Maestro Immersive Inc.

How The Lighthouse Immersive Partner Helped Bring Frida to the U.S.

BY  ALYSSA WEJEBE | April 28, 2022

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Maria Shclover (middle) at the Immersive Frida Boston

Lighthouse Immersive spans multiple locations with its troupe of exhibitions featuring iconic artists in new dimensions. Getting all these events up and running requires a monumental effort across various partners and scores of multidimensional departments. Maestro Immersive Arts is a key part of this work as one of Lighthouse Immersive’s production partners. Dasha Korol, Director of Events and Programming for Lighthouse Immersive, joins smART Magazine to talk about Maestro Immersive Arts, bring us behind the scenes of Frida: Immersive Dream, and take us on a brief tour of Lighthouse Immersive’s outposts across the U.S.  

Self-Expression and Recovery in Boston

Thoughtful consideration went into selecting the Saunders Castle at Park Plaza as the venue for the Frida: Immersive Dream exhibit. Korol says it was chosen partly due to its status as a historical landmark in the middle of an also-historic neighbourhood in Boston. The castle was the Armory of the First Corps of Cadets, designed by American architect William Gibbons Preston, with a construction period starting from 1891 and wrapping up in 1897.

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DK — “It’s a very special building. And so when we came in here, Frida didn’t really exist, but our idea of what we wanted to do with the space did exist. And so when Maria [Shclover] and Irina [Shabshis], our producers, visited this space, they insisted on this being the exhibit venue because of its value to the city. And the centrality of its location — being located right next to the Boston Common, the beautiful park here at the centre of Boston — was another major draw. Being close to this much nature within the city was also very important because a lot of the artists that we present are very much connected with nature. And that exploration is definitely going to be something that we look into as the city springs back to life after the second year of the pandemic.”

Thanks to oral and community-driven publicity, Korol anticipates that Frida: Immersive Dream is slated for success in Boston.

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Irina Shabshis

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Maria Shclover

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DK — “Boston is one of these towns that has a word-of-mouth kind of machine that works best. You know, there’s advertisements and there’s press coverage — which has been truly incredible thanks to our massive efforts — but the word-of-mouth, like the people that are telling their families and the students that are sharing this among their friends, that’s the real kind of power that Boston has. It’s a very close-knit community at the end of the day. And it’s very artsy and very sophisticated when it comes to seeing new cultural things pop up.”

Programming that offers a more inclusive experience and provides further context for what people see on the exhibit walls has also been in development, such as inviting an all-female mariachi band for the gallery opening. Lighthouse Immersive also invited Mara R. Kahlo — Frida Kahlo’s grandniece — to the Boston opening with her daughter Mara De Anda.  

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Saunders Castle at Park Plaza in Boston

DK — “So in the spirit of continuing the meaning of these special appearances that really bring a tangible context to what we do, we want to bring resources for students and arts educators. But we also want to bring people who may not have a close connection to art and give them the opportunity to connect with it and express themselves artistically. Just like the way Frida used her challenges with her health and expressed her feelings about them through art to process her trauma, so too we want Boston to see that it’s possible to come back from the collective trauma that we’ve all experienced here in the past two years.