Saturday’s Art in Action event with the Somerville Arts Council and Shape Up Somerville was fun, with a good groups of friends and neighbors coming out to explore the public art of East Somerville.  Although the sky was a threatening shade of gray in the morning, some of us got out of bed to heed Shape up Somerville’s reminder that it doesn’t nee to be a beautiful day to enjoy the outdoors.

We heard a fascinating behind-the-scenes presentation from Luisa Oliviera about the new Chuckie Harris park, including the fact that one of the park’s more artistic elements- plastic shapes that can fit together to build structures- have been pulled after worries from parents about kids hurting each other with them.

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We visited the unusual animal mural at the East Branch library to hear from one of the fantastic librarians about its history,

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and after visiting a few of the painted switchboxes on the street we set out to paint our own. We tackled the black box at the corner of Cross and Broadway, in front of the building that holds the senior center and Teen Empowerment.

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I had primed it ahead of time and laid out a design.  Everyone helped with the painting.  We gathered ideas from people as we worked about why they think it’s important to have art in a city.

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We managed to lay in all of the colors, and planned to add people’s ideas about the importance of art once it dried.  Big thanks to Shape up Somerville for loaning me Ali for the season- I couldn’t have done it without her!

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To see the finished product, with quotes, click here.