George Fifield, 71

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George Fifield, a resident of Chilmark and Jamaica Plain, died on Nov. 11, 2022 from complications after he suffered a fall at his on-Island home during July 2022. He was 71.

He was an early innovator and advocate of new media transformed by emerging digital arts, His worldwide network of admiring artists, colleagues, friends, family members, students and museum professionals describe him as affable, generous, creative, open minded, innovative, sweet natured and enthusiastic.

His expertise in the field of new media made him a valued and respected independent curator both locally, regionally and internationally. He served as the curator of new media at the DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln from 1993 to 2006. 

A major figure in the region’s cultural community, George was one of the first people to understand and acknowledge New England as a center of art and technology and he wanted a big idea to celebrate this. His response was to found the Boston Cyberarts Festival in 1999. The biennial event showcased international digital and new technology artists and fostered collaboration between arts institutions, encouraged cultural tourism and the creative economy. In 2007, the festival was honored with the prestigious Commonwealth Award for contributing to the creative economy of Massachusetts.

The festivals ended in 2011, but George continued the expansion of new media through Boston Cyberarts Inc. and its gallery programming. Up to his death, he continued to curate innovative exhibits of cutting-edge work synthesizing technology and artistic vision at Boston Cyberarts’s gallery uniquely located over a subway stop in Jamaica Plain.

He was honored with the first annual Special Award for Distinguished Contribution to the Boston arts community by the International Association of Art Critics (AICA) Boston chapter.

He taught at the Rhode Island School of Design, Emerson College, Massachusetts College of Art and Design and Boston University. He was considered an outstanding teacher and mentor.

He was a member of the Boston Arts Commission for many years. He oversaw outdoor technologically based art exhibits in the city of Newton, at the Sa

lem Maritime National Historic Site, at the Massachusetts Convention Center’s 80-foot-tall marquee, and most recently along Boston’s Emerald Necklace.

In addition, he wrote on a variety of media, technology and art topics for a variety of publications including Artbyte, Bomb, Communication Arts, Digital Fine Arts, The Independent Film and Video Monthly, Sculpture Magazine, Art New England and numerous exhibition catalogs.

George was a talented chef and he and his wife Lynne were frequent hosts of wonderful dinners at their Chilmark home. They attracted local artists, writers and actors who shared their love of the Island, interesting conversation and great food and wine.

He leaves a legacy of curiosity and innovation that drove evolution in digital media and inspired scores of young and established artists across the globe.

George is survived by his beloved wife, Lynne Adams, his sister Virginia Fifield and his brother John and his wife Sandi Fifield. Other survivors include his nephew Ben Fifield and his wife Yang-Yang Zhou, his niece Jocie Fifield and her husband Tim Corkum and a grand-nephew, Leo Fifield.

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