XTCA: Cross Town Contemporary Art

July 1 – November 1, 2018
Crosstown Contemporary Art

Important Dates

July 1: Exhibition Opens
September 21: Exhibition Reception at UMCA, 5-7:00 p.m.
September 22: XTCA Symposium 10 a.m. ⎼ 5 p.m., parade 4-5:00 p.m. UMCA to downtown Amherst
Nov 1: Exhibition Closes

Thirteen artists and architects create outdoor installations, from UMass to town of Amherst, with innovative ways to connect “town and gown.” In collaboration with the UMass Department of Architecture.

The University Museum of Contemporary Art (UMCA) is pleased to present XTCA: Cross Town Contemporary Art , an outdoor public art exhibition of thirteen artists and architects that seeks to reveal our interconnectedness as citizens and to highlight the gateway district between downtown Amherst and the University of Massachusetts. For this exhibition, UMCA has partnered with Sandy Litchfield, Assistant Professor Department of Architecture, and the Town of Amherst to build an art and culture bridge — a series of public sculptural installations — to activate the North Pleasant Street corridor and connect downtown to campus. The exhibition features work by nationally recognized artists, local artists and members of the academic community.
Curated by Sandy Litchfield and Loretta Yarlow, this exhibition and its extensive programming have been made possible by the outstanding organizational efforts of Amanda Herman, UMCA Education Curator and Eva Fierst, former UMCA Education Curator, as well as the UMCA staff, Lyle Denit, Jennifer Lind, and Betsey Wolfson.

On Saturday September 22nd, the museum will present a full-day event, XTCA Symposium , followed by XTCA Parade . The goal of this programming is to engage the “town and gown” together by generating a robust public dialogue about the value of art and culture in building community. The Symposium will feature keynote speaker Jennifer Delos Reyes, as well as artists and architects from the exhibit. The Parade, organized by Elizabeth Pangburn, Co-Artistic Director of TheatreTruck, will include performances by members of Double Edge Theatre.

Visitors may enjoy an audio tour of the exhibition:
0. Curators
2. Swainston
3. Darling Petit
4. Halvorson
6. Bell
7. Friedman
8. Ben Jones
9. Zekos
10. Braman
11. Grinspoon
12. Orlinsky
13. Krupczynski
Download the XTCA brochure HERE
Download the XTCA map HERE
Download the XTCA press release HERE

Read the UMass News & Media Relations story about the XTCA exhibition HERE

Listen to Jill Kaufman’s radio story about XTCA on NEPR, “Can Public Art Mend The Divide Between A Town And Its University?”
Her story ran on WBUR, too!

UMass Magazine ran this story: https://www.umass.edu/magazine/fall-2018/around-pond

ArchitectureBoston magazine article about the XTCA Symposium

The XTCA symposium will commence with keynote speaker Jennifer Delos Reyes, an internationally known writer, artist, and cultural critic, who is also Associate Director of the School of Art and Art History at the University of Illinois, Chicago. Delos Reyes will provide an historical context for the exhibition and introduce key contemporary examples of work that successfully intersects art, architecture, and community building. There will be three themed sessions following her lecture, featuring participating artists, faculty from all five colleges, and community leaders. This symposium, which will take place in the new John W. Olver Design Building at UMass, offers a rare opportunity for members of our community to participate in a rigorous dialogue about the value of art in the public sphere. Attendees will have the chance to learn from the presenters and share their insights and input. Click here to register.

More information on the Symposium

Following the symposium, an engaging parade will take attendees on a walking tour of all the outdoor projects. This performative event will be accompanied by musicians, stilt walkers, flag wavers, dancers and more. Performers will respond directly to each sculptural installation, encouraging participation and involvement from all age groups. The parade invites families and young people from the community to join the tour and celebrate art and creative expression in the gateway district. The parade will culminate with a community gathering in the town of Amherst where participants can meet the artists and presenters and celebrate the day.

The XTCA Artists are
Collective-LOK: Framing
Rob Swainston: Free the Press
Naomi Darling and Darrel Petit: Solar Time
Josephine Halvorson: Tree Measure (Amherst)
Pamela Matsuda-Dunn: Bridging Our Community
Roberley Bell: A Visitor and One Other
Tom Friedman: Ghost Shed
Benjamin S. Jones: All the Time in the World
Erika Zekos: Common Sounding *Erica Zekos’s chimes will be re-installed and activated on September 6, for Amherst Arts Night Plus; September 22, for the XTCA Symposium and Parade; and October 4, for Amherst Arts Night Plus.
Sarah Braman: Day Trip
Gary Orlinsky: Gioco
Harold Grinspoon: Family Reunion
Joseph Kruczynski: Building Bridges


We are grateful to all those who have generously supported XTCA and helped make this project possible:
Amherst Business Improvement District
Amherst Department of Public Works
Amherst Public Art Commission
Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, Artist's Resource Trust
Garland Construction Corporation
Idea Co.
Jakes at the Mill
Massachusetts Cultural Council, Town of Amherst
Simpson Gumpertz & Heger
Theater Truck Company
UMassFive College Federal Credit Union
UMass Creative Economy Fund, Office of the President, Boston
UMass Amherst: Office of External Relations; Grounds & Services; Campus Facilities & Planning
Wanczyk Nursery

With special thanks to the following individuals for their involvement:

Lindsay Schnarr, Architect, MArch ‘11
Paul Bockelman, Manager, Town of Amherst
Alan Snow, Division Director, Trees & Grounds, Town of Amherst
Leann Leake, Graduate Student, Arts Management
Kara Westhoven, B.A. ‘18, Art History and History
Bibiana Medkova, Graduate Student, Studio Arts
René Théberge, Member of the Amherst Public Art Commission

UMass Five College Credit Union        Idea Co
University of Massachusetts        Garland Construction Company