Category children’s literature
Restored and New Art Combine in Renovated Clarendon Avenue Playground: Bronze Birds by Juliet Kepes with Leaf-Pattern Fence by Bart Uchida
In 1980, artist Juliet Kepes designed five bronze birds for the brick walls of Clarendon Avenue Park in Cambridge. A longtime admirer of her children’s book illustration, I wasn’t aware of her range of creative work until a few years ago when I read the Cambridge Arts/ Public Art listing below. By the time I managed to visit the park in 2019, it was closed off for extended renovations after almost forty years of use. ….
Recently I learned that the renovated park had opened, so I headed there one early evening in July. The bronze birds were back, set against a stone wall that replaced their brick background. Floral plantings enhanced their new setting, with the promising addition of a flowing plant-patterned fence that certainly added to my appreciation of the whole park.
If you enter Harvard Yard from Quincy Street near its intersection with Massachusetts Avenue, watch for the rushing rabbit, grinning cat, top hat, and other small images in the tall black ironwork of the gate completed in December 2020. These might entice you to stop and look for more connections to “Alice in Wonderland” or to a world of children’s books.
I want to speak out for a poem that speaks for our sidewalks.
This fall brought opportunities to see three new works of art, each with different scale and surface, but in the same distinct compelling style of one artist, James Weinberg. Plants, animals, and sky appear in all three, adapted to the materials and dimensions assigned to their creation. A large brick wall, a framed glass structure, and the paper pages of a picture book serve as stages for dynamic dramas.
Making my way through the list of twenty-two women artists represented on Boston Public Art Walk, I’ve grown more aware of how pivotal Nancy Schön has been to my own interest in public art. …Through the years I’ve watched or joined with adults and children of all ages interacting happily with distinctive animal characters from Make Way for Ducklings written and illustrated by Robert McCloskey, published 1941.