Scrim material, construction hoarding, fence covers? You might not think you know it, but trust us, you do. It’s that material that you see wrapped around construction sites and in other between spaces. It can be a  webbed material that usually shouts “LIVE WORK PLAY, RENT ME!!! …” text printed directly onto the fabric. At Isenberg Projects, we consider scrim to possess the ability to be an  impactful opportunity to tell a more interesting story of what is to come.  It can be thought provoking, inspiring, may we even say, moving and can evoke community participation and awareness.

There are a few recent projects where we were able to stretch scrim in new directions, like this larger-than-life Big Heart Energy piece by Deborah Johnson currently on display at Zone 3 in Allston. Johnson’s perspective and method of storytelling is something special that IP knew needed to be shared with the community at large. You see, Johnson’s art is “centered around her identity as a queer woman of color and immigrant experience. She hopes to create spaces that are supportive and centered around healing, learning and unhealing.” Once we saw Johnson’s work, we knew every cyclist, professional dog walker, commuter, and driver down North Harvard Street needed to see her work in a tangible setting.

Since 2019, we have worked with four additional local artists to add Art Scrim to the Western Ave corridor, so grab that bike, lace up those converse and explore these installations in Allston off of North Harvard Street.

You’ve Got this, Yenny Hernandez, April 2022

You’ve Got This is a series of varying bilingual phrases, colors and shapes that sets out to convey messages of positivity and encouragement. Artist, Yenny Hernández, is a Latinx award winning Boston graphic designer who specializes in murals, lettering, and illustration.

Each and None, Anna Dugan, April 2022

Each and None is a portrait series covering both the fence and jersey barriers below, that takes visual inspiration from printmaking and folk art to express the difficulty and beauty that comes with the merge of varied cultural experiences. Anna Dugan, is a mixed race Filipino American artist based in Salem, MA whose work is heavily influenced by her Filipino culture and the nuanced experiences as a mixed race person.

Neighborhood Walks, Stephanie Vecellio, April 2023

“Neighborhood Walks” is a collection of observational drawings inspired by connecting with the small moments of everyday life. Drawing these moments seeks to capture the heart, joy, and nostalgia in the places and objects we look at every day.


Girl With A Tulip, Muideen Ogunmola, April 2023

“Girl with a Tulip” explores visual ideas and inspiration from Muideen’s interest in fashion, people, and pop culture. It is also a nod to “Girl with a Pearl Earring”. The collage uses a geometric style to combine bold colors and vibrant patterns with the powerful and expressive elements of African art.

Another way to play with scrim is to push the boundaries of what’s possible in less than ideal pedestrian experiences. Like the transformation of Bulfinch Crossing in partnership with HYM Investment  into a colorful commuter tunnel is another way we sought to take a blank space and create some magic. Allison Tanenhaus designed Crossing Crystals to splash this concrete jungle with a bit of life. Tanenhaus’ vision of using color and shapes while taking a blank concrete canvas transposed this walkway into a selfie opportunity and “hey, that’s cool” by the local Boston commuter. Tanenhaus’ analyzed and finessed each individual shape for scale, color, and relative depth, to create a site wide experience beyond a mural. Click here for more pictures and to learn a bit more of the creative challenges of this site.

Sometimes a large scale project in transition is a canvas in itself! Take a mental picture of our largest “ scrim like project” with  Zacharie Lanoue’s piece over at Zone 3 in partnership with The Davis Companies called Yellow Tree which can be seen here.

Lanoue used a particularly cool machine he developed called a Landscan. Lanoue composed this piece “by collaging hundreds of photos of the same subject to create realistic abstractions of a single Maple tree.” The scale and experience of this project  was inspired by the maple tree and how it reflects “deep community rootedness as well as a sense of constant growth upward and branching outward.” The project was then given back to the community in the form of 400 hundred vinyl bags made from the scrim itself when it’s function was no longer needed! What an incredible opportunity to communicate commitment to the arts, but also acknowledging the neighborhood by sharing the art directly with them in the final bag form.  Not only is that theme something to stop and stare at, but to ponder within our day to day, wouldn’t you agree?

Here’s a couple scrim projects we’ve been crushing on for a while:

Coal Drops Yard, London

Heatherwick Studio-designed shopping and dining destination in London’s Kings Cross district. Learn more

Darling Square, Sydney Australia

Darling Square Award winning scrim by Artist Karan Singh for Houston Group in Sydney. Learn more

Philadelphia Mural Arts Construction Scrim
Navy Yard, Philadelphia

Local Philadelphia artist Nate Harris has designed multiple installations throughout the Navy Yard. Through a collaboration between PIDC and Mural Arts Philadelphia, Harris’ newest installation covers the fence in front of the peaking plant and continues to evoke the spirit of the Navy Yard with abstract representations of its buildings and ships, bringing vibrant color to the site. Learn more

Sephora Retail Barricade, Beverly Hills, California

Cosmetics and skincare company, Sephora, saw their new Beverly Hills store transform into a 1930s monotone masterpiece. The enormous retail barricade covers a massive 5,640 sq ft in total, and certainly stands out on the streets of Beverly Hills. Learn more

Nigel Sussman, Berkley, California

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