Creative and critical thinking empowers and inspires the artist and critic in us all!

HarborArts’ vision is to establish an experiential arts education program here in East Boston founded on our belief that art should be accessible and meaningful to everyone.  Interaction with public art allows for a unique dialog between an individual and a community and and we feel that this experience should be available to all, regardless of one’s age, educational or cultural background, or economic status.  We are designing multiple workshops that involve learning about the history of public art and engaging in critical and creative thinking resulting in projects in any chosen medium. We are building workshops for kids, teens, and for adults.  Our main goal is for participants to learn about the wide range of public art in our communities and beyond, while simultaneously cultivating the confidence to approach and create works of art with their own voice.

HarborArts’ arts educational vision is inspired by the Pre-Texts program started by Harvard Professor Doris Sommer of Cultural Agents.  The main idea behind Pre-Texts is that works of art—specifically works of literature—should only be the beginning of a collaboration between the audience and the author.  Participants in the Pre-Texts workshops use a particular book as a starting point for their own interpretation via multiple other art mediums.  In this process the participant is forced to develop an interpretation instead of being taught what a work of art means; this process makes art more accessible and malleable: “through artistic play, participants know that the classics of high culture and higher education are within their audacious reach.”  —  Sommer’s  The Work of Art in the World: Civic Agency and Public Humanities. Our goal is to appropriate this successful model by shifting the focus from literature to public art.