Art, where you find it

Daily writing prompt
What brings a tear of joy to your eye?

Ceramics and small amounts of paint seemed to be the language of some public art. A lot of publicly presented art is large. It makes tremors in its presentation. But yesterday, I found diminutive but impressive public art and pieces of what appear to be private art presented publicly. All these are in a two-block area in Shelbourne Falls, Massachusetts, but not all are easily found.

I’ve found that unexpected art and public art that you have to seek out brings me a lot of joy. It’s not like the huge equestrian statue that seems to slam you on the head; it’s much more subtle and human scale, sometimes in the least expected spaces.

Public Art

Daily writing prompt
How are you feeling right now?

I like wandering, and I love re-discovering old haunts and being surprised when I visit new places nearby that I’ve missed in my wandering. It keeps me feeling engaged, happy, and in tune with the world.

I’ve spent some time this last year touring around New England and viewing the public artwork installed on the streets, squares, and alleys. What I’ve seen ranges from the sublime to the ridiculous.

 I’ve decided that public art offers an interesting gauge of how involved the community is in offering itself up to visitors and engaging residents. Art is a good way of gauging how versatile, diverse, and culturally enriched a community is.

So here are some of my picks:

Public Art

I spoke to an art school’s CFO a few weeks ago. He was giving me an impromptu tour of an out-of-doors art exhibit. We had stopped in front of a small stone arrangement sculpted from native New England granite. He turned to me and said, ” This sculptor really gets it about public art.” I thought I knew what he meant, but I asked anyway,” He understood that people were going to want to interact with it.”

I agreed with him and thought of some of the successful pieces of public art I’d seen over the past several years in urban spaces. The best don’t just sit there; they draw you in and involve you even if you don’t totally understand them. You get stunned by their whimsy, charmed by their composition, and even awed by the artist’s daring.

A few weeks late,r I was leaf-peeping in Burlington, Vermont, and spent some time in the arts district. Many of the buildings were adorned by not insubstantial works.
As a stranger to the city, I was amazed by what I saw. I was tempted to think about the fun of being a creator in such a challenging and fulfilling environment. It swept me back to the days when I had occupied a loft in an industrial building in Boston with other creators. Here is a brief gallery of what I saw. I hope to return and explore some more.

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