Ghosts of Lynn, Q&A, chapter 5!

This week's chapter of our Q&A is with Mr. Seth Albaum, man about downtown and the author of the amazingly informative website Lynn Happens. If you want to know what's going on in Lynn, this is the place to check, especially the Weekend Rundown every Friday. We are of course still fundraising for the beautiful and Lynn-centric "Ghosts of Lynn" public art installation. You can learn more about the project and donate HERE. Read on to see what Seth had to say!

What brought you to Lynn?
I had been in Jamaica Plain a long time, but when my rent was finally raised, I had to look elsewhere. I was already working on the North Shore and decided to check out downtown Lynn on a Saturday afternoon. I found affordable space near and above storefronts in a city that's diverse, interesting and a little quirky. Perfect.

What is your personal favorite public art installation?
I don't know how to pick a favorite, but I can tell you that I prefer public art that is unexpected, challenging, or that incorporates some humor without having to hand feed you the joke. I'm less interested in accurate representations of things, unless something about the location or how it's placed makes the piece. Then again, I count among my favorites the tile mosaics of Jim Power in the East Village of NYC. Former Mayor Giuliani, no fan of street art, had many of them removed.

What was your reaction when the big photos first appeared?
I loved how it brightened up the neighborhood and surprised everyone else (I knew it was going up) when they saw them for the first time. I love that they rotate on a regular basis so many artists have an opportunity to participate and passers-by will always have new artwork to look forward to.

Lynn, Lynn City of Sin, ignore it or embrace it?
Embrace it. In brainstorming for the Downtown Lynn Cultural District we decided to give it a much more positive spin. Coming to Lynn should be transformative in a good way. We borrowed the line, "You never come out the way you went in."

Starry Night or The Scream?
This is not a fair question! All I can say is this: I wouldn't want hanging in my home representations of paintings, no matter how great they are, that have become so ubiquitous they're in every college dormitory, printed on pillows, keychains, t-shirts and plastic drinking cups. The actual paintings are wonderful, but show me something I can't see everywhere I look, which goes back to how I feel about public art, I suppose.

 

Jim Power works on one of his mosaics in the East Village.

Jim Power works on one of his mosaics in the East Village.

Ghosts of Lynn, Q&A, chapter 4!

This week's installment of our Q&A blog series for The Ghosts of Lynn public art project spotlights someone who usually ASKS the questions. We decided to reverse roles with Chris Stevens, the fearless reporter and food columnist for The Daily Item! We are still fundraising for this cool project and its not too late to contribute. Your $30 donation sponsors 2 square feet of art! Learn more and donate HERE. In the meantime, here is what Chris had to say!

 

What brought you to Lynn?
Love & the Daily Item.

What is your personal favorite public art installation?
Oh so many come to mind! I love the guy on the books in front of the T-garage. In a cemetery in Woodstock, NY there is a tomb with the statue of a cat looking downward. It breaks my heart but I love it. I love the Einstein statue in front of the National Academy of Sciences in DC and the traveling piano always makes me smile (and wish I could play piano!).

What was your reaction when the big photos first appeared?
I loved it! Our office looks out on Central Square, we walk by it on our way to Dunkin Donuts, City Hall, Raw Art Works, Dunkin Donuts...did I say that already?

Lynn Lynn City of Sin, ignore it or embrace it?
Embrace it! You never go out the way you went in doesn't have to be a negative! Maybe you came out better, smarter, more well-enlightened, definitely well-fed.

Starry Night or The Scream?
Depends on the day---I do love my Starry Night though (and now Don McLean's "Vincent" will be stuck in my head for the remainder of the day).