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.