Who Restores the Art Outdoors? Clues in Cambridge Examples: William Reimann’s Bollards and Bland Hoke’s “Artesian Well”
As I have visited and revisited local art outdoors for many years, I’ve seen how artwork can be worn down by time, weather, and all imaginable events. Luckily, also I have seen how artwork can be restored by planful focused funded teamwork. For example, here are photos, quotes and links with hints of how change happened at two sites in Cambridge.
Enticed by a notice from NOW+THERE about the current installation of Claudia Comte’s Five Marble Leaves in Central Wharf Park, I visited on a sunny October morning. During a delightful half-hour documenting with my iPhone, I began to plan a first post that would convey the captivating combination of artwork and setting. I hope these photos, quotes, notes, and links meet that goal now or soon after further adventures in the park.
This post is a brief follow-up to the earlier one with images and quotes about the mural in progress during June 2022, crammed with quotes and links. The focus here is on how and why Rob “Problak” Gibbs incorporated gold and purple within the mostly black, gray, and white range of the main images.
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 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.
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.