STORMING THE COURT // TORMENTA EN LA CANCHA // SALEM, MA
PEABODY ESSEX MUSEUM + PUNOT URBAN ART MUSEUM + NEW CRAFT ARTISTS IN ACTION
Storming the Court / Tormenta en la Cancha is a public basketball court makeover and community artwork led by Maria Molteni and New Craft Artists in Action in The Point neighborhood of Salem, MA. The Peabody Essex Museum invited Molteni, who has painted numerous courts in the region, to create a socially engaged program as part of the Play Time exhibition curated by Trevor Smith. She worked closely with neighborhood youth, local artists Kristine Roan & Jena Tegeler, and program coordinators Doneeca Thurston & Jake Lefker to come up with a stormy and spellbinding design for ballin in Witch City!
The theme, based on a basketball term, recreates the classic image of a Salem Witch in the context of a roiling Tempest or Nor'Easter, complete with lightning bolts and a new-to-full basketball moon phase which mark the free-throw line and rebound markers. A mystical third eye sites 3 pointers as players are invited to purpose surrounding stars and eyeballs for their own new games.
Greg Cook's quotes Molteni in their interview for Wonderland:
“A witch is a shapeshifter and a force of nature” says Molteni, Boston-based artist and founder of the New Craft Artists in Action (NCAA) collective- “Her craft involves building one's internal, personal power and resistance to the harmful effects of external privilege and patriarchal power.” She’s hoping the process and finished space provides an opportunity to exercise the mind and body.