Update on Chanel Thervil’s Artist-in-Residence Project and February Photo Session

ACAC’s third Artist-in-Residence, artist and educator Chanel Thervil, is moving forward with her projects in Arlington. Chanel is widely known for her vibrant mixed media portraits and powerful community-building approach to artmaking. Her residency in Arlington has involved both of these aspects of her art practice through multiple components. Several community gatherings were held this fall and more are planned for the spring. Two portrait photo shoots were organized last fall, and one more is coming up on February 20. Production of an online video workshop is underway in collaboration with ACMi. This spring, Chanel will be developing a public art commission celebrating Arlington’s Black community.

Photo Shoots
Chanel’s photo shoots are a way to gather source material for her mixed media work, which often combine wood, fabric, and other materials with traditional paintings.  Her photos also capture vivid individual portraits of the diverse members of Arlington’s Black community. Chanel offered two photo sessions in November, inviting volunteers to sign up to contribute their likeness to her public art project.  Some of the resulting photographs, taken in the Town’s historic Whittemore Robbins House, will soon be visible on virtual exhibition in a gallery page on ArtsArlington.org!  Chanel aims to capture Black beauty and joy in her work; although she does not consider herself a professional photographer, these superb images do just that!

A third session is scheduled for Sunday, February 20, 1 to 6 pm and 25-minute slots are still available. These sessions are free and open to all Black community members who live, work, go to school or are otherwise connected with Arlington.  All participants will receive digital copies of their photos and should come prepared to have a good time!  You can come with family or friends, or on your own.  Sign up here: https://tinyurl.com/Arlingtonphotoshoot

Video Workshop
Chanel’s video workshop is currently in production in collaboration with ACMi’s community producers and will be available to view anytime on-line in early March.  The goal of this workshop is to invite everyone in Arlington to take a few minutes to create a portrait — using simple drawing, collage, words or photos — which pays tribute to friends or family.  What are the special qualities that you value in the people who are close to you? How do they shape your life?  How do you find beauty and joy together?  Chanel will take viewers through a process that combines reflection and artmaking; you do not have to be an artist to follow her prompts and make something that celebrates the people who create community for you.

Chanel’s Artist-in-Residence is organized by ACAC’s Public Art Curator, Cecily Miller and Jillian Harvey, Arlington’s Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Portraits of Black Arlington is made possible with funding from the New England Foundation for the Arts’ Public Art for Spatial Justice Program, with generous support from the Barr Foundation, and through grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. For more information contact: cecily.apa@gmail.com.