Five years of DATMA

By Steven Froias

#NBcreative Writer-at-large

In a world filled with constant change, finding a sense of shelter has never been more important. Whether it’s physical, emotional, or creative, shelter provides us with a space where we can retreat, rejuvenate, and discover ourselves anew. 

For the past five years,  the Massachusetts Design, Art, and Technology Institute (DATMA) in New Bedford, Massachusetts has been at the forefront of fostering creativity and innovation through their thought-provoking exhibitions and installations. 

DATMA celebrates five years of success as a non-collecting contemporary art institute with the opening of “Shelter” on Thursday, June 22 at a special event at Custom Home Square, home to one of this year’s wonderful pieces, “Threshold” by Mark Reigelman, pictured above. (Find out more about this free community party here!)

As we celebrate their remarkable journey, I can’t help but think that DATMA has concerned itself with providing shelter in New Bedford over the course of its entire existence. Here are five ways DATMA has always embraced the theme of “Shelter” to inspire and captivate audiences:

  1. A Haven for Artistic Expression: Since its inception in 2018, DATMA has continuously showcased immersive and engaging art installations that challenge traditional boundaries. Through their commitment to innovative contemporary art, they have created a haven for artists and audiences alike to explore the concept of shelter in its many forms. From physical structures that redefine the notion of a dwelling to ethereal installations that evoke emotions, DATMA has brought the power of shelter to life.
  2. The Transformative Power of Art: Art has an incredible ability to transform spaces and the way we perceive them. DATMA has harnessed this transformative power by curating installations that invite viewers to reconsider their relationship with their surroundings. By showcasing works that blur the lines between art, technology, and design, DATMA has created thought-provoking experiences that encourage introspection and dialogue. Through their exhibitions, they have given people the opportunity to find shelter within themselves, fostering personal growth and reflection.
  3. Inspiring the Community: DATMA’s impact extends far beyond the art world. By involving the community in their projects, they have created a shared experience that unites people from diverse backgrounds. Through workshops, educational programs, and community engagement initiatives, DATMA has sparked conversations about shelter, architecture, and urban development. By encouraging active participation, they have empowered individuals to become active contributors to their community’s growth and development.
  4. Nurturing the Next Generation of Creatives: Recognizing the importance of nurturing young talent, DATMA has prioritized fostering creativity in the next generation. By providing platforms for emerging artists, designers, and technologists to showcase their work, they have helped burnish the appeal of New Bedford as a flourishing and unique artistic community. 
  5. The Legacy of DATMA and Future Endeavors: As DATMA celebrates its five-year milestone, their impact on the artistic landscape of New Bedford has been immense. Their commitment to pushing boundaries and exploring the concept of shelter has opened doors to new artistic possibilities. Looking ahead, DATMA continues to envision a future where art, technology, and design intersect to create transformative experiences. With each passing year, they strive to inspire and provoke, leaving an indelible mark on both the local community and the broader world of contemporary art.

The entire five years of its life has been a testament to DATMA’s dedication in celebrating the theme of “Shelter” and its profound impact on our lives. Through their exhibitions, installations, and community engagement, they have fostered an environment that encourages exploration, reflection, and growth. 

As we collectively celebrate this milestone, let us applaud DATMA’s extraordinary efforts and anticipate the awe-inspiring experiences they have yet to create. In an ever-changing world, their commitment to embracing art as a shelter has been a source of inspiration – and a reminder of the importance of finding solace and refuge, both within ourselves and in our communities.

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