We’re back with the latest and greatest from inside the studios, as well as an update on Events, Projects, Opportunities, and more!
Celebrating ‘Our Boston’
with John Hancock
AFH Designs Packaging for Preserve!
Artists For Humanity’s Graphic Design Studio was thrilled to be commissioned by Preserve to design the packaging for the company’s famed sustainable toothbrushes, which are made from recycled yogurt cups! Following a design brief, ideation, testing, and a presentation, Preserve decided to move forward with three lively, colorful designs by AFH teens Jenni Ogaus and Jonathan Pinchera, as well as participant-turned-mentor Jordan Nelson.
"The inspiration behind my design for the Preserve toothbrush packaging was the toothbrush itself,” explains Jordan. “I thought to myself, 'what better way to communicate the mood of the product than by using it as an art tool?' That is when I had the idea of taking an actual toothbrush to create streaks across the package using watered down acrylic paint. I wanted my design to show a sense of energy."
Now, the AFH-designed toothbrush packages are on shelves at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods locations across the country. Of the collaboration, Jordan reflects, "Knowing that my design is out on the shelves of major grocery stores is exciting. Getting the opportunity to send my art into the world is always a blessing to me." Have your own AFH-designed Preserve toothbrush packaging? Tag #afhboston to be featured on our social channels!
This year, John Hancock commissioned the talented teens and design mentors at Artists For Humanity (AFH) to celebrate the story of “Our Boston” with two site-specific projects. The first, an 85 ft. x 75 ft. graphic banner for the Boston Marathon—Artists For Humanity’s largest public graphic mural to date—was created by our Graphic Design Studio and tells the story of the perseverance of all Bostonians, across race, ethnicity, gender, and socio-economic status.
Our second project, created by AFH’s Painting Studio, also celebrates “Our Boston,” with 15 custom chairs to be installed as a public art project. Each chair represents two parts of history: one art historical and one municipal. Depicted in 15 artistic styles—paying homage to the likes of Andy Warhol, Frida Kahlo, Vincent Van Gogh, Georgia O’Keeffe, John Singer Sargent, and more—each chair highlights an iconic site in Boston’s Back Bay. Of the collaboration, AFH teen designer Tina Vo says, “being able to design for this project has been a great opportunity. I am really excited that something I contributed to will be displayed in front of many people in a public setting.” Stay tuned for photos and videos of our ongoing partnership with John Hancock celebrating Boston’s rich history.
for Nixon Peabody
Just as the Boston Marathon serves as a great equalizer for Bostonians from diverse communities, Artists For Humanity also works to bridge racial, economic, and social divisions while creating empowering employment opportunities. For that reason, the “You” in “What Gets You to the Finish Line?” is intentionally inclusive. As AFH Graphic Design mentor Kelsey Arbona explains, “‘You’ is not only marathon runners but also the community of volunteers, tourists, funders, cheering friends and family, public service workers...everyone! In a marathon, everyone begins at the same place and crosses the same finish line, just as every person has their own finish line they're trying to arrive at; their own goals they are trying to achieve.” Artists For Humanity’s graphic mural celebrates this sentiment by illustrating the universality of the human experience, and, in turn, the resilience of all Bostonians.
At Artists For Humanity, we love when projects specifically call for inter-studio collaboration. That’s why our recent suite of creative deliverables for Nixon Peabody was so exciting. AFH’s Painting, 3D Design, and Photography studios worked on concept development, design, and fabrication of a series of art installations for Nixon Peabody’s new office located at 53 State Street in Boston. The one-of-a-kind custom pieces include large-scale ReVision tiles, photographic prints on aluminum relief, wire and plywood sculptures, and sculpted painted canvas. The designs are inspired by Nixon Peabody’s office interior and the juxtaposition of architecture with nature.
For the photography piece, in particular, a model was first built in the 3D Design Studio out of paper. Then, a photo by AFH Photography Studio participant Yvonne Chen of Nickerson Beach in Quincy was colorized by the Photography Studio to produce a gradient, adding a further sense of spatial depth to the piece. Photography participant Molly Keenan comments, “Unlike when I’m working on something alone, I wouldn’t be able to learn as many things, because each individual person has something to offer—that they can teach you.”
The first large-scale ReVision wall relief is comprised of 336 ReVision tiles, a signature style of the 3D Design Studio. To produce all 336 individual tiles, 3D Design participants collaged magazine cut-outs onto baltic birch wood blocks that were later sealed with resin. Of the process, AFH Mentor Ryo Matsuki says, “I think the teens learned that even if the scope of a project seems huge, if you keep working at it you'll eventually finish.”
For the abstracted ReVision tile piece, the inspiration grew out of an exercise in which 3D Design mentors instructed teens to “design a wall relief sculpture” using only paper and other simple materials. AFH participant Cameron Chin came up with the original concept for the piece, which was then scaled up—produced using metal, wood, and ReVision Tiles—and tailored to meet the needs of Nixon Peabody’s office space. As AFH 3D Design Mentor Hannah Fallon explains, “This particular ReVision tile piece was made using metal, wood, and ReVision Tiles, while the wooden wall sculpture grew out of the Tetrapod furniture collection—which was featured in Design New England—and was coated in aluminum on its sides.” Visit us our creative studios at the next edition of Open Studios, Wednesday, April 24, to see projects like this firsthand at AFH.
New Designs for
Artaic’s “URBN” Collection
Extra, Extra! AFH’s ongoing collaboration with Artaic, titled “URBN,” was featured in The Boston Globe! We were overjoyed to see teen-made designs in print, and to continue our creative partnership with Artaic.
“URBN,” described as a collaborative mosaic collection celebrating Boston's youth, is designed by AFH participants and fabricated using Artaic’s unique production methods. In fact, Artaic has been collaborating with Artists For Humanity since 2009 to transform original artwork into unique tile mosaics to enhance the design of residential and commercial spaces alike.
Kaleidoscope Dream, by AFH participant Maradia Rosemary Rene, marks the “URBN” collection’s 22nd design. Ted Acworth, CEO and Founder of Artaic, remarks, “We are honored to have the opportunity to continue our partnership with AFH for this design.” He continues, “As a Boston-based company, we are thrilled to support organizations that facilitate creative programs for youth in the city.”
After AFH teens create their inspired designs, Artaic digitally renders the imagery for each mosaic, then robotically transforms the concept into its final form—creating Mosaic masterpieces. Made from either glazed porcelain, natural stone, sintered glass or vitreous glass, the tile imagery converts drab rooms into vibrant, visually compelling living and working spaces—from a kitchen backsplash to a revitalized waiting room. See the collection for yourself at the Boston Design Center or learn more on Artaic’s site!
Tickets Selling Fast -
Get Yours Today!
The party that earns its name every year is back on Saturday, April 27. Artists For Humanity’s 14th annual Greatest Party On Earth celebrates the virtuosity and creativity of our teen artists in our expanded EpiCenter. Our enhanced studios, event space, and art gallery are the backdrop to an unforgettable evening of great art, extraordinary entertainment, delicious cuisine, signature cocktails, and non-stop dancing. Be part of the change-making experience that launches Boston teens into barrier-breaking, successful futures. Tickets available now at greatestpartyonearth.com.
Boost Your Creativity
with AFH Classes
Did you know we’re now offering creative classes for all ages at the EpiCenter? Whether you’re looking for a dose of inspiration or a way to hone your skills, we have the class for you. Register for the next round of classes with experts in Painting, Drawing, and Yoga by calling the EpiCenter at (617) 268-7620.
AFH Alumni Stories: New Edition featuring Daniel Backman
Our AFH Alumni Stories series continues with teen artist turned architect Daniel Backman. Hear Daniel’s story as he reflects on his early AFH experience, the process of creative growth, and what he has learned since moving to California.
Join us on Wednesday, April 24 from 5-7pm, for a special AFH Open Studios and claim your discounted GPOE ticket!!