Empty. spaces 92. Self-portrait courtesy of Jaina Cipriano.
Empty. spaces 92. Self-portrait courtesy of Jaina Cipriano.

“The solution lies in collaborative spaces”

For the tenth interview in this series asking people active in the Boston arts scene about their thoughts on how to rebuild it after the pandemic, I talked to Jaina Cipriano—a Boston based artist working with photography, film and installation. Her work explores the emotional toll of religious and romantic entrapment through immersive sets and emotional performances that mirror the subconscious. In October 2020 she debuted her first short film, You Don’t Have to Take Orders from The Moon, a magical realism story about darkness inside and outside us. She is working on her next film, Trauma Bond set to film early 2021. Check out Cipriano’s website at jainaciprianophotography.com. The video of our full conversation is below.


On what has gone before

Boston has a vibrant and driven art community but there are not enough resources available to keep them here for the long term. Boston artists get up and go to LA, NYC or Atlanta. The lack of affordable artist studios and housing in conjunction with the absence of creative collaboration spaces makes it understandable. Boston is home to some of the most intelligent and divergent thinkers yet I’ve been told that it is just “too conservative” for the art and community I envision.

I believe this is a self fulfilling cycle. The artists who leave for somewhere more experimental are the same ones who stand a chance at shaking up the conservative scene here and making us into a place artists not only stay in to grow but attract new blood.


On what is still to come

The solution lies in collaborative spaces—they are plentiful in the tech and business world but do not exist for the struggling creative. Shared resources, knowledge and community make even the wildest ideas possible. In order to change Boston we need to keep artists here by supporting them. I wish I could solve the affordable space problem, I hope Boston does someday. What I can do is work around it.

Readers interested in learning more about a collaborative space for independent filmmakers and creatives in Boston, coming in 2021, can send an email to jainacipriano@gmail.com.

DigBoston Interview with Jaina Cipriano

Jason Pramas is executive editor and associate publisher of DigBoston. He holds an MFA in visual arts.