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The Fitchburg Art Museum's Contemporary Art Tour
Item 2 of 11

Here you can see the Sentinel & Enterprise building where each installation was printed. Although it is not on view, you can see more at the Fitchburg Art Museum's Alphabet Project website page, linked in the sources at the bottom of this entry. The Alphabet Project is a series of innovative front-page design installations in the Fitchburg Sentinel & Enterprise that ran from July 13th - August 11th, 2015. Over the course of these 26 days, a new alphabet letter with its own original typography would take over the cover of the Sentinel & Enterprise accompanied by stories, poems, and essays about life in Fitchburg.


Photo by Fitchburg Art Museum

Publication, Font, Sleeve, Art

Photo from Schuleit-Habers Instagram

Rectangle, Leaf, Textile, Font

Photo from Schuleit-Habers Instagram

Decorative fan, Photograph, White, Organ

Anna Schuleit Haber's project for the city of Fitchburg inhabited the first page of the Sentinel and Enterprise, Fitchburg’s daily newspaper. This public artwork involved 26 typographers from around the world and a team of students from Fitchburg State University. Schuleit Haber worked with FSU interns and typography artists to create the paper’s most unusual run of front pages in history. Each typographer was encouraged to imbue and amplify an alphabet letter using their own original aesthetic style. The letters were big and bold, dominating their respective front pages of the Sentinel; they were intended to inspire the engagement and scrutiny of the reader. Typographers from all over the world designed these letters. The typographer from farthest away was artist Catherine Griffiths in New Zealand. Griffiths created an eye-catching installation that consisted of opaque blue, pink, and yellow circles, all overlapping in the shape of the letter U. One of the most intricate letters printed was the letter O created by Russell Maret of NYC. Intended to be subtly colorful, the creator described the letter O saying, “In its simplest form the letter O is rendered as a circle, a closed line that passively waits to be animated.” His letter had a bold, black-and-white centripetal pull that moves the eye inwards, but upon closer examination you saw that there were blue, yellow, and red lines moving throughout the O, illustrating an alternate movement that also lead the eye towards the center.

When discussing why the Alphabet was the basis of this project, Schuleit Haber said “The alphabet, in the most general sense, is nothing less than our most ubiquitous means of record-taking, of concrete and abstract thinking, of telling and sharing. The alphabet is the miracle of written language: a series of moveable, flexible marks that contain the entire universe, the foundation of all civic experience. Without the alphabet, our cities would be mute and our societies could not engage in self-definition, reflection, and change… I propose to use the alphabet therefore as a natural and emotionally neutral parameter to celebrate the newspaper, the tradition of printing and typography, the uniqueness of Fitchburg and Leominster, and the variety and breadth of local storytelling, by creating a series of 26 daily chapters.” Roughly ten thousand papers were printed and sent to Fitchburg every day. 

In search of inspiration for this project, Schuleit Haber walked around Fitchburg looking for an area that seemed to have the “architectural integrity of a Post-Industrial American city,” as Schuleit Haber put it. She couldn’t decide on one place until she came across the home of the Sentinel & Enterprise, standing since 1838. Schuleit Haber recalls thinking that “could be a transgression of sorts, a true adventure in what public art means.”

Artist website: https://anna-haber.com/

Writer: Sydney Moulton

Speaker: Ryan Normand

Other Sources:

“Local Newspaper Becomes a Canvas in Fitchburg - The Boston Globe.” BostonGlobe.com, The Boston Globe, 23 July 2015, www.bostonglobe.com/arts/2015/07/23/local-newspaper-becomes-canvas-fitchburg/hNKsn6UuplsojAa6W6ZRjI/story.html. 

“The Alphabet Project.” The Point, fitchburgpoint.com/7920/news/the-alphabet-project/. 

Schuleit-Haber's Instagram https://www.instagram.com/schuleithaber/

Image Sources(Click to expand)

https://www.instagram.com/schuleithaber/

https://www.instagram.com/schuleithaber/