual Arts Teaching Artist at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston.

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Nabeela Vega | BCA Artist Resident September 12–December 23, 2016

During their residency at the BCA, Nabeela Vega will continue their project Visiting Thahab, in which Vega explores the Muslim femme's presence in contemporary, domestic and foreign spaces through performance, sculpture and installation activated by social intervention. Vega's intention is to explore the identity of a Muslim femme in the post 9/11 diaspora, through the persona of Thahab ("body in gold"), using humor and banal actions to engage audiences in communication and intimacy.

Vega is a South Asian gender/queer media artist whose expressions utilize photography, performance and moving image to explore post 9/11 narratives that intersect with South Asian diasporic experiences. Vega maintains the personal is political—which expands the work from an orientalist lens into considering its role in digital, intimate and banal spaces. Aesthetically, these narratives follow several tropes. Most commonly: persona, gold and autobiography, to build and communicate with the viewer. Their work has been exhibited nationally, internationally & in publications like The Boston Globe, The Washington Post and The Aerogram.

Click here for information about Noise/Touch, Nabeela Vega's public program at the BCA.

Elisa H. Hamilton PDF Print E-mail

February 1 - May 13, 2016

Boston Center for the Arts (BCA) is pleased to announce that BCA Artist Resident Elisa H. Hamilton will begin her residency on February 1, 2016. This fifteen-week, public engagement-focused residency is intended to provide an environment where artists can experiment with their craft, develop their focus, test new ideas and simultaneously spark and participate in vital public dialogue.

Elisa H. HamiltonSupermarket
left: Elisa H. Hamilton, photo credit Joel Benjamin; right: Elisa H. Hamilton, Supermarket, ink and marker on paper, 2016

For her residency project at the BCA, Hamilton poses playful yet vital questions that use the familiar conventions of the archetypal superhero as a unifying construct. She asks: If you could have one superpower, what would it be and how would you use it? What if there were a store where you could buy that superpower, and the only way you could purchase it was by believing it to be possible? During her residency at the BCA, Hamilton will develop her project Supermarket, utilizing the BCA as the site of a series of conversations and workshops inviting the public to engage in a creative dialogue that explores acts of greatness, courage and how we can wield our powers to better communities.

Free and Public Programs

The (Super)Power of Love
Thursday, February 11 | 6:30–7:30pm

Interactive workshop for all ages

Love isn't just a force of nature, it's also a force within ourselves; an inherent superpower within each one of us.  This interactive workshop explores the force of love, using the exchange of experiences and sharing of unique “vessels of love” created by Hamilton for her BCA residency project.  Participants each take home a unique vessel.

Supermaking: The  Supermarket So Far
Sunday, March 20 | 1–3pm

Artist’s talk and interactive demonstration.

Imagining the Supermarket/Sharing our Superstories
Sunday, May 1 | 1–3pm

Participants will interact with Hamilton’s superpower objects and share what they would want to see in the “real” Supermarket in this public conversation examining acts of greatness that individuals have experienced and identifying superpowers that connect to those.

About the Artist

Elisa H. Hamilton is a multimedia artist whose work focuses on the joy found in our everyday places, objects, and experiences. A New England native, she is a proud graduate of Massachusetts College of Art and Design where she earned her BFA in Painting in 2007 and continues a strong connection with the school, currently serving on the Board of Trustees. She maintains a diligent studio practice and has taught at The Eliot School, Harvard Summer School, and Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Her work has been extensively shown in both solo and group exhibitions, as well as recognized by the press and her peers. Her projects include Silver Lining, a public art initiative that challenged the public to seek the good in our ordinary lives, An Apple A Day, an installation of 365 apple drawings at The Fitchburg Art Museum as part of their 2013 exhibition Still Life Lives, and Dance Spot, an ongoing interactive public art experience that transforms ordinary spaces into dance floors.

Ian Deleón PDF Print E-mail

September 8 - December 18, 2015

Ian Deleón's residency project at the BCA, Public Personae will be a critical exploration of the social aspects of the artist's work in performance, curation, writing, and dialogue. During the residency period, Deleón will organize a series of public events throughout the BCA campus that foreground concerns of engagement, participation, collaboration, and spectatorship. Events will include a mix of experimental performances, workshops, video screenings, multi-lingual group readings, vendor-booth style public interventions and drop-in critique sessions, created in collaboration with local and out-of-state practitioners whose cultural production hinges on the social. Through this programming, Public Personae aims to undercut the consumptive tendencies of artistic presentation/participation in favor of an ethics of communal preparation and digestion.

Ian Deleón (b. 1987, Miami, 2nd generation Cuban/Brazilian) is an artist, writer, and independent scholar currently based in Boston, MA. He is the Contemporary Department Assistant at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum; an editorial contributor to ARC Magazine and Big Red & Shiny, among other publications; and an active member of the Todo Bajo Control & Social Health Performance Club artist groups. Deleón has exhibited videos, installations, performances, and 2-D work in Cuba, Trinidad, Martinique, Puerto Rico, Barcelona, Berlin, Beijing, Vancouver, and throughout the Northeast of the United States.


Public Personae: Bodies in Transit // Bodies in Tumult (part 1)
Free Afternoon Public Performance series on the BCA Plaza
(or in the BCA Mills Gallery if weather is uncooperative)
Curated by BCA Fall 2015 Artist Resident Ian Deleón

This public event presents three short-duration interactive art projects on the BCA Plaza, revolving around themes including an exploration of the commodification of black bodies/black lives and the stereotypes and myths that perpetuate this process; experimentation with new forms of narrative and the transformative role of storytelling; and personal and activist possibilities raised by the act of reading together.

The projects being presented:

  1. PIGEON HOLE a pop-up storefront installation by artists Jennifer Hall and Soledad Boyd, taking place in front of the BCA plaza garden, on the Tremont Street side, near corner of Tremont and Clarendon;
  2. The Water Bearer/La portadora de aqua site-specific performance by Dey Hernández, in front of the Mills Gallery; and
  3. READERS a gathering of collaborators organized by Ekua Holmes and Chanel Thervil, in and around the BCA plaza garden


Public Personae: Bodies in Transit//Bodies in Tumult (part 2)
Free Public Performance series
Saturday, December 19, 2015 | 4-7pm
Curated by BCA Fall 2015 Artist Resident Ian Deleón

This public event presents an afternoon of performances that push the limits of identity, materiality and consciousness. Four new artist projects feature three site-specific performance debuts and a multimedia presentation in the BCA’s Black Box Theatre.

The projects being presented:

  3. Adam Rose + Eames Armstrong
  4. Madge of Honor

In greater detail:

  1. In ESSENTIAL DEPARTURES, Tif Robinette presents documentation and testimony from Essential Departures, a collaborative and experimental performance art workshop held at Rosekill Farm in upstate New York last summer. The workshop, organized with Poppy Jackson (UK) and Jill McDermid (NYC), breaks with women’s historically fraught, imposed ‘bond’ with nature by activating the inherent political potency of the female body/activist body within a natural context.
  2. Essential Departures
    Performance at Essential Departures by Jessi T Walsh

  3. AGROFEMME is a Brooklyn-based performance artist exploring subjects including: the sublime and the abject often informed by an investigation of esoteric and occult texts, the 19th century avant garde, post-humanist theories and radical queer feminism. Agrofemme’s work attempts to unionize empathetic spirituality, healing and radical action.

  5. Adam Rose + Eames Armstrong are two Chicago and Washington, DC-based interdisciplinary artists who explore the elusive nature of the mind-body relationship through dance, performance and collaborative experimentation. Adam is the Artistic Director of Antibody Corporation, specializing in presenting work from the standpoint of a theoretical Antibody – amorphous and evading categorization. Eames is the found of Aether Art Projects, and currently pursuing an MFA at George Washington University.
  6. Adam Rose + Eames Armstrong Adam Rose + Eames Armstrong

  7. MADGE OF HONOR is a queer performance artist whose work centers on the body as a site of both socialization and rebellion.  Madge uses femininity, sexuality and spectacle to expose and confront social conventions, construction and our collective fantasies/pathologies about race and gender, drawing on nightclub traditions of drag and burlesque.  Madge also engages with physically and psychically demanding endurance and time-based work.

James Leonard PDF Print E-mail

james leonard seeking divinersFebruary 2 - May 15, 2015

For more on James Leonard and his residency project at the BCA Feb-May 2015, Observing Nature in a Changing Climate visit the following links:

Call to Action - Observing Nature in a Changing Climate
Stories Collected So Far

James Leonard's Facebook page
James Leonard's website

James Leonard grapples with themes of memory, time and impermanence through the lenses of mortality and climate change.  At the BCA, he will continue an ongoing project that involves consulting psychics, diviners and spiritualists about death, its impact and the world we leave behind, and invites the public to join in and raise their own specific climate-change related concerns.

James Leonard is a Brooklyn-based artist who works across a range of media, including performance, installation, video, drawing and painting. He received a BFA in 1996 from Syracuse University with concentrations in painting, video, and philosophy. In 2004, he received an MFA with a concentration in complex systems theory from the University of Michigan. Over the past ten years, Leonard has exhibited work in numerous art spaces and established festivals, including Fuse Works, Photoville and the Front Room Gallery. In his work, he explores themes of climate, impermanence, the physic and memory.

At the BCA, Leonard plans to continue progress towards on his ongoing process-based performance 99 Ways to Die, in which he consults psychics and other diviners about his death, its impact and the world he will leave behind. He will further develop the project in collaboration with local sources, and will invite the BCA community to participate in his research and to raise their own questions about impermanence and climate change.


Artist's statement:

"I am very pleased to announce this coming spring, I will serve as the 2015 Boston Center for the Arts Artist Resident. While there, I will continue developing a new body of performances and socially-engaged art events, including my forthcoming 99 Ways to Die--a process based performance in which I collaborate with numerous psychics and seers.

Building on last year's performance A Kiss For Luck, which explored themes of loss and material memory, I turn my attention to the intersections between foresight and impermanence.

Adopting a series of familiar structures including fortune-telling readings, group therapy sessions, and scholarly summits, I will work with psychics, academics and members of the public to explore the art of projective storytelling--how we talk to one another about the future--as we grapple with the coming impacts of climate change."


Image: James Leonard, SeekingDiviners3475642660, street campaign, 2014-ongoing

Pat Falco PDF Print E-mail

pat falco a celebration of diversitySeptember 8 - December 19, 2014

Artist website

Pat Falco's Boston Contemporary Art Museum for Contemporary Art, Artists, and their Contemporaries participating in Boston's First Night to ring in 2015

Follow Pat Falco's UNTITLED NOVEMBER, a series of daily interventions in the BCA's South End neighborhood and beyond, November 1-30, 2014.

Pat Falco, who founded Lincoln Art Projects in Waltham and runs the Distillery Gallery in South Boston, creates deadpan, hilarious yet pointed text-based signs and objects that he deploys in the public realm to provoke conversation about challenging contemporary issues. During his residency at the BCA, he continues his exploration of the intersection of art and activism with significant participation from the BCA community.

Boston native Pat Falco is a graduate of Massachusetts College of Art & Design. In 2011, he founded Lincoln Arts Project, an alternative gallery/project space in Waltham, MA, and he has run the Distillery Gallery in South Boston since 2012. His art practice revolves around everyday life, using text and found objects to highlight the absurd and interacting with his surroundings using a humorous approach.

For the past two years, Falco has primarily focused on installing text-based signs and objects around the city. Their purpose ranges from acting as a catalyst for conversation about city-related issues to bringing attention to under-recognized topics.

block-wkshpSign UP! Take to the Streets
November 1 | 1-4pm
Mills Gallery at the BCA
Be the change at the BCA! Join our Artist Resident Pat Falco and bring your voice into the public sphere. Create personalized picket signs during our November workshop. All ideas, whether political, humorous, absurd or personal, are fair game! We want to hear what you have to say, together let's take those signs to the streets of Boston!

Image: Pat Falco, Untitled, 2014, acrylic on wood

Cathy McLaurin PDF Print E-mail

February 3 - May 16, 2014
Artist website

cathy mclaurin horizontal

block-talkArtist Talk
February 27 | 7 pm
Mills Gallery

block-wkshpA Community Conversation
March 22 | 1 pm
Mills Gallery

Come tell us about yourself! Artist Cathy McLaurin and the Boston Center for the Arts host an afternoon of story sharing. Bring a personal object that you feel communicates your history and experience. Both your object and story can become a part of a special exhibit in the Mills. Enjoy refreshments and tell us about your object and story.

cathy mclaurin how many artistsEXHIBITION

How many artists does it take to change (a lightbulb)?
May 3 - June 26
Gertrude's Salon/Mills Gallery

Cathy McLaurin brings together a fascinating collection of objects and stories from BCA artists and staff, as well as from our South End neighbors in an exhibition that represents the culmination of her recent 15-week residency at the BCA. Based on research and interviews, McLaurin reveals lesser known histories of a familiar place by way of a community display of personal art and other items, accompanied by labels co-written by the items’ owners.

While in residency at the Boston Center for the Arts from February 3 through May 16, artist Cathy McLaurin will create a tour of Boston’s historic South End neighborhood, drawing on methodology including “on the ground” interactions with community members and historical research.  Her practice involves media ranging from performance, video and drawing to dialogue and writing, used to develop an in-depth narrative of place, reflecting issues and experiences such as repressed history, tradition, trauma and larger political and economic forces.

Image: Cathy McLaurin, Untitled still from video, No place like home, HD video 30:00, 2012-13.
Photo: Civry Melvin, 2014

Azadeh Tajpour PDF Print E-mail

azadeah tajpour 2September 9 - December 20, 2013
Artist website

block-talkArtist Talk
September 26 | 7pm
Mills Gallery



block-talkShifting Borders: Artist Round-Table Discussion
Monday, November 25 | 7pm
Mills Gallery

Join us for a round-table conversation with BCA Artist Resident Azadeh Tajpour and artists Shirin Mazaffari and Parastoo Ahovan.

Three Iranian-born artists discuss issues raised by their artwork, including the shifting border between "us" and "other" for artists exploring personal history in the context of international events.

Presented in conjunction with Tajpour's current project at the BCA, utilizing images of late 19th century Iranian women found in Harvard's digital archive "Women's Worlds in Qajar Iran," these artists will talk about strategies and challenges involved with the use of archival material in art-making, examine changing views of ethnography and gender, and question authenticity and ambiguity in representation.

Audience participation in the conversation is invited and encouraged.

Tajpour’s current project, Shifting Context, grows out of her involvement in “Women’s Worlds in Qajar Iran,” a Harvard University digital archive project. Tajpour’s research led her to uncover late 19th and early 20th century photographs and texts describing Iranian women of this era. The representations of these women in the archives raised questions for Tajpour about the nature of meaning as gleaned from historical records and archives, and about how to build a sense of engagement and context from such sources. These questions will inform her multi-media project at the BCA.

Tajpour’s past work includes a study of the 2009-2010 upheavals in Tehran as captured by protestors (often with phone cameras) running in the midst of conflict or from a place of hiding. This work has taken the form of paintings that freeze moments of turmoil, as well as video and installation works that examine the layers of mediation that inform political and personal consciousness.

Born in 1979 in Tehran, Azadeh Tajpour received a BS in Physics from Sharif University. She moved to Los Angeles in 2004 where she received an MA in Art History from California State University, Los Angeles and an MFA from Claremont Graduate University. She has lived and worked in Somerville, MA since 2010. She has received awards from the Somerville Art Council, the Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation, the Armory Center for the Arts and CE & Bertha Harsh.

Tajpour has participated in an Art Omi residency and exhibited at CSU Long Beach, Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, CA, McNish Gallery and Jaus Gallery, Los Angeles, Claremont Graduate University East Gallery, Peggy Phelps Gallery and LAAA Gallery 825, among others. She will participate at the 31st International Symposium of Contemporary Art of Baie-Saint- Paul, Québec, Canada in August 2013. Her recent video installation will be exhibited in the Open West in the United Kingdom in 2013.

Image credit: Azadeh Tajpour, Untitled, Digital print on Vellum, 8.5 x 11 in., 2013

Edie Bresler PDF Print E-mail

edie breslerExchange Economy
March 4 – June 14, 2013
Artist website
Artist blog

This Spring, the BCA will welcome local Somerville artist Edie Bresler, whose practice is based on collaborative, social practices. At the BCA, Bresler seeks to create an alternative financial model for our economy, one that is built on systems of trust and trade-exchange. Throughout Bresler’s residency, she will set up informal, participatory “street studios” in the BCA’s neighborhood where she will engage with passersby to create interactive visual and written portraits. For their participation, “currency” will be exchanged, which can be traded for a portrait at an informal BCA community day. Dates for Bresler’s community days will be posted in the Spring.

IMAGE CREDIT: Edie Bresler, Exchange Economy Edie Bresler, Exchange Economy Harry Patel and family, Jay's Food, Beer and Wine, 2012, Lowell, MA.

block-talkArtist Talk with Edie Bresler
Wednesday, March 20 | 7-8 pm | Mills Gallery at the BCA
Current Artist Resident Edie Bresler discusses her current project Exchange Economy.


block-wkshpExchange Economy Community Photo Day with current Artist Resident Edie Bresler
Saturday, April 6 | 2-5 pm | Artist Studio Building Lobby at the BCA
Free and open to the public
During her 15-week residency, Bresler will be developing her interactive project Exchange Economy. Using photography, she will examine ideas of value by creating an alternative economic model built on systems of recycling, trust and trade-exchange.


block-wkshpExchange Economy Community Photo Day with current Artist Resident Edie Bresler
Wednesday, May 15 | 6:30-9:30 pm | Artist Studio Building Lobby at the BCA
Free and open to the public
During her 15-week residency, Bresler will be developing her interactive project Exchange Economy. Using photography, she will examine ideas of value by creating an alternative economic model built on systems of recycling, trust and trade-exchange.


block-wkshpExchange Economy Community Photo Day with current Artist Resident Edie Bresler
Saturday, June 15 | 2-5 pm | Artist Studio Building Lobby at the BCA
Free and open to the public
During her 15-week residency, Bresler will be developing her interactive project Exchange Economy. Using photography, she will examine ideas of value by creating an alternative economic model built on systems of recycling, trust and trade-exchange.

Siobhan Rigg PDF Print E-mail

After Now
September 4 – December 23, 2012
Artist website

after nowWashington, DC-based artist Rigg explores ways in which current socio-political issues affect a community’s immediate environment and quality of life. Given the economic uncertainties that define the ongoing late-2000s recession and a broader sense of unease about social and environmental futures, Rigg's project, After Now incorporates methods utilized in science fiction writing to ask participants to describe their own sense of possible futures. Rigg adapts these techniques to everyday life, transforming ideals into concrete activities for individuals to narrate their own world order. Portions of the resulting audio recordings of interviews and public conversations will ultimately be translated into concrete, three-dimensional models of the objects and places in the participants’ stories.

block-talkArtist Talk: Wednesday, September 19 | 6 pm | Mills Gallery




block-wkshpThe Future Looks Like This: An evening of rational and irrational charette and conversation
Thursday, November 15 | 7 pm | Mills Gallery at the BCA

Free and open to the public

To register of for more information contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 617.426.1119

How is the economic crisis changing what is possible?
Draw the landscape of the future as you imagine it using the science fiction strategy of world building (no artistic virtuosity is expected!).

End Times vs. The Five-Year Plan
Take inspiration and perhaps solace in highlights from the history of planning and foretelling the future.

Contribute to the After Now Library
Be a part of a larger collection of conversations and interviews about modeling the future. Portions of the workshop will be audio recorded.

In Exchange
In thanks for your participation, you will receive a hand-made compendium of the After Now materials made in Boston this Fall.

What’s a charette?
A collaborative session of designers, citizens, planners or other interested parties often used to generate design solutions for real world problems. Formats vary, but they are usually set to a deadline to generate ideas quickly – the goal is ideas rather than finished product.


IMAGE CREDIT: Siobhan Rigg, After Now: Open Invitation for Open Meetings, 2012



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