A Crystal Clear View of Innovation

What might the spirit of CIC look like distilled and etched into glass?

We’re thrilled to find out as we unveil a new glass mural today inside the Venture Café space at CIC Cambridge. The mural is a collaborative passion project between our CEO Tim Rowe and local artist Nick Fuhrer. Below is a little backstory on how the project came to be and Fuhrer’s intention behind the piece.

Nick Fuhrer first learned to etch glass in high school during an internship with Cambridge-based glass artist Peter Houk, Director of the MIT Glass Lab. Fuhrer trained at the Rhode Island School of Design and received a BFA in sculpture in 1999. While at RISD, he met his wife, illustrator Rebecca Walsh. They live in Cambridge and have two children.

The subject matter for the window was first proposed to Fuhrer by Tim Rowe in 2015, while in Delphi, Greece. At that time, Fuhrer was in-between studios and needed to find a new studio in which he could build a sandblaster large enough to fit the proposed window. This process took two years and was followed by three years of thoughtful contemplation and execution of the window’s imagery. Rowe requested a long window that read like a mural, inspired by Diego Rivera and the artwork of the Moscow subways. 

The intent of the window is to celebrate innovators and entrepreneurs for their amazing and special contributions to society. The imagery is directly inspired by photographs and impressions taken by the artist in and around the CIC. The space depicted in the window is simultaneously interior and exterior; the inhabitants wear jackets and t-shirts side by side. They use devices that exist and devices yet to be invented. Their world is being constructed around them by enormous cranes as they move and work. The characters depicted are working at CIC or live in the surrounding neighborhoods. The imaginary elements mixing with real structures represent the innovator’s creativity merging with and evolving into reality, reiterating the notion of interior worlds existing simultaneously with exterior ones. The interactions between characters is an invitation to the viewer to create their own narrative.

Be sure to join us for the unveiling at 12pm on Wednesday, September 9 during the socially distanced soft opening of our new patio/terrace space at our One Broadway location in Cambridge.

Can’t join us this go around? Catch a glimpse of Fuhrer’s piece while attending future events, which you can learn more about and stay up-to-date on by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.

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