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DONNA DODSON’S MAKING CONNECTIONS

Bevan Weissman of New American Public Art.


I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Bevan Weissman at Artisan’s Asylum in Somerville. I wanted to learn more about maker- spaces in general and specifically to find out about Bevan’s current projects with his colleagues at New American Public Art.

Weissman made the point that makerspaces are ideal workshops for making public art. There are no walls, and that leads to a shared flow of ideas. The space is permeable, and most importantly, the members share resources. In contrast, most individual artist studios have redundant capabilities and therefore tools sit idle and needlessly take up space.

Makerspaces commonly provide access to software, wood and metal shops, state-of-the-art 3D printing and laser cutting, and the latest fabrication techniques. For an individual artist, the cost to purchase all of these resources would be prohibitive. Some maker-spaces also provide the education and training to become proficient with CAD software, like Solid- Works, and with CNC fabrication techniques. Providing access to these technologies helps remove barriers, allowing individual artists to take full advantage of modern innovation.

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