Greenway Commissions 3D-Printing Public Artwork for Year of the Rooster

The Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy (rosekennedygreenway.org) today announced a new commission for a temporary installation on The Greenway which will create and release over 2,000 3D-printed roosters beginning this Saturday, January 28 in honor of the Chinese New Year.

Make and
Take by Chris Templeman, in collaboration with New American Public Art (NAPA), consists of a 3D printer housed inside a translucent polycarbonate kiosk. In roughly 3-4 hour printing periods over the course of the year, park visitors can observe the process of a rooster figurine being created and – if the timing is right – be able to take the figurine for FREE.

The non-profit Greenway Conservancy commissioned Templeman to create the artwork in celebration of the Year of the Rooster following on the success of the first two annual installations in this series – last year’s Monkey See sculpture and the award-winning Wandering Sheep from 2015, which was named one of the best public artworks in the country by the American for the Arts Public Art Network. The latest offering, installed in The Greenway’s Chinatown Park, combines modern technology and a Chinese artifact to provide park visitors a take-home that is made before their eyes. Templeman’s palm-sized, plastic rooster was adapted from 3D scanning a porcelain artifact from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The original object belongs to a class of porcelain created in China by Chinese artisans specifically for export to Europe and the Americas. The 8-foot tall polycarbonate box housing Templeman’s 3D printer, designed and created by NAPA, resembles both a museum case as well as a vending machine, and invites Greenway visitors to watch as the modern rooster with historic roots is created and delivered in real-time.

“Make and Take provides a wonderful opportunity to pair old with new to engage The Greenway’s public art audience with a classic artform reimagined with today’s technology,” offered Greenway Conservancy Public Art Curator Lucas Cowan. “I’m delighted to commission a local artist from the ‘maker’ community to showcase art, technology, and Chinese culture.”

The duration ofoperation as well as the number of prints being attempted is quite a challenge and, to our knowledge, has never been attempted before. This challenge is heightened by Templeman’s choice to use a consumer-grade printer costing less than $1,000. A consumer printer was chosen to highlight the democratization of manufacturing made possible by technologies such as 3D printing. The 3D printer hardware and software utilized in the piece have been modified to endure the year-long installation in the typically unpredictable New England climate. Templeman and NAPA have spent the past year designing, fabricating, and testing the piece to automatically and continuously print unattended in an outdoor environment.

“We view our public art program as a high-profile opportunity to both bring thought-provoking contemporary art into the fabric of the City of Boston while also bringing levity to one’s day-to-day urban experience,” said Jesse Brackenbury, Executive Director for the Greenway Conservancy. “The private support from Radian for this artwork and other park improvements has allowed us to make a gathering place of this busy corner of Chinatown Park.”

Make and Take is the second exhibit in The Greenway’s 2016-2017 public art season, which for the first time is entirely curated around the unified concept of “Playful Perspectives.” Make and Take succeeds the acclaimed Greenway Wall at Dewey Square Park mural, Spaces Of Hope, by Mehdi Ghadyanloo. Later this season, The Greenway plans a series of site-specific public art installations in addition to featuring the winning designs of the 2017 Design Biennial Boston.

“Playful Perspectives” is an exhibition of large-scale, site-specific commissioned works by artists who use forced perspective techniques to trick the mind and encourage the viewer to engage with the artwork in a playful manner. These interactive works playfully and delightfully expose the vulnerability of one’s sense of perspective. They manipulate visual perception through the use of scaled objects and optical illusions, blurring the boundaries between art and everyday life, and between expectation and reality. By inserting these works in spaces that thousands of people pass through in the course of their daily routine, the exhibition seeks to monumentalize the mundane, specifically for those who live and workalong The Greenway.

“Townsman sits immediately adjacent to the Greenway’s Chinatown Park where each year our staff and guests marvel at the incredible public art pieces installed in the park,” offered Townsman Chef/Owner Matthew Jennings. “We can already envision the enthusiasm for this year’s Make and Take exhibit and look forward to hosting hungry art-lovers right behind the installation at the base of the Radian building.”

Arts and education programming will accompany The Greenway’s “Playful Perspective” curatorial theme throughout the year, including stationing volunteer Art Ambassadors in the park during peak seasons (May to October) to interact with curious park visitors and answer questions.

About The Greenway

The Rose Kennedy Greenway, a roof garden atop a highway tunnel, is a contemporary public park in the heart of Boston. The non-profit Greenway Conservancy maintains, programs, finances, and improves the 1.5-mile Greenway on behalf of the public. The Greenway welcomed a record 1.379 million visitors in 2016 for The Greenway Carousel, events, Wi-Fi, and Mobile Eats food trucks, plus millions more visitors who enjoyed the fountains, plazas, and gardens. The Conservancy has won numerous awards, including for our organic landscape care and park programming.

The Greenway Conservancy Public Art Program, which recently showcased traveling and commissioned major works by Janet Echelman (As If It Were Already Here), Ai Weiwei (Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads), Lawrence Weiner (A TRANSLATION FROM ONE LANGUAGE TO ANOTHER), and Matthew Hoffman (MAY THIS NEVER END), is committed to exhibiting thought-provoking temporary installations of contemporary public art. Kyu Seok Oh’s Wandering Sheep (2015) was the third Greenway artwork in four years to be recognized by Americans for the Arts’ Public Art Network as among the country’s best. Past exhibitions can be viewed on The Greenway’s website.

About Chris Templeman

Chris Templeman is an artist, engineer, and educator. Raised in the Cleveland, Ohio, area, Chris now lives and works in Somerville, Massachusetts. He works out of Artisan’s Asylum along with his collaborators at New American Public Art. In his engineering practice, Chris refines available technology for different contexts, making it more accessible in the process. Providing access to technology is a main theme in his work. Make and Take is his first major public art piece. Chris finds the most contentment in transforming his ideas into tangible objects. He welcomes opportunities to share the promise and perils of 3D printing through discussion and practice.

About New American Public Art

New American Public Art is a design-and-build firm at the intersection of public art, architecture, and technology. We develop responsive and interactive installations that investigate the nature of social space in public, private and online. We take pride in being a studio of makers, born from the great maker spaces of the world. We leverage a multidisciplinary skill set and knowledge base. Hands-on from concept to completion, we source local fabricators and work directly with communities and businesses. We are engineers, sociologists, architects, and technologists that design projects for the real-world challenges of public space and large events. We work to make all our projects 100% Open Access by sharing code, designs, and documentation publicly.

About Radian (www.radianboston.com)

Overlooking the Rose Kennedy Greenway at 120 Kingston Street in downtown Boston, Radian is conveniently located at the nexus of the Financial District, Leather District, and Chinatown. Bringing a new perspective to modern rental apartments, the elegantly curved 26-story glass tower is designed for modern tastes and a sophisticated lifestyle. Radian, a joint venture by Hudson Group North America and Forest City is home to Townsman, the brasserie-inspired, New England restaurant by award-winning chef Matt Jennings (www.townsmanboston.com).

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