Category museums

Public Art in Somerville Highlights History of deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln

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.

“Arboreal Attire” and “Chairful Where You Sit” Extend History around Jason Russell House in Arlington

Sculpture by Leslie Wilcox, Poetry by Jessie Brown, Chairs Transformed by Many Artists: This post honors an inspiring event last Saturday (8/21/21) that reminded me, yet again, of how much public art keeps offering no matter how many challenges continue. Walking among at least thirty chairs and six tall trees with unique creative identities, I began to understand they all shared histories extended by artists’ careful appreciative attention. Also most chairs there were made with wood, so crafted originally from trees. Musical performances, poetry reading, artist talk, and many other happenings were free for anyone who visited the lawn of the historic Jason Russell House near Arlington Center.
That led me to this quick post ( with links, quotes, and key resources in red type) because the chairs are only up for bidding until September 5:

Artists Ekua Holmes and Elizabeth James-Perry Bring MFA Lawn to Life with “Garden for Boston”

Whether or not you go inside the Museum of Fine Arts, on the front lawn you will find rich offerings by artists and curators attentive to soil, sun, sea, community, and history. One morning in early August, I joined other visitors enthralled by plantings and perspective in the collaborative venture called “Garden for Boston.” Delighted by discoveries, I’ll share a few of my iPhone photos with quotes from enlightening resources on the MFA website and other specified links.

Temporary Art Leads to Ongoing Information from Harvard Museums of Science and Culture: PLAZA PAINT PROJECT

The person I saw painting attractive images on Science Center Plaza said she was not an artist, but she was creating interactive art to engage people with rich resources from the Harvard Museums of Science and Culture while the physical doors are still closed to visitors. She noted that the paintings on the plaza would be power-washed away in a few weeks. So once again I’ll post quickly to speed the news about temporary art  before it goes.

Jaume Plensa’s Sculptures Make Many Meaningful Connections

Jaume Plensa’s Humming came to deCordova Sculpture Park almost ten years ago, generating innumerable reminders of how powerful sculpture can be. As a guide at the park, Humming has given me reliable ways to connect with others about how and why a tall translucent entrancing head might come to be. Humming has brought perspective to other art in the park, and it has led me to more sculpture by the same artist as well.

View a Few of Many, Many Murals by Marka27, “Prolific Artisan”

In recent years I have seen, admired, and taken photos of several murals signed by Marka27, but finally I feel prepared to post with a focus on Victor “Marka27” Quiñonez. In this post I can offer photos of a few of his Boston-area murals, along with quotes and links that should lead you to lots more by this “Prolific Artisan.”

Art Grows from Trees: Alan Sonfist and Richard Rosenblum at deCordova

Sonfist’s The Endangered Species of New England has been part of the Sculpture Park since 2013. Rosenblum’s Venusvine, created 1990, has been there since 1996. Both artworks reflect their artists’ deeply rooted work with trees. Both are metal renderings of natural forms. Both artworks have decisive locations in the park. They’ve held their ground while other artworks have moved around, left or entered in recent years.

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.

Mural for the Movement Makes Statements in Many Languages with Faces, Flags, and Fist in front of MFA Boston

After visiting the mural “No Weapon Formed Against Thee Shall Prosper,” currently on the Huntington Avenue lawn of the Museum of Fine Arts, I want to urge everyone in the Boston area to see it before it leaves November 19, 2020. So, this quick post includes photos, quotes and resources that could help you appreciate the mural in person, or at least through connected stories about it.

Rob “Problak” Gibbs’ New ‘Breathe Life’ Mural Looks Wonderfully Alive at Madison Park High School

The recently completed ‘Breathe Life’ mural by Rob “Problak” Gibbs’ takes in the sky above Madison Park Technical Vocational High School where he was a student, graduating in 1995. Here are photos from my first visits with quotes and links to valuable resources that promise to enrich your perspective on this significant artwork.