Four Semifinalist Artists Announced for Lex250 Monument

Four Semifinalist Artists Announced for Lex250 Monument

The artists are developing concepts to honor the 250th anniversary of the Battle of Lexington.

LEXINGTON – February 26, 2024 – Following a call for artists released in December, the Lex250 Commission has selected four artists as semifinalists to develop and present concept proposals for the Lex250 Monument, which will be located in Belfry Hill Park, south of the historic Lexington Battle Green. In preparing for the 250th anniversary of the Battle of Lexington, the Lex250 Commission has worked with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) to commission the Lex250 Monument – a public commemorative art piece. Community members are invited to attend a hybrid presentation (in-person and virtual) of the artists’ proposals on Wednesday, March 13 at 5:30 p.m. at the Cary Memorial Building; attendees will have the opportunity to ask the artists questions following their presentations.

Thirty-five artists responded to the call for artists, including artists located internationally and throughout the county. Selection panelists evaluated artists and artist teams based on their submission of qualifications, past work, and written responses to questions in the Call for Artists. From the applicant pool, the following four artists and artist teams were selected as semifinalists:

  • Mark Aeling of MGA Sculpture Studio: Aeling earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sculpture at Colorado State University in 1989. After completing his Master of Fine Art in Sculpture from Washington College in 1993, Mark opened MGA Sculpture Studio in St. Louis, Missouri. In 2005, he relocated MGA to Saint Petersburg, Florida where he resides with his family. Currently the President of Saint Petersburg’s Warehouse Arts District Association – a vibrant and diverse cultural center – he has helped to shape the area through active leadership advocacy in the arts and an understanding of the need for community involvement.
  • Miriam Gusevich of GM2 Studio: Gusevich is a Cuban-American urban designer, public artist, scholar, and teacher. She was a Loeb Fellow ’97 at Harvard University and received her B.Arch ‘75 and M.Arch ’79 from Cornell University. She is the founding principal of GM2 Studio, LLC. Gusevich has had a long academic career; from 2000 – 2020 she was a tenured professor at the Catholic University of America and continues her scholarly lectures and publications. Her grants and fellowships include Cintas Foundation for Cuban-American Artists, National Endowment for the Arts, Graham Foundation and Arnold W. Brunner Grant.
  • Artist Zaq Landsberg and Designer Thomas Robinson: Landsberg is a NYC-based artist, specializing in large-scale, site-specific sculpture, monuments and public art. Landsberg completed public art commissions at half-a-dozen NYC Parks, as well as exhibited solo shows at CUAC, La Ene, and Pehr Space. He was an artist-in-residence with the LMCC Workspace Program 2019-2020. Born in Los Angeles, and he holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from NYU. Robinson is an architectural designer, builder, and artist based in Brooklyn, New York. As founder and principal of his design+build firm, Studio North, he has worked in both architecture and public art and has been involved with several landmark projects, including 4 World Trade Center, The Culture Shed in Hudson Yards, and the Domino Refinery.
  • Jonathan and Saori Ide Russell of Ride Art: Russell, born and raised in Boston, studied art at the Massachusetts College of Art where he explored installation and Public Art (you may have seen his Cod Fish kinetic sculpture in Tetlow park on Huntington Ave). Russell traveled extensively in Europe and North Africa, observing cultural approaches and expressions of art. His installation at the Tacheles in Berlin, Germany commemorated the fall of the Berlin Wall and the celebration of disparate cultures coming together. Ide, born in Osaka, Japan, received her fine art education at the University of New Mexico with a focus in installation art. With her love of western culture firmly established, she came to live permanently in the United States. She brings to her artwork a western understanding firmly rooted in the East.

“Lex250 isn’t just about the people of Lexington or Massachusetts: it’s about all Americans. So, I was deeply heartened to see so many talented artists from across the country put themselves forward during the search,” Lex250 Commission Chair Suzie Barry said. “Inclusivity is one of the most important values of Lex250, and through art, we hope to show that historical events can mean different things to different people, and that that’s okay.”

In July 2023, MAPC began working with the Lex250 Commission and the Town of Lexington to broaden regional stakeholder engagement, including supporting project and technical advisors and developing the call for artists. Following the March 13 presentations, a digital survey will be released to solicit community feedback on the broader topic of the Lex250 commemoration and the artists’ concepts. The final artist chosen to develop their concept for the Lex250 Monument will receive an award of $250,000 to fabricate and install their artwork in Belfry Hill. A community member generously donated this amount to the Town of Lexington specifically for the monument.

2025 is the semiquincentennial of the Battle of Lexington & Concord; the Lex 250 Commission is planning a multi-year experience to honor Lexington's history through a variety of events, projects, and celebrations. The countdown begins this April, and more details and information can be found at lexingtonma.gov/1957/Lex250-Overview.

Previously, MAPC's has worked with the City of Lynn and the City of Salem on public art commissions – “Laces of Lynn” and the “Salem Charlotte Forten Memorial.” MAPC’s Arts & Culture Department draws from those experiences and on lessons from the Public Art / Public Memory Discussion Series of 2020 to adapt each process to the specific needs and considerations related to commemorative public artwork.

PRESS CONTACT

Tim Viall
Senior Communications Specialist
tviall@mapc.org
C: 508-965-0456