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First Person

George Fifield of Boston Cyberarts on bringing art to a marquee

New media and traditional artist duos will use The Boston Convention & Exhibition Center’s 76-foot marquee as a digital canvas.

lane turner/globe staff

Art was my favorite class in grade school. My parents always took us to museums, and so I grew up in a real art loving family. In my 30s, I was trying to make art, but I was supporting myself as a graphic designer and that was the time computers entered into the graphic design business. I was quite aware of what the power of digital technology could be.

The marquee is just an amazing thing. It is an LED sculpture unique in the world in its size, in its shape, in its multiplicity of screens. Every artist who does work on it, when they first see it on the marquee, their eyes widen and their jaws drop. I think it’s the most spectacular public art medium in the entire city. It really runs the gamut of artistic expression you can do in a 30-second piece.


This upcoming one is our second where I went out and picked artists in particular I wanted to see. All of the participants are women, and we paired them up into [five] collaborating teams of traditional media artists and new media artists. It’s going to be interesting to see how somebody who works in a traditional medium approaches a structure like this and how these collaborations work.

I think cyber art is at its best when it appears almost to be magic and when people don’t even think How do you do this? They just can’t believe it somehow happened. You see it more on their faces than they tell you about it.

MIXING MEDIUMS Attend a free opening reception for “Art on the Marquee” outside the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center on June 1 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. For more information and to RSVP, visit