DATMA will bring the art to New Bedford this summer with ‘SHELTER 2022–23’

Weaving A Home 2020 Tent In Desert Environment Jordan Courtesy Abeer Seikaly.

NEW BEDFORD — In its fourth year, the Massachusetts Design Art and Technology Institute Massachusetts Design Art and Technology Institute (DATMA) will launch three new free public art exhibits as well as numerous programs and initiatives with partners in New Bedford this summer.

This city-wide collaborative venture, called “SHELTER 2022-23”, will examine the history, economy and culture of the SouthCoast region which is rooted in the value of “shelter” and will cover a range of topics including the current housing crisis, the Underground Railroad that sheltered African Americans from slavery, the 9,100-foot-long hurricane barrier that protects the country’s most lucrative fishing port in the States States, and more.

The artists and designers invited by DATMA to present “refuge” works are Do Ho Suh from Seoul, South Korea; Rael San Fratello of Los Angeles, California; and Abeer Seikaly from Jordan.

DATMA will also present “Safe Station,” New Bedford’s unique story in opposition to slavery through the lens of local artists including Fitzcarmel LaMarre and Alison Wells.

Additionally, rare historic photos documenting the critical New Bedford Hurricane Barrier landmark sheltering the city from natural disasters will be on display, along with more than 10 additional partner programs and youth workshops related to the “ refuge” will be offered.

Exhibition 1 – SHELTER: Flexible Fibers + Sustainable Solutions

This exhibition presents modern approaches to the concept of “refuge” from Seoul, South Korea; Los Angeles, California; and Jordan. Each work explores the making of dwellings through the making and use of unique materials that have resulted in striking architectural productions, community collaborations, and developments in new structural fabrics and spatial design.

Weaving of a home interior courtesy of Abeer Seikaly.

The exhibition features Do Ho Suh’s “fabric architecture” sculpture exploring identity, migration and memory; one of the largest 3D printed bioplastic structures to date from Rael San Fratello; and Abeer Seikaly’s photography of his structural fabric system inspired by traditional Bedouin textiles. These works and the creative processes behind them show how new technologies are weaving unique materials and innovations to advance the vision of home while responding to the housing crisis in a humanitarian way.

Star Lounge 1129 Courtesy of Rael San Fratello

Featured artworks include: Do Ho Suh, Hub-1, Entrance, 260-7, Sungbook-Dong, Sungboo-Ku, Abeer Seikaly, A Series of Photo Renderings of His Structure Design: Weaving a Home 2020 Rael San Fratello, Star Lounge

Exhibit 2 – Safe Station: The New Bedford Underground Railroad

Safe Station tells the unique story of New Bedford in opposition to slavery through the lens of local artists. Highlighting key figures and spaces in the city’s African American community, each artist’s work reflects the stories of self-empowered people, the history of the Underground Railroad, and the abolition movement of New Bedford. .