Emerson Urban Arts, Public Arts

The Public Arts Program at Emerson College operates with the goal to occupy Emerson’s campus with contemporary visual art actions and installations that emphasize the visual and intellectual role that contemporary art can perform as a dynamic component of our culture. The installations contribute a visual arts presence to the cultural neighborhoods of the Boston Common and Downtown at the Crossing that is predominantly theater and cinema. With the ambition to develop the contemporary visual arts public presence at Emerson College as part of Emerson’s arts profile, I have been coordinating a series of public arts projects on the Emerson College campus and elsewhere over the past five years. The program is conceived to engage Emerson’s community—students, staff, faculty, neighbors, tourists– with works of art created by a range of artists from Emerson’s faculty, New England artists, and nationally and internationally recognized artists.

Uncommon Project:

EUA Uncommon Project

Emerson Urban Arts, Uncommon Project  
Emerson College, Little Building, November 2017 – January 2018
 Click image for video documentation.



EUA UWanderrung

Emerson Urban Arts, Wanderung by Van McElwee,
event at Goethe Institute Boston, New Year’s Reception, January 26, 2016
Click image for video documentation 


Electric Pilgrims:

Video Projection Event in conjunction with the Fort Point Arts Community 2015 Open Studios
Midway Artists Studios, 15 Channel Center Street, Boston
Saturday, October 17, 2015, 7 – 9:30 p.m.

Photography by Raber Umphenour

Electric Pilgrims

Click image for video of Electric Pilgrims.
Video produced by Raber Umphenour and James Manning

I curated a public projection event featuring four films on a screen stretched across Channel Center Street as part of an immersive, multimedia experience with approximately 20 videos and interactive media by 15 artists that are part of the Emerson College’s Urban Arts public arts initiative. The main screen displayed the work of Emerson College filmmakers, alum, and colleagues, including Rob Sabal, Dean of the School of the Arts, Andrew Neumann, Emerson alum 1981, T. Marie, New York and Boston media artist, and Van McElwee, St. Louis video artist.


Paramount Urban Screen:

The four-story façade of the Paramount Center on Washington Street in the Downtown Crossing neighborhood, illuminates at night with art works commissioned for this space by an international roster of artists, including Jim Campbell, John Craig Freeman, Brian Knep, James Manning, Van McElwee, Bruce Pearson, John Powell, Erwin Redl, and Aldo Tambellini (October 2011-).

On February 27 Emerson College School of the Arts will debut a new Urban Screen video by Mischa Kuball, PARAmount (2016). Mischa Kuball has been working in the public sphere since 1987. He uses light as a medium to explore architectual space as well as social and political discourse in his installations and photographs. Since 2007 Mischa Kuball is a Professor at the Academy of Media Arts, Cologne. This installation will debut in coordination with the Transcultural exchange conference and will launch an international partnership between Emerson College and the College for Media Arts, Cologne.

Below: Selection of Urban Screen works currently on view. Click image for documentation.

Jim Campbell-Dear John

Dear John by Jim Campbell

James Manning - 8-bit Breakdown

8bit Breakdown by James Manning

Bruce Pearson - Occupy Space

Occupy Space by Bruce Pearson

Brian Knep - Rapture

Rapture by Brian Knep

Van McElwee - Navigators

Navigator by Van McElwee











Little Building Scaffold:

Yoon Lee, Confluence, Mirrored (May 12, 2012-). Public art project with 300-foot long digital mural by Yoon Lee on the Little Building of Emerson College on Boylston Street on the Boston Common.


Detail of Yoon Lee, Confluence, Mirrored.

Install of Yoon Lee - Confluence

John Powell, Text Walk, 2012. (May 12, 2012-December 2013). Interactive light/text installation by John Powell on the Little Building of Emerson College on Boylston Street on the Boston Common.

John Powell - Text Walk



Julia Cseko, A Coney Island of the Mind, 2014, acrylic on drywall, 7’ x 45’.

Entrance to Walker Building, 25 Boylston Place.
Photography by Peter Harris.


Josue Rojas in conjunction with the international students at Emerson College, 2014. Acrylic on drywall, 9′ x 25’.

Walker Building, 10th floor, 120 Boylston Street, Boston, MA.
Photography by Peter Harris.