In mid-May I visited two mighty murals barely two blocks apart: “Chelsea Resilient: Call and Response Through the Ages” by David Fichter and “City of Dreams” by Silvia López Chavez. With great enthusiasm, I now share photos, quotes, and links that should convey the rich history and possibilities of both murals.

As May begins, I want to share my photos, notes, and links for these three artists while their sculptures are still on campus (for the 2021-22 academic year).

On an April walk along Somerville Community Path (or Bikeway), I stopped to enjoy some new discoveries and familiar favorites. In this post I begin with photos of the recent additions and then share older photos, plus links to supporting information in earlier posts or new resources. As always, I appreciate the reliable richness and intriguing changes on this path.

These photos, notes, and links are my attempts to connect recent and past events in outdoor art. These may help me transition to some future post with my own thoughts.

From 10 a.m. till 4 p.m., explore a row of 15 different ice sculptures on display in Fiedler Field, each of the three days: Friday, Saturday, Sunday. Quotes and links give background and perspective.

This February (2022) I learned to look up at light poles for Black History Month banners along Massachusetts Avenue in Arlington. Luckily banners from earlier Februaries (2020 and 2021) were up again, along with a new set. Different artists, selected by Arlington Human Rights Commission and Arlington Commission for Arts and Culture, created the banners for each year.

A public radio segment about sculptor Edmonia Lewis (1845-ca. 1909) recently roused me to order a sheet of newly issued stamps honoring her and then to seek out the marble monument she made 150 years ago for a family lot in Mount Auburn Cemetery. Stories behind the new stamp and the long-standing sculpture led to more revelations about the artist’s life, through resources I will share here with quotes and links.

Here is my record of seasonal decorations in the front yard of a historical house near me in Cambridge: William James House at 95 Irving Street. Most of the photos here focus on the tree and fence, though the steps, porch, and roof have also been transformed for several holidays. This post just keeps track of the leaves, blossoms, lawn, and snowfall as they interact with holiday shapes and colors people placed within the landscape.

Public art in Somerville has enlightened me in many ways in recent years. Here are two more examples, each enlivening my resources as a long-time volunteer guide at deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln. Both focus on fascinating aspects of Somerville’s Union Glass Company, owned by Julian deCordova through the early years of the twentieth century. One is among the seven vibrant panels of the Union Square History Murals on the building where Webster Avenue (55-50) and Prospect Street (70) intersect. The other is a bright sturdy signpost, among more than fifty others in Conway Park on Somerville Avenue. Here are photos, quotes, and notes to elaborate their connections.

New important plantings around Cyrus Dallin’s long-standing sculpture (since 1912) on the lawn of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston this summer made me realize how much I did not know about the sculptor. That led me to Arlington, where some of his significant works have braved all weather for over a century, and where the Cyrus Dallin Art Museum has developed valuable online resources about his works. A winter lull finally let me review my summer notes and photos for Dallin’s art in Arlington, where he lived in the first half of the twentieth century. Now I need to share some fascinating aspects of his art.

Analog the Sphinx Dog and Wapiti the Green Elk recently joined Michelle the Blue Elephant on Palmer Street in Harvard Square. All three stand with slender sturdy legs on narrow skis. All three are creatively constructed from various recycled materials, adorned with objects, and decorated festively. All three are called Skraelings by Bob Smith (of Minimum Wage Art), who describes them in the following quote: “These being(s) are super heroes that are made from wood, metal, even plastic, all castoff materials from an overly materialistic society. Skraelings fight boredom and apathy in all dimensions of time and space.” ….

Here are my photos, with quotes and links that should take you to fabulous photos on Silvia López Chavez’s website including her creative ways with windows in two buildings (290 and 314 Main St.. Cambridge). Both temporary public art installations, commissioned by MIT, developed as part of a community project called MIT Art Activation, Kendall Sq. Cambridge.

Guided by the very helpful interactive map on the GO OUT DOORS NEIGHBORS!, Arts Arlington, I have visited most of the 2021 doors. I hope to see them all before November ends, when they’ll be kept safe from the threats of winter weather. Then I will watch for their return in spring 2022 and for newly created doors as well. If able, I will want to show and tell more about “Go Out Doors” beyond Arlington.* Meanwhile here are names, art titles, links ( click on artists’ names in red for their websites), and quotes for the doors I’ve seen so far.

“Mission: “Go Out Doors” inspires discovery and exploration of outdoors spaces and trails, and the intersection of place, history, community, spirit, and nature. On View Through November 15, 2021” (quote from Umbrella Arts Go Out Doors @ Minute Man National Historical Park) This mission addresses my experience visiting the three doors!
Doors created by artists Yetti Frenkel, Cassandra Charles, and BARD at three separate sites within Minute Man National Historical Park

Based on September and October visits to 2021 Art Ramble, I add this fourth post, which features installations by BARD, Martha Heller, and Kiyomi Yatsuhashi. As in the three earlier posts, artist names, installation title, materials and quotes from the artists’ statements about their installations appear above my photos. Quotes and links are from The Umbrella Arts & Environment Website headed 2021 Art Ramble: Something in the Air. 

Curated by Laurie Bogdan and Kimberley Harding; Hapgood Wright Town Forest in Concord, MA, September 1 – November 14…The Umbrella site 2021 Art Ramble: “Something in the Air” lists the sixteen artists’ bios, websites, and statements about their artwork, as well as audio versions to access as you move along.I visited in September and October, followed by posts, each focusing on four installations. This third post connects four more through their relation to the forest’s trees, shadows, and light while always aware of the air.

In September, after my first visit, I posted an overview with focus on four artworks and a plan to return for additional explorations. Now, selecting from photos in my second visit, early October, I focus in this sequel post on artworks about animals with wings.

Presented by NOW+THERE and Friends of the Public Garden, through wonderfully welcoming, attentive, versatile Guides.
I’ll post very quickly in case anyone who lives nearby can visit the Boston Common before this brief opportunity ends. I plan to return and post with more connections. Meanwhile here are a few photos from my first visit two days ago, with quotes from two informative rich resources: NOW+THERE and Friends of the Public Garden.

Engulf mural , Lincoln Street Triangle, about three blocks southwest of South Station, created by Juan Travieso in 2019 is up through October 2021. Sometimes obscured by cars and trucks in its adjacent parking lot, the long low wall space is notably less visible from a distance than the tall Greenway mural wall in Dewey Square. Additionally, the mural’s lifespan has coincided with pandemic limitations on travel and social activity. I’ve visited twice and hope to go again before it’s gone, while wishing I could do more to convey the visual drama and mystery generated by Juan Travieso ‘s Engulf.
All I can offer so far is to post segments of the mural with captions quoted from the Artist Statement to focus on the issues that are motivating Juan Travieso’s creative work. This should help me recall what I saw at the wall and discover design elements I didn’t absorb at the time. Maybe it will connect with someone who missed the chance to be there, or might still have that chance.

Begin with a new installation Confluence by Laurie Bogdan and Kimberley Harding. Then follow a path enriched by continuing presence of earlier installations, : Colony III, Current, Persistence, ExtraOrdinary Birds.

My visit to “Honoring the past, seeding the future,” the newest Grove Hall murals, extended my own range of travel after too long a time. Simply walking a few blocks around their location (on and near 345 Blue Hill Avenue) offered such an abundance of promising connections that I must now choose a few of many for focus in this post. Here are the chosen three.

Pandemic restrictions mean that we may not go to as many museums these days. Instead, we walk more and have time to investigate the public sculpture that lives everywhere in and around Boston. A recent stroll in Harvard Square highlighted a contrast between figurative and abstract monuments. Just off Harvard Common, one of Theodora Alice […] […]