Category social justice

Join in June Tribute to “Persistence” in Arlington through Photos from a Week of Changes

In early June I saw the following notice in Arts Arlington: “OWN A PIECE OF PUBLIC ART HISTORY! ‘Persistence’ Exhibit & Sale at Arlington Porchfest Join us during Porchfest (June 18, 1 to 4 pm) to get a close look at Michelle Lougee’s whimsical creations for the Minuteman Bikeway during an exhibition and sale of the sculptural pieces that make up PERSISTENCE. “( quote from Arts Arlington newsletter June 2022) The notice inspired my photo spree 1) along the bikeway while the sculptures were still up, 2) in the outdoor exhibit where they were finally touchable, 3) among the bikeway trees persisting after their departure. This post is my journal from each of the three phases, with photos, notes, quotes, and promising links.

ART SCRIM Extends Possibilities for Public Art Outdoors, as shown by Yenny Hernandes, Anna Dugan and Deborah Johnson

Each of these three artists has created several fabric panels that transform stretches of metal construction fencing near the intersection of Harvard Street and Western Avenue in Allston. One, Anna Dugan, incorporated concrete Jersey barriers as well. All three worked out their own distinctive series of panels printed on scrim, a lightweight durable translucent textile that has long been used in theater sets. Daylight, street light, clouds, the sky itself, and any machinery or equipment behind the fence can add variables to our view. Whether driving by or standing near, we respond to these shifting features. I grew more aware of such changes as I photographed the art. In fact, I felt that each artist had recognized and successfully addressed the possibilities of scrim.

Recent Art Combines with Earlier Creative Features on the Bikeway in Somerville

On an April walk along Somerville Community Path (or Bikeway), I stopped to enjoy some new discoveries and familiar favorites. In this post I begin with photos of the recent additions and then share older photos, plus links to supporting information in earlier posts or new resources. As always, I appreciate the reliable richness and intriguing changes on this path.

Events in Ukraine Add to Art in Harvard Square

These photos, notes, and links are my attempts to connect recent and past events in outdoor art. These may help me transition to some future post with my own thoughts.

Light Poles Display Banners for Black History Month On Massachusetts Avenue in Arlington

This February (2022) I learned to look up at light poles for Black History Month banners along Massachusetts Avenue in Arlington. Luckily banners from earlier Februaries (2020 and 2021) were up again, along with a new set. Different artists, selected by Arlington Human Rights Commission and Arlington Commission for Arts and Culture, created the banners for each year.

A Statue and a Stamp Shed Lights on the Life of Sculptor Edmonia Lewis

A public radio segment about sculptor Edmonia Lewis (1845-ca. 1909) recently roused me to order a sheet of newly issued stamps honoring her and then to seek out the marble monument she made 150 years ago for a family lot in Mount Auburn Cemetery. Stories behind the new stamp and the long-standing sculpture led to more revelations about the artist’s life, through resources I will share here with quotes and links.

Bronze Sculptures by Cyrus Dallin in Arlington Combine History and Humanity

New important plantings around Cyrus Dallin’s long-standing sculpture (since 1912) on the lawn of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston this summer made me realize how much I did not know about the sculptor. That led me to Arlington, where some of his significant works have braved all weather for over a century, and where the Cyrus Dallin Art Museum has developed valuable online resources about his works. A winter lull finally let me review my summer notes and photos for Dallin’s art in Arlington, where he lived in the first half of the twentieth century. Now I need to share some fascinating aspects of his art.

Public Art Personalities Greet the Season Together on Palmer Street in Harvard Square

Analog the Sphinx Dog and Wapiti the Green Elk recently joined Michelle the Blue Elephant on Palmer Street in Harvard Square. All three stand with slender sturdy legs on narrow skis. All three are creatively constructed from various recycled materials, adorned with objects, and decorated festively. All three are called Skraelings by Bob Smith (of Minimum Wage Art), who describes them in the following quote: “These being(s) are super heroes that are made from wood, metal, even plastic, all castoff materials from an overly materialistic society. Skraelings fight boredom and apathy in all dimensions of time and space.” ….

New Views Come in through Art for “Go Out Doors” in Minute Man National Historical Park

“Mission: “Go Out Doors” inspires discovery and exploration of outdoors spaces and trails, and the intersection of place, history, community, spirit, and nature. On View Through November 15, 2021” (quote from Umbrella Arts Go Out Doors @ Minute Man National Historical Park) This mission addresses my experience visiting the three doors!
Doors created by artists Yetti Frenkel, Cassandra Charles, and BARD at three separate sites within Minute Man National Historical Park

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.