Keep it local: A holistic approach to art procurement

We recently had the opportunity to curate and lead an art procurement project for a new residential building in Boston’s Allston Village neighborhood, called BLDG89. Located at 89 Brighton Avenue, BLDG89 is a mixed use project that offers moderately priced, transit oriented housing, with access to neighborhood amenities that urban household’s desire. 

We were tasked with hiring fresh, exciting, and elevated artists to create work to reflect the culture and expression of Allston. In partnership with real estate firm, Eden Properties, and PCA, one of Greater Boston’s largest architecture, interior, and planning groups, we made sure that the pieces we selected would compliment the modern finishes and contemporary loft-like living style within this relatively traditional neighborhood. 

In the instance of procurement, we deliver a holistic perspective, providing mutual benefit to the client and the creative community by designing one-of-a-kind visual moments for the space, that include a well-balanced representation of national, regional and local creative work. It was incredibly important to us to consider the creative voices in the neighborhood and equally highlight the local artists’ unique styles throughout the project. 

Fueling a procurement ecosystem while shining a spotlight on those who live and work in the community is integral to our mission. It not only anchors the space in a more meaningful way, it helps to encourage, empower, and open doors for up and coming artists to thrive and be part of the larger conversation. 

Every corner of the building was carefully curated to be vibrant, impactful and memorable:

The Elevators

Artwork by Emily Lynn Perelman

Five elevators murals by Emily Perelman feature a custom illustration designed and printed on adhesive vinyl. The approach was experimental and meant to solve for complexities that would have come with painting a mural on a faux brick treatment. Each design is unique to the purpose of the floor and also serves as a wayfinding piece, so residents can immediately tell where they are when they get off the elevator, or as they walk through the hallways.

LINDEN ST. MURALS

Artwork by Amanda Beard Garcia, Likemind Design

Inspired by festival goers and the stylish urbanites that you would find living and spending time in Allston, Amanda Beard Garcia of Likemind Design brought three canine personas to life with a mural along Linden Street. The illustrations combine colors from the BLDG 89 brand with elements of Allston Rock City throughout. These recognizable and engaging 4×10 foot panels are featured on the high-traffic side street of the building for passersby to enjoy. Additionally, a small replica was printed to be featured inside of the building’s pet-washing station. 

A corridor casette tape project

In an effort to connect modern tenant minds to the retro heart of music, four local artists were commissioned to embellish cassette tapes in their signature style. Artists were encouraged to utilize a variety of unconventional mediums to bring each tape to life. The tapes were then photographed, and printed on plywood as large scale photo installations, found in the corridor of each hallway.

The Residential Lounge

On the top floor of the building there is a stylish lounge, connected to a rooftop deck, where residents and their guests can hang out, relax, play games, and take in the views of Boston. For this community meeting space, we purchased a variety of prints from regional artists including:

Flower people by Nate Duval, an illustrator and designer out of Longmeadow, MA

A large abstract digital illustration by Jeff Bartell, an artist with a strong connection to the Allston Brighton area, who worked as a designer for the Arthur brand for WGBH and PBS Kids just minutes away from BLDG89.

A one of a kind piece called Lazy Puppet, by Arthur Henderson, a well-known New England artist and sculptor who makes objects that are perverse, playful, and recognizable.

Works by Ari Hauben, a contemporary artist with a very unique style that he has developed through trial and error, happy accidents, and hours and hours of work in his Boston Studio. His style could be defined as blending pop and street art techniques into mixed media works.

THE LEASING OFFICE

Last but not least we were tasked with choosing artwork for the leasing office, where often the first impression of the building is made. Throughout the conference room, lobby and general manager’s office, playful and stunning framed pieces ground the space and complement the faux brick wall treatment throughout.

One custom installation in particular by the team at AntiDesigns stole the show:

The “V assemblage” piece was created in 2019 for a collaborative art show called “Dear So & So.” The Antidesigns team decided to create a series of silkscreen prints on slat wood after being inspired by a DIY furniture build John had created. The two artists dug through their sketchbooks and pulled a series of print designs for the collage piece. Using a limited color pallet, they meticulously printed each image onto the pine wood slats using water-based screen printing ink. When the prints were complete, they staggered the slats and configured the piece as you see it today.