Art ‘grove’ coming to Franklin Park

Franklin Park will host a “pop-up art grove,” a temporary art installation, during the month of August. And it’s seeking artists to join in.

The City issued a call for artists’ proposals late last month. The program will include a selection of outdoor art installations, public talks and artist-led youth workshops, all sited in the park’s Wilderness Picnic Grove.

Proposals are due May 4. More information is available at publicartboston.com.

The idea was proposed by Franklin Park Coalition (FPC) member and Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassART) staffer Carolyn Lewenberg.

“As both a community event and a mini artist residency, the Art Grove creates a unique opportunity for artists to be gainfully employed while exploring their art in a unique setting,” Lewenberg told the Gazette. “The Art Grove is an innovative way for the general public to engage with artists and their artwork in the woods, interacting with nature and public art in a way not possible anywhere else in Boston or the larger regional area.”

“Carolyn and I are really excited to showcase and use the Franklin Park Wilderness, a 65-acre forest, to create integrated art projects,” said FPC Executive Director Christine Poff. “We hope local artists will be excited to respond. Carolyn is brilliant and has ideas about how to use fashion, native materials, and young people in the creation of the Art Grove.”

Pop-Up: Franklin Park Art Grove is a collaboration between the Boston Art Commission, Franklin Park Coalition, the William Monroe Trotter Institute, and the Boston Parks and Recreation Department. Selected proposals will receive up to $1,500 in funding.

The City has budgeted up to $10,000 for the project, anticipating eight installations, though “that number is variable depending on the size and scope of the submissions,” City spokesperson Melina Schuler told the Gazette this week.

The theme of the art event is “endurance.” Priority will be given to interactive proposals that are rooted in this theme, fostering connections between the local community, the natural resources of the area, and the cultural context of Franklin Park.

“The artistic community in Boston is a vital aspect of our city,” said Mayor Martin Walsh in a press release. “This is an exciting opportunity to showcase the community’s talent and enliven one of Boston’s premier public spaces. I encourage artists from across all disciplines to make a submission, and look forward to seeing this theme expressed in a multitude of unexpected and creative ways.”

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