I’m thrilled to announce that four works from the Sidewalk Series are now part of the Fidelity Corporate Art Collection. Fidelity supports local artist communities in areas where it has a business presence and engage associates with dynamic, thought-provoking works of museum-quality art in all the spaces where they work. It gives me great joy to know some old pieces of cast-off sidewalk are now part of this prestigious contemporary art collection.
Profile excerpt by Leah Triplett Harrington:
In college, she studied painting. She had wanted to be a writer. Her father was a writer. But in college, she transitioned from drawing fictions on a page to painting pictures onto canvases. She was committed to painting when she took a 3D course. She labored over soapstone sculptures, carving away at the surface. “You’re more of an additive than a subtractive,” her professor said.
She is Kate Gilbert, who, after twenty years in Boston, has ricocheted through every facet of the art community here. Currently a curator and director of Now and There, the public art non-profit who brought JR’s Inside Out Project to Boston last fall, Gilbert is an artist whose studio practice includes video, installation, performance, sculpture, and persistently, painting. Her practice and curatorial work are united in Gilbert’s enduring appreciation and fascination with art’s power when placed in public.
Those who know me know how often I'm looking down admiring cracks in the pavement and sidewalks. Museum and gallery floors too. Cracks are everywhere! They're nature's way of exerting her presence. "You can't tame me", she cries.
I love drawing cracks. I love looking for patterns within them. I love extracting the bits and pieces that are created by these fissures. And lately I've become a bit obsessed with collecting them. Chances are on any given day I have a hunk of concrete in my pocket. I live in Boston and we're in the middle of a building boom. Need I say more?
I first started making the Sidewalk Series of asphalt and concrete miniatures this summer as I was exploring my urban neighborhood's connection to nature. Or lack there of. Each time I found a chunk of asphalt on my walk I'd pick it up and imagine it as a tiny landscape. I'd ask myself what could live there, where the water source might be, and what resources could be hidden inside.
When asked to contribute to On the Line, a group exhibit with one artist from each of the ten stops on the MBTA's new Fairmount-Indigo commuter rail I knew exactly what I'd contribute. The ten new Sidewalk Series pieces in On the Line were all collected within a half-mile radius of my home. Most came from a development parcel in Chinatown where I first filmed the Alone Together Tent Dress demonstration in 2013 and where I returned in 2015 to photograph the tent for Interdependence. During the intervening years a tower with luxury lofts and affordable housing was built. The adjacent wedge of land squeezed between the road and highway ramp is still a beautiful mess of "art supplies" and the last refugee in the area for those without a home.
One the Line
curated by Medicine Wheel Productions' Spoke Gallery and UMass Boston's Trotter Institute
February 3—April 15, 2015
110 K Street, 2nd floor, Boston, MA 02127
Gallery hours: Wed—Fri 12—5pm and Saturdays by appointment
Sidewalk Series, 2016. Found asphalt and concrete, modeling turf and gold leaf. Click for more images including the Chinatown development parcel.