Welcome to Arlington Public Art, a group of artists and citizens working as a catalyst to support and expand art in public places in the Town of Arlington, MA. We organize our own projects and, when feasible. give technical assistance to community and neighborhood groups organizing their own initiatives. Founded in 2010, Arlington Public Art (APA) is a sub-committee of the Arlington Commission on Arts and Culture under the auspices of the Town of Arlington. APA reviews proposals for new public art on town property (parks, streets, and other public spaces) and we are happy to give advice on public property.
This September, Arlington Public Art will stenciled haiku poetry written by community members of all ages and walks of life onto the pavement of the Minuteman Bikeway to celebrate the Bikeway’s 25th Anniversary. We received more than 460 poems in response to our Call for Haiku; the poems captured moments observed while biking and walking this Arlington treasure. A panel of 3 poets selected 75 to install on the Bikeway and other public places in Arlington; other poems were stenciled on the Minuteman in Lexington and Bedford for a total of 10 miles of poetry! Stencils were designed and cut by artist Liz LaManche. Special thanks to poets Jessie Brown and Cathie Desjardins for their support and to our selection committee poets Charles Coe, Grey Held and Gloria Mindock.
Bikeway Haiku was organized in partnership with the Bicycle Advisory Committees of Arlington, Lexington and Bedford with support from the public libraries of the three towns. Paint generously donated by Artist and Craftsman in Central Square, Cambridge. This program is supported in part by a grant from by the Arlington Cultural Council, a local agency funded by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency. Additional funds provided by the National Park Service and individual donors.
Two new works were installed in September on the stretch of the Minuteman Bikeway in the Arlington Cultural District near Spy Pond. Both celebrate the abundant bird life in that area and are inspired by the critical food and habitat the green spaces along the Bikeway provide for neighbourhood wildlife.
Colony by Christopher Frost is a playful sculpture composed of miniature architectural structures wrapping around and climbing up the trunk of a mature maple tree near Spy Pond Park. From a perch overlooking the pond, the playing fields and the Bikeway, invisible inhabitants watch the world go by.
Extraordinary Ordinary Birds is a set of art cards which pay tribute to neighbourhood birds with painted portraits by Resa Blatman and text compiled by Ellen Reed. Gorgeous images and pithy facts will get you started with birdwatching along the Bikeway and stewardship activities in your own back yard. The project launches with 4 cards: Northern Cardinal, Black-Capped Chickadee, and Yellow-Rumped Warbler. Four more will be printed in the spring. Collect them all! #birdnerds
Generously funded by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency, the Arlington Cultural Council, a local agency, and donations from individual supporters.
Site specific art has transformed five bus shelters on Mass. Avenue. Some designs “spill” out of the shelters and continue on walls and pavements to activate the corridor, including murals on Za Restaurant and the Fox Library. It’s all part of the Bus Rapid Transit Pilot in Arlington! Organized in partnership with Planning. & Community Development, Selected artists: Eileen de Rosas, Imagine, Johnny Lapham, Claudia Ravaschiere & Mike Moss, Jemes Weinberg. Funded by the Barr Foundation.
Arlington Public Art has been awarded a grant from the Arlington Cultural Council, a local agency funded by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, to support Pathways: Art on the Minuteman Bikeway. We are grateful for their continuing support.
The National Park Service has awarded APA a technical assistance grant to support our Pathways initiative together with a $2,000 contribution towards commissions in 2018. In the year ahead, APA will be working with NPS Arts Partnership Specialist Charles Tracy to sustain and expand public art on the Minuteman Bikeway. We are excited to learn from Charlie, a landscape architect and Arlington resident with deep experience in the arts. In addition to working on the development of recreational and scenic trails in the Northeastern Region, Charlie focuses on developing NPS partnerships with artists and arts organizations to expand the experience of art in national parks and use art as a catalyst for inspiring environmental stewardship.
Donations from individuals who support creating more public art in Arlington are crucial to making our projects possible. Your contribution will match grants receive from the Arlington Cultural Council, a state agency, the New England Foundation for the Arts, the Friends of the Fox Library and other organizations.