Meet the Artist Reception
Contact: Emily G. Prigot, 508-996-4095 x 6105
— On January 30, 2014, partners from the New Bedford Artist-in-Residence Program (AIR) will host a “Meet the Artist” reception to launch its inaugural project, a mural honoring the 54th Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. The reception will take place from 5:00–7:00 PM at Artworks in downtown New Bedford and will include light refreshments and opportunities to see the proposed mural and meet the artist.
In 2012, the AIR partners issued a national call for artists to apply for selection through a competitive process. A carefully selected panel of art experts and historians reviewed dozens of entries before selecting Jared Bader of Philadelphia, PA. Of the five finalists invited to present formal proposals, the submission by Mr. Bader appeared to best meet the stated criteria for this project. Adrian Tio, CVPA Dean at UMass Dartmouth, noted, “His proposal portrays various events of the 54th in a narrative style that makes best use of the building while complementing the facing mural created previously by Fairhaven artist Sig Haines.”
The AIR initiative offers both artists and communities the opportunities to share their talents and vision through the creation of site-specific artwork, while providing visitors to the city a unique way to access the history and culture of New Bedford. The initiative will be a catalyst for the design and construction of art installations and performances which will highlight the vibrant history of the city. The AIR initiative is a partnership project between the New Bedford Historical Society, UMass Dartmouth, ArtWorks, and New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park.
The 54th Regiment mural will be located in the heart of the National Park on the west wall of Freestones Restaurant, facing Custom House Square— where New Bedford men originally enlisted for service during the Civil War at the site of the former New Bedford Post Office. The 54th mural project coincides with the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.
Artworks is located at 384 Acushnet Avenue in New Bedford.
New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park was
established by Congress in 1996 to help preserve and
interpret America’s nineteenth century whaling industry.
The park, which encompasses a 13-block National
Historic Landmark District, is the only National Park
Service area addressing the history of the whaling
industry and its influence on the economic, social,
and environmental history of the United States. The
National Park visitor center is located at 33 William
Street in downtown New Bedford. It is open seven
days a week, from 9 AM-5 PM, and offers information,
exhibits, and a free orientation movie every hour on
the hour from 10 AM-3 PM. For more information,
call the visitor center at 508-996-4095, go to
www.nps.gov/nebe, or visit the park’s Facebook page
Did You Know?
Between 1840 and 1860 some 300-700 escaped slaves were living in New Bedford. Frederick Douglass was among those who found freedom in New Bedford. He arrived in 1838 after escaping from Baltimore carrying another sailor's protection papers.