More than 80 Greater Boston arts, cultural and advocacy organizations will gather to present a free family festival inspired by the creative spirit of artist Fay Chandler. Events are scheduled for several venues throughout the area and will be held from September 10 through Chandler’s birthday on September 15. Audience participation will be encouraged at several of the events which will be presented by many of the region’s leading visual arts, music and dance organizations.
“After my mother’s passing last winter, our family decided we wanted to honor her life, her achievements and her spirit in a way that all Boston might enjoy,” said her son, Alfred D. (“Appy”) Chandler. “Mom loved to see people collaborate, and she would have been thrilled to see so many of her favorite organizations combine to make this festival a truly special occasion open to all.”
Thursday, September 10: 5:30 pm, Presentation of the Fay Chandler Award for Emerging Artists in memory of Fay Chandler, with support from the Chandler Family at Boston’s City Hall, 1 City Hall Square, Boston, MA.
Saturday, September 12: 12 pm – 4 pm, “Finding Fay at the BCA Fair” brings arts, cultural and social service organizations loved by Fay together to celebrate with exhibits, performances, readings, displays and interactive activities for every age. Events include instrument playgrounds, performances by Actors Shakespeare, Underground Railway and Nora Theater, Boston Lyric Opera, Boston Arts Academy, Conservatory Lab Charter School, and Handel and Haydn Society, painting and sculpture making, led by students from Mass College of Art, Montserrat College of Art, Boston Arts Academy and Artists for Humanity, and an art giveaway organized by The Art Connection. Visit www.findingfay.org for a complete schedule and participating organizations at Boston Center for the Arts, 539 Tremont St, Boston, MA.
Saturday, September 12: 3:15 pm, Memorial of Fay Chandler’s Life and Legacy. All are invited for an uplifting memorial service officiated by the Reverends Ray Hammond, Gloria White Hammond, and Robert Randolph with remarks by friends and family and music by Bethel AME Church at Boston Center for the Arts, 539 Tremont St, Boston, MA.
Sunday, September 13: 11 am – 3 pm, Free guided nature walks and painting nature presented in partnership with Montserrat College of Art at Mass Audubon’s Boston Nature Center, 500 Walk Hill St, Mattapan, MA.
Sunday, September 13: 12 – 3 pm, Free art-making activities recalling Fay’s role at the gallery at the Cambridge Art Association, 25 Lowell St, Cambridge, MA.
Tuesday, September 15: 7 – 9 pm, A free concert presented by the Boston Landmarks Orchestra at the Hatch Shell featuring some of Fay’s favorite music, 47 David G Mugar Way, Boston, MA. (Rain location: TBD)
An online talk about the cultural vitality of Boston presented by Sebastian Smee for the Boston Foundation will be posted and run on the Finding Fay website until December 31
As planning continues, updates and more in-depth information will be posted on www.findingfay.org.
About Fay Chandler
In 1960, Fay Chandler was a 39-year-old mother of four who was unsure what to do with her life. She wanted to make a difference, but didn’t know how. She was living in Brookline; her husband taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His passion was writing history. She wanted a passion of her own. As she enjoyed painting coffee mugs, she wrote away for a painting course offered on the back of a matchbook. Classes followed: first on Nantucket Island and later, more formally, at Boston’s Museum School.
In 1963, her husband accepted a job at Johns Hopkins University and the family moved to Baltimore. Fay applied and was accepted into the Hoffberger Graduate School at the Maryland Institute College of Art. After graduating in 1967, she opened a gallery in Baltimore’s very blue collar Fell’s Point neighborhood. In 1973, the family returned to New England when her husband accepted a professorship at Harvard Business School. Fay ventured into Boston’s South End where a community arts center was struggling to find itself. She rented studio space and became a stalwart supporter of the new Boston Center for the Arts.
In 1989, she used an inheritance to buy a long-decommissioned fire station in Brighton which she resurrected as artists’ studios. As Fay aged and her inventory of paintings and sculptures grew, she realized she needed a creative way to place them. In 1994, she gathered a group of friends; together they developed the concept of an organization that would act as a broker between artists with art to give and social service organizations with walls to cover. The concept became a reality. The Art Connection was born a year later and has now expanded into nearly a dozen cities.
Over the next 20 years, Fay continued to paint, holding three major retrospectives at the Cyclorama of the BCA. As her ability to give grew, so did her support of the arts and the underserved. Fay particularly believed in helping young people: as such she supported a vast array of arts programs throughout eastern Massachusetts. Fay Chandler died in Brighton on March 3, 2015. She was 92, a widow, living in her beloved Engine House in Brighton and still painting.