URBANO IS A CREATIVE HOME FOR A COMMUNITY OF INTERGENERATIONAL ARTISTS

Our cohort is made up of practicing teaching artists, youth artists, arts administrators, and those who defy category working to support one another through mentorship, artistic exploration, and public presentation of our work. WELCOME.

 
 

What We Do

Urbano is a non profit art space that brings together practicing visual artists, local youth, and community members to learn and experiment through place-based projects. We foster public and participatory art as a vehicle for personal transformation, community cohesion, and social change. Our projects consist of Artists in Residence, Youth Projects, Apprentices, and Workshops all of which intersect around an annual curatorial theme.

 

How We Do It

Urbano fosters a philosophy of artistic expansiveness, supporting works that blur boundaries between art and everyday life. We promote the model of the artist as citizen, actively engaged in conversations with our surrounding community through the lens of contemporary art. We support youth to become civically engaged artists as they are challenged to tackle current social issues in their community that directly affect their lives. Through artistic collaboration, participating youth and professional artists are challenged to create projects that take place both within the boundaries of our exhibition space and in the community beyond the walls of the studio. These projects span diverse artistic themes and disciplines, but they are all rooted in the fundamental principles of collaboration, risk-taking, and creative and critical expression.

History

Urbano is the evolution of the mission and vision of The Space, an artist-run gallery and public art incubator created by Stella Aguirre McGregor in 1986 in Boston's South End. Active for 8 years, The Space supported local and international contemporary artists and performers to explore art as a vehicle for communication and social change. The success of The Space in fostering collaborations among artists from diverse cultural and national backgrounds led to the creation of public and participatory art projects in Boston, New Orleans, Taiwan, and Macedonia.

Since 2003, Stella has partnered with youth and community-serving arts organizations. Through partnerships with institutions such as the UrbanArts Institute at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Stella developed innovative, nationally-recognized programming such as the Teen Curatorial Program and Artists’ Workshops. These programs offered Boston-area high school students opportunities to engage with printmaking, photography, performance art, spoken word, filmmaking and animation, graphic design, and more, all with a focus on development of the artistic process, community engagement, and professional exhibition. 

In the summer of 2009, Urbano was launched, renewing stella's partnership with UrbanArts Institute. Through Urbano, the programming that began with the Teen Curatorial Program and Artists’ Workshops not only continued, it expanded, providing greater access for collaboration between young people, community members, and contemporary artists.

Today, Urbano's community art studio and exhibition space in the Jamaica Plain Brewery Complex, houses artist projects, exhibitions, and public events that span across disciplines.

 
 
Urbano makes people think about their lives, and what kind of impact they want to have. What we’re doing really conveys this message. As an artist, that’s what you want to do: make people see, and reflect, and become more aware.
— Former Youth Artist