Art Raises Many Related Questions in Amazing Ways on the Boston Common: “What Do We Have in Common?” by Janet Zweig, now through October 24

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.

Public art trailblazer Janet Zweig invites all to converse about commonalities and public ownership with “What Do We Have in Common?,” on view in historic Boston Common through October 24 ( updated).“( quote from NOW+THERE statement about the project)

The installation begins with a wooden cabinet near the Parkman Bandstand. 200 blue, illuminated markers wait within it, each carved with poignant questions such as “Who owns this park?” Over 30 days, bilingual Guides will take these illuminated markers from the cabinet and place them in adjacent locations to the cabinet in order to spark thought-provoking conversations and reflections with the public on our shared responsibilities to each other and the public spaces we visit.“( quote from NOW+THERE statement about the project)

“As part of our 50th anniversary celebrations, the pandemic delayed this project by a year, but has also deepened the significance of this question. As we work to emerge from this difficult time that has forced us to distance in so many ways, what are the things that bring us together? How do we care for common resources that belong to every one of us, places that have given us such a healing respite over this last year and a half?(quote from Friends of the Public Garden President Liz Vizza introducing the project, September 22, 2021)

“This project gave me the opportunity to go down a rabbit hole of a fascinating subject that I hope you’ll all become familiar with: common resources and the practice of commoning….Some of those things mentioned in the questions on the glowing markers. These include all those things that might belong to no one, That might belong to anyone and that might belong to everyone.” ( quote from Janet Zweig at opening of project)

Photos and information about many other public art projects by Janet Zweig: JANET ZWEIG: PUBLIC ART

..Plus a recurring question in the Boston Public Garden:

On the way I stopped in to see what the ducklings and their mom were wearing, which raised the longstanding question: Who creates the changing costumes for the bronze characters in Nancy Schön‘s Make Way for Ducklings?


  1. Thanks for posting! I’ve never seen the ducklings in their Halloween costumes before.
    Love this entire post.

  2. Sandra Millikin · · Reply

    love the ducks!

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