Tova Speter has not only been The Art Connection's Program Manager, but also a donating artist and facilitator of our "Engaging Communities" Mural Project. Since 2005 she has donated six works, facilitated seven community mural projects and helped place 2618 works of art in 169 organizations!
Tova is an artist, art therapist, and community muralist based out of Vernon Street Studios in Somerville who has found time to paint in between working at The Art Connection, teaching art to adolescents, and engaging various communities in creating murals. She is now moving on from her role at The Art Connection to focus more on her own art and her work as an art therapist.
As noted in her art statement, "In my current work, I utilize found wood as a conduit for an exploration of the energy found within. The grain serves as my guide on a journey into the lines, shapes, and flow of the composition of the wood. In transforming the pieces of scrap wood (that others thought as nothing more than trash) into works of art highlighting each piece's natural greatness, I hope to share the idea that everything has an inherent beauty that will shine through when the time is taken to look at it from a new perspective."
Similarly Tova's community mural work is based on the idea that everyone has their own unique creative spirit and hidden talents waiting to be shared if only given the opportunity. Mural participants are often people who have never painted before and do not consider themselves "artists." She has worked in various communities ranging from homeless individuals to those in recovery from substance abuse to at-risk teens to hospital patients and staff; and current local murals exist in Somerville, Waltham, Brookline, Boston, Dorchester, East Boston, Arlington, Jamaica Plain, Newton, Roxbury, and most recently in Malden as well as international murals in Argentina, China and Panama.
When asked about her three roles with The Art Connection, Tova shared the following:
On her role as an art donor: "I am thrilled that my work has found appreciative homes in the community. I donated my first piece because it was a very large work (8' x 8'!) and I no longer had room for it in my studio. Now it is on display permanently at an organization that really values it. I love that my work is reaching new audiences and adding color in places that could really us it." View her work on her website by clicking here.
On her role as a community muralist: "My first introduction to The Art Connection was when I approached them in 2005 to collaborate on a grant application for a mural project with one of their recipient agencies. Seven murals later, it has been so rewarding to work with clients at these agencies and help them realize their own artistic potential. I am honored to have had the opportunity to work with such enthusiastic, passionate, and genuine people to help them bring color to their community." View her murals on our website by clicking here.
On her role as the Program Manager for The Art Connection: "It has been my pleasure to work with both artists and recipient agencies toward our common goal of increasing access to art in underserved communities. I have seen firsthand how the donated artwork has brought smiles to people's faces, inspired dialogue amoung people who do not usually talk about art, and enlivened the many previously empty spaces where art now lives and shines. I believe so sincerely in the mission and wish The Art Connection all the success in the future."