Monday, June 27, 2011

Somerville Artist Bevan Weissman: A Welder of the Arts to Science.

Stainless steel, glass
[10' x 4' x 4']--Union Square--Somerville

Somerville Artist Bevan Weissman: A Welder of the Arts to Science.

By Doug Holder

Bevan Weissman met me at my usual perch at the Sherman Cafe in Union Square, Somerville. He isa man who sports a well-trimmed beard and intense and expressive eyes. Weissman is a graduate of Brown University, and a resident of Davis Square. According to him his mission as an artist is to “Weld art and science and facilitate community and personal communication.” A daunting task to some, but it seems this young artist is up for it.

Weissman told me that he finds Somerville the perfect nesting ground. He is a former biotech engineer who decided to take the less lucrative path and follow his artistic bent. He feels the creative milieu of the ‘Ville is an ideal place to get established. He has received a lot of help in this regard from the Somerville Arts Council, and Somerville’s Artisans Asylum, an artist organization he is part of.

Weissman talked about several projects with me, one of which was funded by Brown University; when he was a student there a few years back. It is titled “Visual Magnetism." His website describes it as a showcase for “The remarkable visual and physical properties of ferrofluid, allowing the viewer to manipulate the fluid in a display tank with powerful magnets.” I viewed this project online and witnessed enigmatic porcupine-like projections spiking up creating a spectral visual experience. Weissman hopes to create “a sense of wonderment” in the viewer. Here science and art mix with winning results.

One of Weissman’s Somerville projects, partially funded by The Somerville Arts Council is titled: “ Ripplerun.” This involves an installation in Union Square. It takes the form of a stainless steel, glass tree, with canopy leaves. The leaves almost look like solar panels—both panel and leaf seek the sun for its raw energy.
Another project the young artist was involved with goes along with his theme of connection and community. This is titled: “ Autonomies of Scale.” It involves tables and chairs made of scrap, welded together with a flame in the center of the table. When one person sits at the table the flame is at a low burn, however when another person joins him or her the flame burns brighter. A perfect arrangement for you and your “old flame” for a night on the town!

Weissman is hoping to get to a point where he can make a comfortable living with his art. Toward the end of our meeting, I asked him what his definition of art is. He hesitated because of the broadness of the query, but said: “Art makes us think about the typical in an atypical manner.” Well…there is nothing typical about Somerville, or for that manner Bevan Weissman.

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