“Art on the Marquee” Provides Digital Canvas for Boston Artists

The Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC) is using its new 80-foot digital marquee as a canvas for innovative, original works of digital art, earning rave reviews in local media.

The “Art on the Marquee” initiative features original works by six artists, each created to capitalize on the size, architecture, and technological capabilities of the marquee’s LED display. Two of the pieces are rotated through the marquee’s regular content lineup each evening, and all the pieces show sequentially for an hour on select Sunday nights. Artists were selected through a proposal process managed by the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA), which owns and operates the venue, and Boston Cyberarts, a non-profit arts organization created to foster, develop, and present a wide spectrum of media arts, including electronic and digital experimental arts programming.

“Art on the Marquee” offers artists more than 3,000 square feet of digital display on seven screens, providing full-motion video and a viewership of more than 100,000 pedestrians and motorists. The marquee is visible for a half a mile in many directions and is seen by traffic on Summer, D, and Congress streets, as well as from the surrounding hotels, office buildings and the Seaport World Trade Center.

The MCCA, working with consultant Sensory Interactive, created the Art on the Marquee initiative as part of an ongoing effort to use the BCEC’s high-profile digital displays to support local artists and other community organizations. The effort began shortly after the center’s digital signage system launched in 2011, when the MCCA and Sensory Interactive – which led the team that developed and now manages the BCEC’s digital signage program – implemented a plan to promote the local Fort Point Arts Community’s Open Studios event. For this, the marquee presented studio tour details and samples of artists’ work during a major BCEC event.

“By broadcasting this amazing media art as part of our marquee content, we hope to provide a model for future signage and urban screens in both Boston and North America – pushing the marquee content in new and unexplored directions that will please our guests and events while helping establish this program as one of the most creative and iconic in the country,” said James E. Rooney, executive director of the MCCA.

Art on the Marquee was the subject of a favorable full-page article in the March 21 edition of The Boston Globe, and received detailed coverage on the BostInno website. In addition, local public arts blogger Mary M. Tinti called Art on the Marquee “colossally cool” on her Dress for Sports blog.

The first installment of Art on the Marquee runs through the end of April, and proposals are already being solicited for a new round of works to begin screening in mid May.

Source: Sensory Interactive