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.
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.
Artists Help Us Learn from Trees: Maren Hassinger and Josephine Halvorson at deCordova Sculpture Park
Josephine Halvorson’s Measure (Tree) and Maren Hassinger’s Monuments 3 and 6 have expanded my range in relating to trees. That is true for several other artworks at deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, so I’ll hope to follow up in future posts with more examples. But I’ll start with these two artists because their processes give specific attention to trees. Measure (Tree) involved the artist in close observation while painting a tree’s elements onto a wooden plank. Both Monuments involved many people in carefully weaving assorted branches of local trees into geometric structures and patterns. Quotes from the Trustees website explain more. Links to each artist’s site offer context. My photos give glimpses of the presence of these artworks among trees in the park in different seasons.
Arlington’s Artist-in-Residence Michelle Lougee Highlights the Existence of Persistence on the Bikeway
Many hands and minds created each of nearly forty unique forms installed among the trees two months ago to survive four seasons of New England weather. Their shapes and textures have become more distinct since October’s shade from autumn leaves has gone. Like others who use the bikeway, I’ll watch for ways the art will change with wind, snow, sleet and sunlight. And I’ll keep thinking of the meanings of “persistence.” Meanwhile, here are quotes, links, and images that should reveal the resourcefulness, resilience, and reasoning that have carefully kept this prescient project going.
While museums and art centers must be closed, I’ve opened my eyes to art outside their doors. Today I’ll focus on “Bird Mosaic” by Gail Boyajian in the memorial garden to the right of the gate to Maud Morgan Arts in my neighborhood. Planned sequel posts should show and tell more about the art center and the garden (Mary’s Garden).
None of the animal sculptures in this post are very new to the Somerville Community Path, and I have visited them all before. Mainly I delayed posting about them because I wanted to learn more about each one. So far my usual online research has not led to informative links I’d like to share.
This week though, with playgrounds closed and other outdoor options limited, the bike paths beckon people of all ages. Along the path, intriguing artworks await our attention and give pleasure by their presence. Maybe this post will lead to answers from people who made these animals or know the stories of their creation.
The photos in this post come from January 1, 2020, the last time I visited Elliott Kayser’s eight ceramic pigs along the Rose Kennedy Greenway. They had kept their stations well for almost a year. Now that the Year of the Pig is almost over they are gone!
From a very informative Greenway blog post, I have learned that five of the pigs have moved on to the Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton. Chiefly the blog post clearly tells a story with great photos of ten steps involved in creating the pigs. If you wondered about the origins or future of these sculptures, about 250 pounds each, read that blog post.