August 3, 2020

Creative Collective and Salem State University Collaborate with AREA CODE Art Fair to present a “Digital Art Drive-In”

by joeyphoenix

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In collaboration with AREA CODE – New England’s first art fair dedicated exclusively to regional artists – the North Shore’s Creative Collective, The City of Salem and Salem State University’s Center for Creative and Performing Arts will host a pop-up Digital Art Drive-In movie theater experience featuring contemporary digital, video, and light art. The event will be held at the O’Keefe Sports Complex, Salem State University (Salem, MA) on Friday, August 14, 8:30pm – 10pm (lot opens at 7:30pm).

The night will present a ninety-minute screening of experimental new works by a variety of regional media and video artists and a selection of six independent light projections.

The event is curated by Leonie Bradbury, Distinguished Curator-in Residence at Emerson College and sponsored by LuminArtz, a non-profit organization that highlights local and regional artists who create innovative light art experiences. Pamela Hersch will serve as the Technical Director of the event. The one-night experience is organized in partnership with John Andrews of Creative Collective, an organization that works to support and provide opportunities to the creative workforce across the North Shore; and Emerson Contemporary, the visual arts platform at Emerson College. Special thanks to the City of Salem and Mayor Kimberley Driscoll for supporting this project and the creative community. 

Date: Friday August 14, 8:30-10 PM, Tickets required.
Location: Salem State University, O’Keefe Sports Complex – 225 Canal Street. Salem, MA 01970

The Drive-In Screening will offer a wide selection of artistic content, ranging from abstract glitch art, computer generated rhythms and sounds, and Zoom karaoke, to moving personal testimonials and critical, documentary short films. Artists include: Sarah Brophy and Katherine Chin, Lana Z. Caplan, Will Close,  Derek Curry and Jennifer Gradecki, Aubrie Flanigan, Keaton Fox, Julia Hechtman, Janne Hoeltermann, Ania Garcia Lorente,  Masary Studios and Urbanity Dance, Frank Mauceri, Julian Parikh, Jak Ritger, Allison Maria Rodriguez, Tyler Selfridge, Maria Servellon, Catherine Siller and Eric Rosenbaum, Gina Siepel, Daniel Smith, Süpernørmål, Allison Tanenhaus and Maria Finkelmeier, Paul Turano, Margaret Wiss, Yu-Wen Wu, and Weird Allan Kaprow.

In addition to the Drive-In Screening, AREA CODE will present six independent light projections created by Liz Nofziger, Maria Servellon, Zsuzsanna Szegedi, Ellen Wetmore, and Stephanie Benenson’s “Harbor Voices,” to be showcased directly onto the walls of Salem State University’s O’Keefe Sports Complex. Their selections will be accompanied by a creative light installation on the glass facade of the complex by light artist Joey Nicotera of Retonica. 


AREA CODE is an inaugural art fair presenting work by contemporary artists with ties to New England. Informed by values of collective intelligence, transparent experimentation, and open access in the wake of COVID-19, the Fair has been developed in collaboration with a volunteer team of Boston-area curators, and will be free for exhibitors and viewers. Through online and decentralized in-person experiences across Boston, the Fair will feature works from New England’s most inspiring art galleries, nonprofit organizations, and individual artists (including recent graduate students) without gallery representation. Along with the Fair’s Main Section, AREA CODE will debut curated sections of performance art, drive-in or drive-by outdoor presentations of digital/video art, and storefront displays, along with live programming. 

The fair’s main online section, juried by Spanish independent curator and art writer Octavio Zaya, will showcase 89 solo presentations by a diverse group of artists with ties to New England. Artworks will be for sale (with a progressive profit-sharing model ensuring that all artists receive funds), but there is also the option to make a donation to support an artist directly, which is another way of making supporting the arts more widely accessible. 

The fair also features live and live streamed performances (curated by Gabriel Sosa); pop-up shows around the city of Boston by MFA students matched with Boston storefronts (in a partnership between curator Jen Mergel and SpaceUs) in recognition of the impact of Covid-19 on the graduate exhibitions that usually launch their careers; and special projects curated by Ellen Tani and Marla McLeod that will take forms as varied as an online Zoom “happening” (Heather Kapplow and Sholeh Agary), a mobile recording sculpture (Tory Fair), a curatorial take-over in virtual space (Shelter in Place Gallery), a wheatpaste poster series (Tianna Rivera), a litany of poetic walking prompts (Julie Poitras Santos), a crowdsourced needlework project (Cat Mazza), and a photographic installation by a local collective at the forefront of documenting the Black Lives Matter movement (OJ Slaughter, Harry Scales, Samuel Williams, Phillip Keith).

The art fair, which runs the entire month of August, aims to establish a vital model of experimentation and exchange to support the labor of creatives in the region. To help mitigate the impact of Covid-19, the fair model includes a progressive profit-sharing initiative whereby sales are distributed 50% to the artist, 35% to either their gallery/non-profit sponsor or (if unrepresented) back to the cost of administering the fair, and the remaining 15%  will be redistributed equally among all section artists  at the end of the fair.

Artwork will be for sale on beginning on August 1. Programming, screenings, and special events will take place throughout the entire month of August. The full list of participants can be found here.