Category parks

Take in Bike Tour of Public Art in Cambridge: Central Square, Cambridgeport, and Riverside

This post notes outstanding outcomes of an exciting event one perfect evening in late July 2022: the beautifully organized free bike tour of Cambridge public art between Central Square and the Charles River. 1. Bike-riders of all ages gathered outside the Central Square Library for an overview of art around the library and along the planned route of the whole tour. Cambridge police and attentive volunteers guided everyone safely through the sunset finale. 2. The tour is now engagingly documented in a 2-minute video. 3. The route has become a self-guiding tour for cyclists, though certainly adaptable to walkers. Facts, links and videos on the tour site are informative and intriguing for interested readers far from Cambridge. 4. The whole experience even elevated my already towering enthusiasm for public art!

Take Part in Public Art at Universal Design Playground, Danehy Park, Cambridge

With great enthusiasm, I share my recent discoveries of three public art projects within the relatively new Louis A. DePasquale Universal Design Playground: 1. Mitch Ryerson’s “Sensory Hilltop,” 2. NuVu Studio’s “Pipe Dreams,” 3. Dominic Killiany’s paintings. Here I simply build on background in earlier ART Outdoors posts about Mitch Ryerson’s playground design, but the other two were new to me: Nu Vu Studios, the Innovation School in Central Square Cambridge, and Dominic Killiany, an artist with autism. I hope the photos, quotes, and links add to your own explorations.

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.

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.

Circles Unify Art by Laura Baring-Gould and Mags Harries/Lajos Héder in Drinking Fountains Revived Around Fresh Pond Reservoir

For many months of the pandemic, these drinking fountains were shut down (sometimes covered over) sadly signaling limits on ordinary routines and extraordinary art experiences. When the fountains around Fresh Pond became available again, I wanted to honor their functional and creative qualities. I began to see circles as useful frames for water and also design elements in art, as the artists must have from the start.

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.

Many People Play a Part in Art Installation by Nilou Moochhala in Menotomy Rocks Park, Arlington

I wish my words or photos could convey the sense of being in the presence of this important installation in Menotomy Rocks Park. Certainly I want to return there and to get others in or near Arlington to go too. Also I want people who can’t go to still appreciate the energies, organization, and interplay involved in such ventures. So I offer this quick post now with links and quotes that might lead you further in than I’ve yet been

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.

Metal Preserves and Transforms Features of Trees in Art by Ed Shay and Letha Wilson

Ed Shay’s ten-foot-tall bronze “Acadian Gyro” entered deCordova Sculpture park about three decades ago. Letha Wilson’s nearly as tall cor-ten steel sculpture “Hawaii California Steel(Figure/Ground)” came in about two years ago. Until now I hadn’t  considered their common key elements: 1) attention to the forms of leaves and branches, 2) expressive rendering of those forms in durable metals ( bronze and steel) 3)relation to the seasonally changing foliage of nearby trees. My awareness grew from posting about four more obviously tree-related artworks in the park and noting further connections. Though I have been a volunteer guide in the park for almost two decades, this focus led me deeper into resources with heightened reasons to share them.

Winter Weather Combines with Outdoor Art: Monique Aimee’s Brine Tanks Mural, James Tyler’s Ten Figures

Photos from recent winter visits add perspective and updates to earlier posts in other seasons.