Earlier this year, we decided there was something missing in our main conference room. Sure, the room is filled with technology to make our meetings more efficient. And we have a killer view of the Fort Point Channel and the work we did on the Boston Tea Party & Ships Museum. But we needed an extra pop.
After some serious thought and brainstorming, we decided to commission a piece representing what we do, how we do it, and that speaks to the history of our profession using “found” objects from our industry.
Marc Margulies approached Christina Godfrey of the Sunne Savage Gallery, a well-known art consultant in our industry. MPA has worked with the gallery on past projects including Blue Cross Blue Shield of MA, SV Life Sciences, HLM Ventures and Vitale, Caturano and Co. The gallery often works with local, upcoming and mid-career artists. During an initial meeting, we provided her with some basic instructions:
The piece needs to be bold.
It needs to be immediately visible upon entering the office
The sculpture must be expressive of what we do and who we are.
Given our location in the innovation district and artists’ community, please use someone local.
Shortly thereafter, we were introduced to Rory Beerits, the perfect artist to help us with this project. Rory is inspired by the form and shape of found objects and often uses them in his works (one example is when he recently used an old saw to create an owl). The gallery first saw Rory’s work at the SMFA (School of the Museum of Fine Arts) sale, and then again at the South Boston open studios in the Distillery building. The gallery and MPA agreed that Rory would be perfect to transform tools, blueprints and other found objects into a sculptural wall relief. After working with Rory to develop some sketches, we hired him to complete our one-of-a-kind conference room artwork.
Out of the first conceptual meeting evolved a vision to create a relatively flat sculpture using “found pieces”: antique architectural drafting tools that we had bought and collected over the years. The piece needed to be dynamic, evocative, and artistic. Rory sketched out his ideas
After approval, moved to printed cut-outs to construct what the final piece might look like.
Once the design was approved by all involved, Rory began creating our custom sculpture
Rory applied various layers to the piece, starting with old MPA blueprints, salvaged wood and antique drafting tools. Old wood scales, French curves, metal pens and lead holders were just a few of the items included. These materials, which came from the designers at MPA from when they were in architecture school, all symbolize the process of construction and urban development.
We love having the artwork in the office; we find it to be an enormous success.
“It’s great to be able to bring friends and clients into the conference room, explain the sculpture, and have them guess how the tools were actually used. Often, it’s horrifying to think how painfully slow and repetitive the architecture process was 30 years ago – but that was also the art of the era and with this art work we can show that.” ~Marc Margulies, AIA, LEED AP