Boston Art’s Bigliani on the Effort Behind The Kensington’s Art
Suzi Bigliani of Boston Art has an eye for spotting the next piece of art you’re likely to see showcased at The Kensington. She works closely with her colleague Beth Arcieri, whose core function, Bigliani notes, is to “be on the hunt” for new artists.
“We find our artists in all kinds of different ways,” Bigliani says. “Some we’ve worked with for many years. Others we find at art fairs and open studios. We’re actually heading down to Miami for Art Basel and all the satellite fairs that go with it. We’re always looking.”
The depth and range of artistic approaches that results is exactly why The Kensington turned to Boston Art.
“They wanted a change from the type of artwork people are used to seeing,” says Bigliani. “The art committee at The Kensington was excited by the idea of exploring art that uses different mediums. Texture has been a great theme in that respect.”
By way of example, she describes the Steve Miller piece on the building’s first floor. “At first appearance, it is a photograph of tribal baskets and botany specimens,” Bigliani explains. “Look more closely and you realize there is more to it. The artist layers together multiple X-ray images that he then paints and manipulates, creating a very unique piece like you have never seen before.”
She explains that the Miller piece is one of many examples that accomplishes the committee’s goal of bringing in art that people will want to live with and look at, over and over again, because they see it in a new way each time.
Reclaimed materials also play a significant role in the works selected, to complement The Kensington’s green living platform. Bigliani points to works on the sixth floor done by sculptor Gints Grinsberg — stunning works of salvaged metal with clean, rounded edges mounted on found granite.
Bigliani talks with affection about the Aryana Londir works in the east lounge: “They are fun, because they are textile pieces that are a wonderful comment on the old and the new. They are sewn fabric — a nod to Massachusetts’ history and its textile mills — but they look like modern cityscapes or even a computer circuit board. It is a remarkable interplay.”
The art consultant enjoys her work with The Kensington because she knows she has an appreciative audience, both in the arts committee and the residents themselves. “The committee knew from the beginning they wanted to dedicate a lot of time and energy to the artwork,” says Bigliani. “They wanted art that would really speak to their demographic. It’s been a fantastic group to work with, and they respected just how important art can be in different situations. Because they put in that time, they have a really wonderful collection that is diverse and beautiful.”