What began as a simple home sale in Newton, Massachusetts, transformed into a creative “art house”. The Webster Court Project displays the work of 20 budding artists, challenging traditional ideas of home, environment, and identity.
Christopher and Joelle Zakak purchased a late 19th-century Queen Anne Victorian house. With the intention of demolition, it was not long before their plans were put on hold. Zoning regulations in the area required a one full year wait to demolish. They did not want this Victorian treasure stagnant, breathing new life into the Victorian structure.
Christopher and Joelle Zakak then enlisted the help of Mark Cooper, professor at the Boston Museum School. Mark Cooper recruited 20 up-and-coming artists to transform the empty house into a art studio collective.
Once they opened the doors to local artists, The Webster Court Project was born.
Artists transformed the house with photography, painting, sculptures, and more. Each personal piece encouraging viewers to rethink their meaning of home. Described by Sculpture Magazine as an “unfolding mystery story,” one would never know what to expect as they turned the corner and entered a new room or hallway in this home.
The entire Webster Court Project was like an unfolding mystery story—one never knew what to expect when turning a corner or climbing a stairway. In addition to the art itself, the show engaged the community with performances and participatory events. A truly original undertaking, this labor of love offered a fresh perspective on how to organize a truly open-ended art adventure.
Sculture Magazine 2019, B. Amore
Not only did this project provide a canvas for local artists, but also as a place for the community to appreciate local artists. Due to the rapid urbanization and gentrification of Greater Boston artists face multiple challenges. Challenges including housing crises. The community was initially welcomed through the doors to appreciate the exhibits with their own eyes. Since the demolition, another approach has allowed the project to gain exposure.