By Mary Whitfill, editor-in-chief
Through the lens of her Nikon D5000, Lindsay Baer uses her photography and video-making skills to portray women’s and mental health issues, using powerful images to display how these topics have affected her own life. This weekend, the former College of Arts, Media and Design (CAMD) student will display her work as part of the 36th Fort Point Open Studios.
The Baltimore native recently moved into a space above Midway Studios. She works full time for filmmaker Raber Umphenour. Residents of the building, which is part of the Fort Point Community, are almost exclusively collaborative artists
“There’s a high density of artists in the neighborhood compared to other places in Boston,” Baer said. “I’ve met a lot of really incredible people – they’re all, or I guess mostly, older than me, so they have experiences and a way of looking at the world that I just don’t have and wasn’t really getting in school.”
Fort Point consists of various studio spaces and galleries where artists can both live and work. Twice a year, the Open Studios program gives them a chance to open their doors to the public and display their pieces.
“Part of our mission is to promote the work of our artists and to really engage with the public,” Emily O’Neil, executive director of the Fort Point Arts Community, said. “Open Studios is really the cornerstone of our mission in terms of allowing the public to see what happens inside our studios.
This year, the work of over 150 artists will be displayed at Midway Studios, Factory 63, 249 A Street Cooperative, 315 on A Street, Boston Button Factory, The Artists Building, FP3. Gallery, Atlantic Wharf, 25 Channel Center St., Grand Circle Gallery and the Boston Children’s Museum. Baer’s gallery, full mental nudity, will be on display on the second floor of Midway Studios at 15 Channel St.
“Everyone is showing out of their home, there is a group space in the the lobby and there is art up, but I’m just hanging out in my apartment,” Baer said. “I put up some work that I really like and really want to share with people – the things I feel most strongly about.”
Baer’s photography and editing style lends itself to a variety of photographic works, but she focuses specifically on self-portraits in full mental nudity.
“I picked up a camera in 10th grade and I didn’t really have friends at the time, so I just used myself as a model and that’s kind of how I got into self-portraiture,” Baer said. “It was a way for me to express myself without using words and to document myself and my existence… and also expressing things that I didn’t feel comfortable speaking out loud.”
While at Northeastern University, Baer, now 21, studied studio art, a joint degree program with CAMD and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, before leaving to pursue art full time. Since then, Baer has worked from sun-up to sun-down to pursue her career as an artist.
“I usually work with my boss from 10 until 7. When we are on a shoot, it can be anywhere from an 8-hour shoot to a 14-hour shoot, it really just depends,” she said. “A lot of the time is spent in the studio processing footage and editing. After that, I go home and try to start focusing on my own work. I usually go to bed around 2 a.m.”
It is this kind of dedication that makes public appreciation important, O’Neil said.
“Fort Port has an unbelievably strong artist community,” she said. The artists advocate very strongly to keep Fort Point culturally relevant.”
Photo courtesy Lindsay Baer