an audio companion to the Boston Art Book Fair
Weird Sounds is an audio companion to the Boston Art Book Fair hosted by the Boston Art Book Fair co-founders Oliver Mak (Bodega) and Randi Hopkins (Boston Center for the Arts). An ongoing project, Weird Sounds shares Oliver and Randi’s conversations with a wide variety of makers, with the goal of connecting audiences who love original thinkers, out-of-the-box visuals, boundary-pushing text and ideas, and creative conversation with artists in their midst, and to give artists a chance to share their take(s) on culture as it happens and as they make it happen.
Season 2This season is short and sweet since one of the co-hosts, Oliver, went on parental leave.
Our guest this episode is Karin Goodfellow, Director of Public Art for the City of Boston. In that role, she works with artists and other community members on the creation of public memorials, murals, sculptures, and social practice projects that reflect the diversity and cultural values of the people, ideas, histories, and futures of Boston.
In addition to over fifteen years running Boston's public art program, Karin is the Director of the Boston Art Commission, and the founding director of Boston Artists-in-Residence, a residency that has nurtured cohorts of creative partnerships between civic workers and community artists since 2015.
Oliver and Randi sat down with Karin to learn more about her background and the paths that led to her work in the Boston Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture, how she has seen her work evolve over time, and what she’s excited about now. And, we got a chance to revisit our excitement over Karin’s role in having October 12, 2018 proclaimed Boston Art Book Fair Day in the City of Boston, one of the proudest moments in Boston Art Book Fair history.
When: Interviewed May 4, 2023
A few helpful links, to provide context and further information about topics that came up in our conversation. In particular, we talked about some of the public art and artists in Boston, and about how to access various City of Boston resources and opportunities for artists. Here you go:
Art and Artists:
Shepard Fairey Arrested in Boston 2009
Liza Quinoñez in Boston Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture 2023
The Embrace and the 1965 Freedom Plaza, by artist Hank Willis Thomas and MASS Design Group on the Boston Common
Thanks for listening to Weird Sounds: an audio companion to the Boston Art Book Fair! We look forward to seeing you in person at BCA’s Cyclorama November 10-12, 2023 for the fifth Boston Art Book Fair.
To kick off our second season of Weird Sounds, Oliver and Randi sat down with August Lehrecke, Co-Founder of Pneuhaus, to learn more about this unique enterprise, which has handcrafted immersive environments for use by entities ranging from NASA to the Providence Children’s Museum. And (thank you Pneuhaus!), they have created beautiful and community friendly seating for Boston Art Book Fair 2018, 2019 and 2022.
Thanks to everyone who took part in Boston Art Book Fair 2022! We look forward to seeing you at BCA’s Cyclorama November 10-12, 2023 for the fifth Boston Art Book Fair.
You can listen to all 8 episodes in Season 1 here or on Spotify. ︎
Some history: Weird Sounds: an audio companion to the Boston Art Book Fair grew out of conversations during early spring 2021, when the difficult decision was made not to hold the fall 2021 Boston Art Book Fair, as the pandemic continued to discourage large public gatherings. With the goal of keeping our art- and text- loving audiences entertained and informed while we continued to hit “pause” on meeting in real life, we started reaching out to creatives who we knew and who we wanted to know better, to talk to them about their work, process and life.
Weird Sounds Episode 8
Oliver and Randi sat down with Emily Isenberg, Founder and President of Isenberg Projects, to learn more about her and her team of community strategists, creatives, tastemakers, deal makers, producers and artists – all, as she describes it, “obsessed with culture and driven by insatiable curiosity.
Weird Sounds Episode 7
Oliver and Randi talk with Yng-Ru Chen, founder and CEO of Praise Shadows Art Gallery, a hybrid space that opened in Boston’s Coolidge Corner neighborhood in 2021. The gallery serves as a lively space for exhibitions by emerging and mid-career contemporary artists, a retail space for art books and more affordable works made by artists, and a platform for mentorship for young talent in the Greater Boston area.Their work is local, global, and virtual.
Weird Sounds Episode 6
Oliver and Randi talk with Jameson Johnson, founder and editor-in-chief at Boston Art Review. Like many of us in the arts, Jameson wears a variety of hats. In addition to her tireless work for Boston Art Review, she is a writer, editor, independent curator, and is also the Marketing Associate at MIT’s acclaimed List Visual Arts Center.
Weird Sounds Episode 5
Oliver and Randi talk with designer, educator and publisher Kathleen Sleboda, co-founder and design director of Draw Down Books, an independent publisher and bookseller, and the primary at Gluekit. Kathleen teaches at the University of Connecticut, Boston University, and Rhode Island School of Design, where she co-designed the course Newly Formed with her partner and frequent collaborator, Christopher Sleboda.
Weird Sounds Episode 4
In this episode, Oliver and Randi talk to Paul Soulellis, an artist and educator based in Providence, Rhode Island.
Paul Soulellis is the founder of Queer.Archive.Work, an independent non-profit that supports artists, writers, and activists who share studio space for queer publishing. Paul is also Head of the Department of Graphic Design at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD).
When: Interviewed June 13, 2022
First: Shout out to Boston Art Book Fair #1, 2017, and to Olivia Meyer-Jennette for helping make that happen.
The journey:Library of the Printed Web Paul’s 2012 print-on-demand Stripped (Sixty-Six Sunsets Stripped) // in homage to Ed Ruscha’s 1966 Every Building on the Sunset Strip Queer.Archive.Work
Who and what else:
Mark your calendar: September 4, 2022 – 1st Queer and Trans Zine Fest, at the The Steel Yard organized by Binch Press and Queer.Archive.Work
We love PVD!@staysilentpvd @tradepvd @wheresnasty @drew_bar
And the history:Fort Thunder Dirt Palace
Weird Sounds Episode 3
In this episode, Randi & Oliver talk to Liza Quiñonez and Marka27 - the duo behind Street Theory Gallery.
Murals for the Movement, Dumbo Brooklyn, Fall 2021
Murals for the Movement @MFA 2020
We talk about artists including:
As well as Liza’s role as City of Boston’s Transformative Public Art Mural Consultant (aka Mural Czar), VERZUZ, And some of Marka27’s earlier projects: MiniGod speakers
Disruptive Pattern Material (DPM): The Encyclopedia of Camouflage
Make the Road New York
Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo ; see also Michael Boogaloo Shrimp Turbo
There’s a God on the Mic: The True 50 Greatest MCs, Kool Mo Dee
Weird Sounds Episode 2
Oliver and Randi talk to Danielle Abrams and Mary Ellen Strom
Learn more about the writers, artists and projects discussed in this episode:
Michael Patrick MacDonald and his compelling stories about growing up in Southie in the 70s,
- Krzysztof Wodicko’s 1998 projection on the Bunker Hill Monument, and Yellowstone Revealed, a series of public art projects organized by Mountain Time Arts and sited within Yellowstone between June 2022 and May 2023, coinciding with and responding to Yellowstone Park’s 150th anniversary.
Think more about swimming and activism:
- Check out The Harlem Honeys & Bears, a senior-citizen synchronized swimming team,
- The Swim Safely Partnership, launched by former Boston Mayor Kim Janey, and
- Ebony Rosemond’s Black Kids Swim in Maryland, including a webinar series “The Goree Project” connecting swimmers in Maryland and the Washington DC area with Goree Island in Dakar, Senegal.
Dive into artist projects centering water and segregation:
- Victoria Prizzia’s POOL: A Social History of Segregation
- Joyce Scott’s project at Druid Hill Park Pool #2 in Baltimore
- Danielle Abrams and Mary Ellen Strom’s exhibition Rights Along the Shore, Mills Gallery, Boston Center for the Arts, April 22-May 28, 2022
Kelly Outdoor Ice Skating rink in Jamaica Plain, MA
Listen to More Podcasts:
- Jacobin’s People’s History Podcast, E.5, about South Boston’s Carson Beach and segregation
- Luminary’s Fiasco Podcast, Season 3 on Desegregation and Carson Beach,
- Rialto Report–Golden Age of Adult Film
TriPod: New Orleans at 300, series on the history of New Orleans in the aftermath of Katrina
Donna Haraway, Staying With the Trouble
Weird Sounds Episode 1
In this episode, hosts Randi Hopkins and Oliver Mak talk to artist Kristin Texeira about her work, collaborations, and life. And, briefly, about sassafras.
Resources for this episode:
- More about artist Kristin Texeira here.
- Learn about KT’s “fave art duo” Josef and Anni Albers here and here
- Check out Carraig-na-gCat, their artist residency in West Cork, Ireland.
- Images of Kristin’s Colors of Music series.
- The Bat-Signal
Colors of Music (thank you Ellen Buchanan!)
Sassafras, Cypress & Indigo, by Ntozake Shange