Must See: 2021 Art Ramble “Something in the Air”

2021 Art Ramble
Something in the Air

September 1 – November 14
Hapgood Wright Town Forest

Hours: 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset

Artist Reception: Friday, September 17, 4:30-5:30PM
Rain Date: Friday, September 24, 4:30-5:30PM

Curated by Laurie Bogdan and Kimberley Harding

The Umbrella Arts & Environment Art Ramble 2021 will be an outdoor art installation in the Hapgood Wright Town Forest in Concord, MA, from September 1 – November 14 in collaboration with Concord’s Division of Natural Resources (CDNR), supported in part by the Foundation for Metrowest.

In keeping with this year’s thematic focus on “Air,” the 2021 Art Ramble “Something in the Air” Call for Art recognizes that Air is invisible and yet essential to life. Its quality affects our quality of life, as well as that of all living things. Our call seek works that illustrate human, animal and botanical interactions with air, and encourage exploration of the atmospheric aspects of the Hapgood Wright Town Forest.

The result was an exceptionally strong slate of regional artists creating what the curators call an exhibition marked by “drama, mystery, change, or movement”.

Art Ramble Artists

Paul Angiolillo – Breathing (9) | [audio]

Laurie Bogdan and Kimberley Harding – Ethereal Dreamer (7) | [audio]

BARD (Barbara Ayala Rugg Diehl) – In and Out (2) | [audio]

Johanna Finnegan-Topitzer – Air Currents (3) | [audio]

Jennifer Fuchel – Up in the Air (8) | [audio]

Jude Griffin – The Luna Moth Life Cycle (5) | [audio]

Liz Helfer – Foggy Morning (15) | [audio]

 

Martha Heller – The Shutter Dresses (4) [audio]

Janet Kawada – Collected Breath (13) | [audio]

Silvina Mizrahi – Every breath you take (12) | [audio]

Nilou Moochhala – The In-Between Series (10) | [audio]

Lisa R. Nelson – Waves of the Aerial Sea (6) | [audio]

Melissa Shaak – Forest Air (11) | [audio]

Rebecca McGee Tuck – Airing out the House (14) | [audio]

Kiyomi Yatsuhashi – Windblown (1) | [audio]

Paul Angiolillo – Breathing (9)
Wood, paint
Bio
Paul Angiolillo studied wood carving with Boston-based sculptor Joseph Wheelwright and stone carving with Peter Smith (Princeton NJ). He makes indoor sculptures, outdoor pieces, and furniture art. Paul first took up sculpting as an avocation, while also working as a journalist and an editor, after getting an undergraduate degree from Yale U. in literature and Humanities. He works in mainly wood, stone, and other natural materials, as well as some salvaged objects. Experimenting with both representational and abstract forms and styles, he often gravitates toward the semi-organic–plant, animal, and human–as well as whimsical interpretations of common objects. His sculptures can be seen in art and craft exhibits, outdoor shows, fine-art centers and galleries, and museum gift shops.
www.paulangiolillo.com
Artist Statement
Breathing is made up of two tall, animal-like figures, salvaged from parts of trees that I flipped upside-down, creating long necks and upturned heads sniffing the air. They’re semi-abstract interpretations of forest denizens who’re catching a scent or enjoying the breeze. You’re invited to pause with them, view them as wood carving sculptures, and look up with them at the sky and forest canopy–like them, smelling, tasting, and listening to the environment.
[audio]

Laurie Bogdan and Kimberley Harding – Ethereal Dreamer (7)
Fused plastic, hand-dyed round reed, wire, thread
Laurie Bogdan Bio
I am a collage artist from Arlington MA. I am involved in the growth of ArtLinks, a local arts networking group and have contributed to a variety of public art and environmental projects. In a world where many ordinary objects and books are tossed away or not appreciated, I try to find a way to reimagine and bring new life to them.
yourturnart.blogspot.com
Kimberley Harding Bio
Weaving sculptures using basketry techniques in my Arlington, MA studio feels primeval to me, both in the sense of belonging to an immensely early period of human history and as well as instinctive. I thrive on the connection I feel with the natural world and ancient peoples as I weave, while striving to connect with a modern audience with my commentary on personal, societal, and environmental issues. My work has been shown in galleries throughout Massachusetts, as well as in Basketry+ magazine and online exhibitions.
Artists Statement
Living most of her life below the surface of the water, the dragonfly transitions into a being of the air at adulthood. With her agile flight and iridescent wings, she appears to be a miniscule dragon inhabiting the realms of the fairies, such as Fairyland Pond in the Hapgood-Wright Town Forest. In many cultures, the dragonfly symbolizes change or transformation. One could view this ethereal creature as a messenger who encourages us to molt off the negativity that holds us back, and to fly forth to achieve our goals and dreams.
[audio]

BARD (Barbara Ayala Rugg Diehl)– In and Out (2)
Recycled fabric and steel
Bio
Originally from Nevada, BARD (Barbara Ayala Rugg Diehl) currently works and lives in Massachusetts. She brings her diverse backgrounds into her art subject matter and processes, having received her BA in Theater and English from Brandeis University and her MA in Sustainable International Development from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management. Her attraction to mixed media stems from both her work as an environmental educator and her creative curiosity. By using found items and reusing her own objects and clothes, she both reduces waste and explores the tangibility of art. In many of her pieces she utilizes 3-D elements to redefine who can interact with visual art, adding Braille and durable interactive elements to allow blind and low-vision audience members to enjoy her work. Her art has been featured in solo and group exhibits in seven states across the country, as well as internationally in Australia.
Artist Statement
Sometimes called the “lungs” of the Earth, trees produce oxygen as well as purifying it by filtering and sequestering contaminants. This cycle of give and take between our carbon dioxide and their oxygen is like a breath itself, an essential part of our connection within ecosystems and the planet. “In & Out” explores this connection by combining human imagery with the photosynthesis process. A procession of lungs formed by leaves line the forest path, a gradient from black to green. Each lung hangs on a trunk and root system of its own, separate yet connected to the forest as a whole. Taken along this journey of air and breath, our inverse needs are demonstrated, and the project can take on new meaning either way it is experienced. From green to black demonstrates the sequestration of carbon dioxide, ammonia, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxides, and more. From black to green is the cleaning of the air in both our rural and urban areas. Being a project of opposites or two sides of the same coin, the installation has both positive and negative undertones. On the one hand the fade to black is a stark reminder of the increasing burden we put on trees to save our air, all the while continuing to decimate their populations. While on the other hand the fade to green is an appreciation for the work trees do, and a sign of hope for a cleaner future where we work in tandem with our breathing partners. Trees and green spaces ultimately are becoming increasingly important as we work to stave off heat islands and enjoy clean air. Learn more within my Conservation Law Foundation report, and follow my art at https://barbaraayalarugg.wixsite.com/artbybard
[audio]

Johanna Finnegan-Topitzer – Air Currents (3)
Copper, enamel, wire
Bio
Johanna is a New England artist focused on wildlife and issues surrounding wildlife, particularly climate change. She creates in a variety of media from 2 dimensional gouache paintings to acrylic paintings with relief elements to 3 dimensional pieces. But always, the focus is on animals. Formerly of Somerville, MA, she was very involved with Somerville Open Studios being on the Board for 4 years and showing her work. She has been an Artist-in-Residence at Acadia National Park and Grand Canyon National Park where she took inspiration from the landscape and unique wildlife in those protected areas. She was also the recipient of a Massachusetts Cultural Council Fellowship for her 3 dimensional works. Her work has been shown in many galleries and shows in the area and she also teaches her art to others.
www.jfinnegantopitzer.com
Artist Statement
Birds depend on air currents to help them migrate long distances. The currents let them understand the direction of travel and when to leave as the seasons change. The wildfires out west create so much smoke, that migrating songbirds are thrown off course and suffocate. Last fall, hundreds of thousands of songbirds were found dead on the ground throughout the southwestern states as they migrated south. In the east, birds use the clues the currents bring to understand when to migrate north in the spring. Spring has been coming earlier and earlier so they follow the signals. However, they (and their hatchlings) often get caught in cold snaps as the season hasn’t completely changed over. Both of these events in the air can be linked to a changing climate which brings with it hotter, drier air to produce intense forest fires and falsely signal a spring not yet ready.
[audio]

Jennifer Fuchel – Up in the Air (8)
Mixed media
Bio
Jennifer Fuchel just retired from teaching graphic design at Suffolk University. She now has the time to pursue her own art interests, working in a broad range of materials from traditional to digital. Much of Jennifer’s work is inspired by her love of nature. She has been involved in several exhibitions and collaborative projects both indoors and outside. Jennifer works at home in North Cambridge, at Mudflat, and at her Vernon Street studio in Somerville.
www.niftyarts.com
Artist Statement 
Inspired by the theme ‘Something In The Air’ and by being stung by several flying insects during my 2020 installation, I started thinking about the insects around us.
Entomologists believe that the first flying creatures were insects who evolved from crustaceans 400 million years ago. Most insects that existed 280 million years ago were larger than current ones — the North American Meganeuropsis had wings 12” long! Today, the insect population is being negatively affected by pesticides, loss of habitat, etc. and this is taking a toll on these smaller creatures. Most flying insects are seen as pests (including those who stung me!), but they are an essential part of our forest’s ecosystem and the cycle of life. A reduction of insects means an eventual decrease in other animal populations.
When one takes the time to look at insects, one notices how amazing they are. Their lives are highly structured, each playing a significant role in their community. Their wings and bodies are fascinating, intricate and sometimes incredibly beautiful. I hope my art piece suggests stages of an insect’s life cycle from birth, development, to death, and makes people realize how important it is to protect them from decline for the health of our world.
[audio]

Jude Griffin – The Luna Moth Life Cycle (5)
Metal, wire, paint, leaves, twigs, beads, silk thread, papier-mâché
Bio
Jude Griffin loves arts and crafts of all kinds, but most especially public art. Her public artwork includes a street mural in Salem, MA; a painted piano sited nearby the New England Aquarium for the public to play as part of the “Play Me, I’m Yours” project; nature-inspired art mounted inside an old telephone booth in Somerville, and flash poetry on demand at Boston festivals. She was a selected artist for an innovative CSA in Cambridge: Community Supported Art, and, along with eight other artists, produced 50 pieces of art over the summer that were then “harvested” by the CSA subscribers at the end of the season.
Artist Statement
I love nature and art, and “Something in the Air” is a perfect opportunity to combine those two passions. “Luna Moth Life Cycle” takes the viewer through the life of one of our most beautiful and spectacular native moths: from egg to caterpillar to cocoon to butterfly. Luna moths, like far too many other native insects, are in steep decline due to habitat destruction, pesticides, introduced predators, and light pollution. Insects are critically important to the entire food web, including 96% of birds which feed insects to their young. Protection can take the form of chemical-free yards and parks, restoring native plants to the landscape, the reduction of lawns, and turning off our lights at night. The whimsical touches in this installation are a nod to the frequent attribution of sightings of luna moths to the presence of fairies. What better place to showcase this than Fairyland Pond?
[audio]

Liz Helfer – Foggy Morning (15)
Steel, chicken wire, nylon mesh, construction barrier
Bio
Material choice plays a critical role in my sculpture practice. I have focused on metal since 2009 because of its historical complexity and perceived value. However, I have been moving away from singular material choices and have moved into a mixed media practice that addresses our impending environmental peril. My studio is located in Waltham, MA.
http://www.elizabethhelfer.com/
Artist Statement
Foggy Morning connects the idea of rest, peace, and environmental innovation. As the planet heats up, new technologies have become increasingly important to human survival. One of these technologies pulls water directly from the air, a “fog net” that maximizes water collection from the morning dew. Foggy Morning is a pseudo fog net shaped like a large worn pillow. The pillow has many mesh layers that reveal the smaller layers within, a reflection of the complex and intersecting issues at work due to increased water scarcity.
[audio]

Martha Heller – The Shutter Dresses (4)
Bio 
Martha Heller is a self-taught textile artist living in Newton, MA, whose art practice includes mixed media art quilts, textile sculptures, wall hangings, and framed thread drawings.   Influenced by her work as a costume designer and her work with the historical costume archives at Blithewold Mansion, Gardens and Arboretum in Bristol, Rhode Island, she often creates textiles that include artistic interpretations of constructed dress garments.  Martha has exhibited in galleries and museums including The New England Quilt Museum/Lowell MA, The Mosesian Center for the Art/Watertown MA, Belmont Gallery of Art, The Kathryn Schultz Gallery/Cambridge Art Association, and The Appalachian Center for Craft/Smithville TN.  In September her work will be included in “Honoring” at the Attleboro Arts Museum in Attleboro MA.
https://www.marthahellertextileartist.com/
Artist Statement 
For the Art Ramble I have taken an installation piece called The Shutter Dresses off my garage doors and adapted it to hang in the trees by Fairyland Pond. The fabric is a painter’s drop cloth used to paint my house shutters. The striped patterns are made by the paint sprayed on the shutter slats. Some of the textile work I create uses the dress form as a starting point for the expression of themes or an exploration of materials and techniques. My “dress pieces” include outdoor installations, small tabletop sculptures, and wall hangings.
Why include The Shutter Dresses here, at Something In The Air? The various dress installations that I have created are brought to life when they catch a bit of air moving through my backyard. Who can see the wind? To see the dresses come to life reminds me that the air is moving through the yard, spreading seeds and pollen –and sometimes insects!– through the garden beds. Here at the pond, the wind can be “seen” in the trees, the grasses, the shrubs, and sometime on the surface of the water. What seeds and insects are moving through that wind today?

Janet Kawada – Collected Breath (13)
Window screening, monofilament, steel rods, paint
Bio
Janet Kawada received her BFA from Massachusetts College of Art and MFA from Vermont College. She taught at MassArt and NESAD for over 20 years and ran numerous workshops around the area in addition to curating. She is a member of the Studios Without Walls and New England Sculpture Association. Her work can be found in collections around the United States, Canada, and Japan. Kawada is included in the book, Artistry in Fiber, Volume 2, Sculpture. In her recent work she is interested in exploring the theme of place and home.
www.janetkawada.com
Artist Statement
Collected Breath represents a group that stands together in solidarity.  Made of screening, the structure demonstrates solidity through 320 pieces of screened boxes which individually would be fragile.  There is a quietness about the group as it remains stationary.  Through the wash of the color and the moray patterning of the screen itself, the viewer is invited to pause and reflect. The woods surrounding Collected Breath give it room to breathe. Wind moves around and through it. Scenery is glimpsed as air swirls or glide in and over. As the seasons change, so will the piece.  Be still, listen to the sounds of where you are.  Breathe.
[audio]

Silvina Mizrahi – Every breath you take (12)
Welded scraped steel and paint
Bio
I’m an interdisciplinary artist and art educator based in Boston. I like to work with different mediums and techniques. My work encompasses figurative bronze sculptures, abstract expressionist mixed media paintings, recycled materials sculptures (created with diverse communities) and public art. My art is a mirror of my experiences as a Latino immigrant, memories from my childhood, Jewish traditions, and my commitment to environmental causes.
Artist Statement
We need oxygen from trees to survive; without forests humanity ceases to exist. Using the fired cut technique and welding on scraped steel, I created a group of figures that represent humanity and their environment. The negative spaces on the sculpture invite the forest behind to be an active and essential part of the whole sculpture, symbolizing our intrinsic relation as humans with nature.
[audio]

Nilou Moochhala – The In-Between Series (10)
Image fabric panels, poetry
Bio
Nilou Moochhala’s visual practice has been channeled into examining issues of cultural change and transformation by juxtaposing found objects, imagery, and language to create social and political narratives – be it in public art spaces or private galleries. Nilou has been an award recipient of numerous grants including the Massachusetts Cultural Council and New England Foundation for the Arts. She was selected as the 2021 Spring Artist-in-Residence by the Arlington Commission for Arts & Culture. Her work has appeared in publications such as the Boston Globe, Print, Arlington Advocate, and Big, Red & Shiny.
https://www.niloumakes.com/
Artist Statement
These pieces rest in the spaces ‘in-between’ – between the unconscious and conscious, the liminal and formed, the past and future. What does it mean to belong to a place, to breathe fully, to immerse oneself in our environment, to have a place in the world around us? These works have been created as a response to deep meditation practices in nature, and convey the fleeting sensations of transcendence, solitude, change, beauty, love, grief…and many more. The interwoven poetry was written by collaborator/writer Francesco Fiondella.
[audio]

Lisa R. Nelson – Waves of the Aerial Sea (6)
Wood panel, watercolor and acrylic paint
Bio
Based in rural Ayer, Massachusetts, I attended Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt), receiving a BFA with a major in Illustration in 1998. I later returned to my alma mater for further study and received a graduate graphic design certificate and found work as a graphic designer/event planner. During this time my work became less design-centric and lacking the creative focus that originally drew me to art school, I found myself regretting the decision to not pursue a path in visual arts. With the arrival of the pandemic, I saw my work hours reduced and was eventually laid off and determined not to let a second chance pass me by and threw myself back into my artwork. Through all this time, art had always been extremely important to me. I made sure to keep painting and being creative whenever possible and found I was never as happy as when I was in the hallowed halls of a beloved museum. Now that I am pursuing my dreams of being a full-time artist, I know that I am doing what is finally right for me. And thus, I am currently taking continuing education classes from MassArt, Fivesparks Community Arts Collaborative, deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, as well as the Fruitlands Museum. I am a member of the Concord Center for the Visual Arts and have done illustration work for both non-profits as well as corporations. As of March of 2020, my illustrative work has also appeared in print. I am now 100% dedicated to pursuing my art wherever it takes me and finding my place as an artist.
http://painterlisa.com/
Artist’s Statement
I love maps. I have always been inexplicably drawn to them. I love what they say about a place, its history, and how it fits into our worldview. I love how they unlock the secrets to navigating our way through our world as well as finding our place within it. To understand the map of a thing is to understand that thing. This is true for buildings, parks, homes, people, animals, trees, anything and everything exists somewhere on a map. My work explores this through the creation of each map while also considering what makes each uniquely beautiful. There is so much is our world that is fleeting, and my work strives to capture and celebrate what I can before it fades from our view or morphs into something completely different. I want my art to document what was, what is, and what shall be. I do this by meticulously studying each subject and drawing and redrawing it until I find what is distinctive about it. I look for the eloquence in a meandering riverway or the forceful pace of a chaotic highway. I look for how the map can be abstracted until one is lost in the details of it and it no longer resembles a chart but more a feeling of a place. Once I find what I want my painting to focus on, I transform it into bright paint pigments transmuted by water with brushes until it becomes something uniquely mine.
[audio]

Melissa Shaak – Forest Air (11)
Acrylic cutouts on steel stands
Bio
Melissa Shaak is a Somerville, MA artist working in acrylics and mixed media on paper. Her most recent ventures include stop motion animation and video. She is a core member of Fountain Street Gallery in Boston’s SoWa Art + Design District. Her studio is located at River Street Artists/Waltham Mills.
Statement
My artmaking process is full of creative sparks and enigmatic turns, as if there were indeed “something in the air.” This is particularly true for my installation “Forest Air,” in which seven life-size cutout figures stand in a large circle. They are an ensemble, and they’ve been on a fantastic journey together—going from two dimensions to three, from paintings into space and time, and now amidst the towering trees in the cool, fall forest air. They are trustworthy personas made manifest to help us navigate and mediate the world today. Each raises a torch, or scepter, holding the light for us, signaling and leading the way. You can see the original paintings, haiku, and a video starring the cutouts on my website www.melissashaak.net.
[audio]

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Rebecca McGee Tuck – Airing out the House (14)
Steel, wire, crowd sourced plastic bags, VCR tape
Bio
Rebecca McGee Tuck is a fiber artist, a sculptor and a collector of lost objects. Her work is a visual narrative of what she accumulates from a throwaway society and as a result she gives new life to what others discard. Tuck has shown her work in multiple juried shows throughout New England including the Beacon Gallery and the Fitchburg Art Museum, and has been invited to be an Associate Member of the Boston Sculptors Gallery. She recently won the Present Tense Award from ArtsWorcester which recognizes an artist whose work exemplifies new practices, artistic risk-taking, and excellence in execution. Tuck works among her menagerie of debris from her studio at the Mill Contemporary Art Studios in Framingham.
https://www.rebeccamcgeetuck.com/
Artist Statement
We all were cooped up in our homes for over a year during the Pandemic and some must remain this way for longer. I had the idea for this sculpture from something my mother used to say. After a long winter there inevitably would be a spring cleanup of our childhood home — closets cleaned, floors scrubbed, school and work papers organized and thinned out. Part of this ritual was to open up all of the windows in the house on the first nice day, to flush out the stale air of the closed up winter. Airing out the house felt like turning the page on the short and dark days in order to make way for the fresh bright start of spring. Though we seem to have more of a mountain to climb before the end of our troubles with the virus, I have chosen to take a deep breath and exhale. I suggest to everyone: Open up your windows wide and let in the fresh clean air, spruce up, reinvigorate and revitalize your spirits to take on what comes next with renewed moxie.
[audio]

Kiyomi Yatsuhashi – Windblown (1)
Shibori and rozome wax-resist dyed cotton and silk organza, indigo dye
Bio
Kiyomi Yatsuhashi has been working with Japanese textile techniques including rozome, katazome, shibori and aizome indigo dyeing for more than 20 years. Her work includes traditional crafts such as kakejiku scrolls, kimono and yukata, as well as large scale mixed media installations, and collaborations with visual and performing artists. Yatsuhashi studied Fine Art History at Tufts University, Studio Arts (printmaking, ceramics and mixed media) at the Museum School (SMFA), and Japanese textile dyeing at Kyoto City University. She has exhibited and collaborated extensively in Japan, Korea, Germany and the United States.
Artist Statement
My textile installation Windblown reflects the flow and energy of air as seen in pattern and movement in nature. As long as I can remember, I have been sensitive to air quality, and the growing concern of its significance to our personal and environmental health. As I pass by different pathways and terrain through Hapgood Wright Town Forest, I feel the changes in the temperature and quality of the air. I hear it rustle in the trees and see it moving all around me. With my flowing textiles, I hope to heighten your sense of wonder of these natural elements which are so key to the harmony and make-up of the Earth.

CELEBRATE CONCORD’S 386th BIRTHDAY AND THE ALL-NEW CONCORD MUSEUM

In celebration of Concord’s 386th Birthday and the opening of the Concord Museum’s 16 new permanent galleries, the public is invited to a week of activities including Forums, Gallery Talks, Encampments, and Family events starting Labor Day, September 6 through Sunday, September 12, 2021.

The week-long celebration includes free Museum admission for all Concord residents and the opportunity to see the newly renovated Museum first-hand on Saturday, September 11 and Sunday, September 12, 2021.

 

On Tuesday, September 7, 2021 the public is invited to a panel discussion “Concord Farms: Resilience, Revolutionaries, and Renegades” on the history of agriculture in Concord that is both informative and celebratory as we help spread the word about the resilience of the Concord farmer. On Wednesday, September 8 join Jacqueline Jones, the president of the American Historical Association and Concord resident, in a conversation about her prize-winning books including: Labor of Love, Labor of Sorrow: Black Women, Work and the Family from Slavery to the Present.

 

Drop by the Museum to experience the history of Concord’s incorporation as a town! Families can participate in activities that explore life and craft in the era of the 1600’s Concord from Friday, September 10 through Sunday, September 12.

 

Free outdoor community activities are scheduled on the weekend! Meet baby lambs and a fluffy angora rabbit outside the Museum. Watch as their wool and fur are carded and spun into fine yarn with a master weaver at work at a loom. On Sunday, visit an encampment with the Acton Minutemen for cooking, music, crafts, and musket drills as the men and women prepare for battle.

 

The final phase of Concord Museum’s decade-long $16 million renovation project is culminating with the opening of renovated and interactive galleries and celebration starting on Labor Day, September 6, 2021. The ten newest galleries include a renewed focus on Concord’s famous Transcendentalists Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, Louisa May Alcott, the women who led the effort to abolish slavery, and African Americans who lived in Concord before and after the Civil War.

For a full program listing of Family Activities visit www.concordmuseum.org

 

Sponsors: WBUR, Gourmet Catering and Middlesex Savings Bank.

 

 

 

 

Concord Art Presents Nature Redux, Exhibition on View June 17 through July 18, 2021

Concord, MA, May 14, 2021-

 

A new art exhibition is opening at Concord Art this month!

 

This exhibition in the Members Gallery features paintings by Marcia Crumley and Jane Henry Parsons, two artists with unique and colorful visions who present the natural world in ways that surprise and delight.

 

These two painters work primarily in different media (Jane in oils and cold wax, Marcia in acrylics and encaustics) but they share a love of color, layers and texture. In collaborating on this show, the artists created pairings of their works that clearly reveal their common love of nature, while also sparking a playful dialogue between the paintings.

 

Originally scheduled for May of 2020, this show was rescheduled due to COVID-19. The works in the 2021 exhibit are, however, all new, and reflect changes in both artists’ work during the pandemic. Like many artists, they responded to the pandemic, and related social isolation, by experimenting with new media and dimensions.

 

For Jane, the pandemic led her to incorporate more cold wax and texture into her pieces. The expanded studio time allowed for much experimentation with new tools and techniques. Each piece reflects some aspect of this. During much of the pandemic, Marcia shifted her focus to developing a series of smaller works in encaustics (essentially, painting with molten wax). She was drawn to encaustics because she found solace in the meditative processes of waiting for the wax to melt, slowly building up layer upon layer of paint, fusing the layers together with a blowtorch, and then carving into and scraping away differing layers.

 

For both artists, the resulting body of work was rich in color, depth, and texture. They did not coordinate the subject matters or palettes in advance, but later selected dynamic pairings and combinations of paintings that clearly complement one another.

 

Details

 

Nature Redux
Paintings by Marcia Crumley and Jane Parsons June 17 through July 18, 2021

 

Concord Art
37 Lexington Road, Concord, MA 01742
11am – 4pm, Tuesday – Saturday; 12PM – 4PM Sunday

 

About The Artists:

 

Marcia Crumley’s art has been featured in publications including Art New England, The Boston Globe, Tourist & Town, and Maine Home + Design. Marcia was named one of “five standout artists to keep your eye on” by Maine Home + Design in September of 2017 and one of Maine’s “most collectible artists” in artmaine’s 2019 annual art guide. Her art is represented by Interiology Design Co. in Watertown, MA and the Candita Clayton Gallery in New London, NH.

 

Jane Henry Parsons began her painting career after working in Graphic design for 20 years. Her love of color, pattern, texture and unexpected composition translated into painting with oils, and she has never looked back. Her work has been shown in many galleries and is collected throughout the United States. Jane is represented at Powers Gallery, 144 Great Road (Rt. 2A), Acton, MA. She also has six paintings in Gallery Twist, show titled “Looking Up”, June 11-July 4, 1963 Massachusetts Avenue, Lexington, MA.

Concord Middle School Building Project Community Forum

Welcome!

The Middle School Building Committee invites you to learn about the progress of the Concord Middle School building project.  The Building Committee is committed to an open, transparent process, and we invite questions or comments at any time.  We are very grateful to the residents of Concord for overwhelmingly supporting the first step in the process of providing a new learning environment for our middle school students.  Thank you!

 Click here to view latest updates

 

Click here to sign up for regular updates by email

 

Next Community Forum: February 24th, 7:00 pm

Committee Charge

The Concord Middle School Building Committee is charged by the Select Board to undertake a Feasibility Study to explore the construction of a single new Middle School Building to replace the two existing facilities. The Committee is also charged to begin the schematic design process for a new school building based on the findings of the Feasibility Study. Funding for the Feasibility and Schematic Design was approved under Article 14 at the 2019 Annual Town Meeting. It is anticipated that the Town will be asked at a later time to approve full design and construction funding for the new school and, should such funding be approved, the Committee shall anticipate serving as the construction oversight body as well. The Committee has final authority on all design decisions and will make recommendations to the Town Manager on all financial, contractual and schedule matters. The Middle School Building Committee shall be the point of contact for all community groups for all issues regarding the project. The Committee shall ensure community engagement throughout the planning and execution of the final design and construction. It is the expectation that there will be multiple opportunities throughout the process to solicit community feedback.

For more information, please visit the Town’s website by clicking here.  To watch video recordings of meetings, click here.

To contact the Concord Middle School Building Committee, click here.

February Staycation Ideas

No plans to leave town for the Concord Schools February Vacation Week?

You’re in luck – Concord & Carlisle have so many wonderful offerings to keep your crew entertained!

The Concord Free Public Library offers free take and make crafts each week to help inspire creativity and fun for children. Sign up for February 19th session!

Tap into your inner artist! At The Umbrella, they believe that everyone is an artist. The Umbrella February Vacation Week programs give students the opportunity to discover, explore, and experiment in the arts.

Looking for fun outdoor activities for your school-aged children over February vacation week? Discover the wonders of winter at Clark Farm!

Vacation Week Cartooning Afternooning! This online February Vacation Week class is perfect for 7-12 year olds who love cartoons and drawing!

 

President Lincoln is beaming in to answer your questions! The Concord Museum is pleased to bring its popular Presidents’ Day program A Visit with President Lincoln to the virtual stage.

Check out special Black History Month program from the Concord Museum! Join the Concord Museum Forum: Sarah Johnson’s Mount Vernon with author Scott Casper.

Concord History with a Chocolate Twist Tour Dates : February 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th Tour Start Time : 1:00pm, departs Concord Visitor Center at 58 Main Street

The Concord Free Public Library is teaming up with The Nature Connection to invite children to explore plants and animals, geek out over nature, and connect with self and others in new ways – all through nature-based stories and poems!

Manga! Draft images of silly dragons, charming creatures, ghosts, and goblins. In this easy-paced online February Vacation Week class with popular Umbrella Arts teacher Alicia Herman, time travel back to ancient Japan! Learn about how the tradition of manga comics started long ago and experiment with creating our own. Sketch, blend, and overlap colors with illustrative markers.

 

Thinking of learning to play an instrument? Now is a perfect time! The IMSCC Winter-Spring session is underway and we welcome new students!

Looking to connect hands-on learning to big ideas? Students will access foundational design learning by creating their own Escape Room style lock codes. Escape room design is a fundamentally social process which taps design principles such as deduction, induction, design space, feedback loops, and more. Sign up here!

Teddy Bear Sewing Project! Sew your own huggable bear! You’ll learn how to construct and sew the bear, and design it yourself by choosing different felt muzzles, noses, belly patches, and more. You’ll learn basic hand stitching and some embroidery stitches, too.

Take a family friendly tour of Concord, spend 45 minutes to discover more about the town where we live!

The Concord Free Public Library invites children of all ages to join us on Thursday, February 18 at 11am on Zoom and talk about your favorite books. We will share a few of our favorites, and invite each child to share some of their favorites.

Trivia Night at the Concord Museum! Calling all history nerds and trivia champs! Join us for an evening of virtual trivia at the Concord Museum on Thursday, February 18!  Test your knowledge of American history, geography, and all things Concord in this friendly competition.

Check out art show at a local Three Stones Gallery. The paintings and mixed media works of Helen Canetta and Jill Goldman-Callahan transmit a dynamism and fresh perspective as we release this past year and catapult into lighter days ahead. This is the last week of the show so don’t miss it!

Interactive sing-along! The Concord Free Public Library invites kids and families to join us for an interactive sing-along with Ed Morgan, “The Music Man”, on Friday, Feb 19, 10 am on Zoom. Enjoy fun rhymes and tunes, and connect with your family through music. These family-friendly performances will have everyone up moving, dancing, and singing.

Have some fleece-y fun when you create your own one-of-a-kind fleece headband! Sign up with the Umbrella Arts for this fun class!

Family Trivia Night!

Learn about Winter Habits and Winter Movement... Animals respond and adapt to the winter by burmiating, aestivation, hibernation, migration, and embracing the snow! Learn about all the cool ways animals thrive in the winter through interactive stations, games, creative movement, investigations of art and nature, and creating original art projects for the whole family!

 

 

Movie / Game night at home – Grab a special meal from one of our many fabulous restaurants !

 

Take a hike on a local trail then grab some hot cocoa or treat from cafe / bakery!

 

Enjoy your week!

Winter Solstice Celebration

Many Celebrations this Winter Solstice

 

Flickering firelight illuminates small hands gluing, weaving, and cutting. Are these elves in the North Pole? Nope, these are the kids and families participating in this year’s Winter Solstice Celebration!

 

You may recall last year’s blow-out Solstice at the Old Manse. Families, friends, and strangers who became friends gathered around the fire pit singing carols like “Deck the Hall” and “O Tannenbaum.”  Voices of the Earth, the Arts & Environment chorus, lit hundreds of candles handed out to the crowd. Everyone heartily drank warm cider and roasted marshmallows on the fire. This year, you can guess, is slightly different. We won’t be at the Old Manse. But we still plan to celebrate the Solstice! Instead of gathering in one spot on one day, we’re celebrating over many days.

 

Ninjas in Nature is hosting a Winter Ninja Festival to enjoy the freedom of running around outside and the satisfaction of building your own fire.

 

 

In our winter self-care workshop, gather what brings you warmth and joy during dark months and create reflective collage art before hibernating at home.

 

Finally, families can craft their own solstice ornaments at Concord Market. Glue, cut, and weave lily stem stars. Twist and tie fabric evergreen trees. Wrap cranberry wreaths to hang on the tree. Don’t forget to visit Concord Market and pick up some hot cocoa or cider to enjoy!

 

Join us around the community fire this Solstice for all these outdoor, winter workshops. To learn more about and sign up for our collection of Winter Solstice activities, visit the Arts & Environment class page. Who knows how you’ll light up this Winter Solstice!

 

Saltbox Farm & Saltbox Kitchen – a multilayer gem right here in Concord!

SaltBox Kitchen and Farm is a true gem of Concord. It’s like one of those gifts you open and continue to find one gift wrapped inside the next…

 

That’s what we found when we went behind the scenes and learned a little more about Ben Elliott, Saltbox Farm and Saltbox Kitchen.  Each layer of the story Ben peeled back for us just highlighted more delight and inspiration.  The original story for Saltbox Farm is only the beginning.  From that foundation that has brought so much joy and culinary delight to us, sprung many astonishing chapters.

 

 

Ben Elliott, owner of Saltbox Farm and Saltbox Kitchen is a Concord native. Saltbox Farm got it’s name for the saltbox style of the main house on the farm that was built n the 1940s by Ben’s grandparents, Edward and Emilie Thomas. Ben, his wife, their children and adorable Golden Retriever now live at Saltbox Farm and have since 2004. Ben was working in a Boston restaurant as a professional chef but in 2010 decided to shift his attention to restoring and running the farm he loved so much as a child.

 

We were given a tour of the Saltbox Farm and Saltbox Kitchen, take a peak with our Behind the Scenes video

 

We love the Saltbox Team description & mission:

 

We are a passionate group of farmers, chefs, brewers, servers, and event planners, who share a dedication to honoring the land, sourcing locally and eating seasonally, and creating incredible dining experiences. From our cozy, neighborhood restaurant with its microbrewery to our cooking school and our catering company, all that we are is rooted in Saltbox Farm and its traditions of sustainable agricultural practices and seasonal cooking. We invite you to learn more about Saltbox.

 

  

 

Check out the story of how it started and how things evolved over the years on their website – here is a snippet:

 

That first spring when Ben made the transition from full time chef to full time farmer he  spent all his time outdoors, mending fences, building a chicken coop and filling it with chicks, creating a small orchard filled with apple, peach, and pear trees, and planting raspberry bushes. A close friend of the family who happened to be a “real” farmer came over to help Ben and till 1.5 acres of land. Ben ordered seeds and soon had an acre of vegetables – a lot of veggies for a small family!- so he joined a farmer’s market and began selling his produce to local restaurants. 

 

From that point, Ben was on his way to realizing his dream and building Saltbox into what it is today. He returned to cooking professionally- at Saltbox- working as a private chef and catering local events before eventually establishing Saltbox Catering. In 2015 Ben opened Saltbox Kitchen, a restaurant and microbrewery, in West Concord, as well as a cooking school at The Little House located here at the farm and began hosting events in the Little Fields overlooking the orchards.

 

During this time, the farm continued to grow and strengthen, producing fruits, vegetables, eggs, honey, lamb, and hops for the restaurant, the brewery, catering, the cooking school, and the seasonal farm stand. The farm has continued its mission, not only to follow sustainable agricultural practices, but to also be a connector in the community, an educational resource via it’s Apprenticeship Program, and the foundation for all that Saltbox’s chefs, brewers, and teachers create and share each season. 

 

 

When the pandemic hit, Saltbox Kitchen had to close for several months and most of their catering engagements came to a halt.  Ben & his team had to figure out how to pivot & shift their attention to other opportunities and safe ways to bring their delicious offerings to the community.

 

There were all the logistical brain twisters of how to create a Covid-compliant shopping experience.  Everything from plexi-glass shields, to traffic flow, to occupancy limits, to how to accept payments all had to be reconsidered and reconfigured.

 

   

 

They rearranged the store to allow customers to move through while practicing safe social distancing. The gourmet grab & go selection is incredible and hard to narrow it down to picking just one meal. The SBK (SaltBox Kitchen)  Team has been busy preparing and cooking up scrumptious  prepackaged meals,  expanded it’s offerings and now offering delivery is an option, too.

 

 

 

Did you know their Saltbox Kitchen Brewery is Concord’s only craft brewery? Their beer offerings change each season and feature hops and flavorings that are organically-grown right here in Concord on Saltbox Farm. Beer can be pre-ordered and delivered in and around Concord.

 

   

Some other new additions are Cocktail  kits (try the grape, lemon juice  & vodka – made with their own grapes!) & wine to go. They recently just added delivery to offerings surrounding towns so tell your friends in neighboring towns. The assortment of specialty packaged foods has expanded as well  – be sure to pop by the shop to take a look at the selection.

 

 

A small farm stand shop is located in the shop now, too. In the summer and fall, you would have seen a table piled high with a colorful gorgeous selection of fresh vegetables from Salt Box Farm which is just a few miles away from the shop.

 

  

 

We know one of the greatest joys of this holiday season is exploring our local treasures to find the perfect gift for loved ones and dearest friends. While the current climate is not conducive to such leisurely exploits, happily for us,   SaltBox Kitchen has you covered. This beloved local favorite has a bevvy of options for all kinds of gift giving. Choose one of their lovingly curated theme gift baskets or place an order for a luscious handcrafted meal (available for pick-up or delivery). For those who miss the pleasure of in-person shopping, this beautiful light & airy space, filled with the most wonderful treats (adhering to the most recent stringent health guidelines)  gives plenty of space to peruse all their wonderful offerings

 

Take a look at some of the Saltbox Kitchen Gift Baskets – the descriptions are guaranteed to make your mouth water!

 

 

Their Christmas Menu will surely lure Santa to your home and may never want to leave! Whether you are looking for festive appetizers or entrees or sides, Saltbox will make your holiday feel like a feast.

 

 

There is something about Saltbox that is very special. The love and attention Ben and his team bring to everything they grow, make and create makes us feel so lucky  have SaltBox right here in Concord. SaltBox Kitchen is the perfect marriage of small New England town charm with big city sophistication.

 

 

Fuel up for a day of window shopping with one of their too-die-for egg sandwiches and grab some gifts for neighbors and girlfriends while in the shop. Pop by their shop and visit their website or shop today!

 

 

Saltbox Kitchen is currently open Wednesdays – Saturdays from 9am – 6pm. Stop in to pick up fresh veggies, eggs, honey and more from our Saltbox Farm “farm stand”, prepared meals, sides, soups, and salads, and Saltbox Brewery beer, bottles of wine, tea and coffee. We also offer a lunch take out menu from 11am-2pm and Catering To-Go which is perfect for gatherings of 10 or more.

Must see: Concord Scarecrow Festival on Concord Main Library Lawn

Where can you spot a variety of fun & creative scarecrows made by local organizations and businesses?

Come to a Scarecrow Festival!

On display on the Concord Main Library’s Lawn every day

Sat Oct 17 – Fri Oct 30, 2020

Open Table’s scarecrows are a cheerful welcome to side entrance to Library…

 

The Louisa May Alcott Orchard House’s Scarecrow looks almost life-like…

 

 

Saltbox Farm / Saltbox Kitchen farmer scarecrow reminds us of all the fabulous Farms in Concord and the delicious farm to table options offered at Saltbox Kitchen.

 

 

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and no scarecrow festival is complete without a pilgrim

 

 

Visit the cute SCAREBEAR that the new Concord Toy Box @ Revolutionary Concord / Albright Art has created. And visit their shop!

 

 

Feeling musical? Visit the Concord Conservatory of Music scarecrow (and their website to learn about offerings)

 

 

Concord Recreation’s Scarecrow is more smiley than scarey…

 

 

And leave it to the Beede Center to come up with clever way to use pool noodles for their scarecrow…

 

 

The Barn Cooperative Nursery School has these adorable scarecrow children

 

 

The Visitor’s Office has a cute reminder to mask up when visiting town.  

 

 

 

The Wild Things Scarecrow on display at the front of the lawn reminds us that “We’ll Kick This”

 

 

Bonus: While there, you’ll see an abundance of gorgeous fall foliage….

 

 

and also some info about many of the Concord Library’s offerings.

 

 

Grab hot cocoa or sandwiches in town and sit in the cafe tables on library lawn while you enjoy the view.

 

 

Visit some local farms to get some hay bales and visit this website so you can start making your own scarecrows for your lawn.

 

Share your photos with us!

 

   

        

Pandemic: Changes & new offerings we have embraced and liked

We all want the Pandemic to come to an end… But what about things that have come about or were started due to the Pandemic that we don’t want to end? Here are some thoughts…

One Concord resident wrote this: “Overall, I think people are much more friendly and kind, here and elsewhere. Seems the ‘We are all in this together’ idea is bringing out best in so many.”

Living Concord followers sent us some of their favorite things:

Curbside pick-up at Concord Library

Messages on staircase leading to Nesting shop

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Outdoor classrooms

Eating Lunch outside at schools

Birthday Parades

 

Small, social distance concerts at your home. Some local musicians can come to your home to perform for you and small group.

Mobile ordering @ Haute Coffee

Curbside pick-up options at so many shops & restaurants

 

Al fresco dining, more outdoor seating options

Seeing many more people walking & biking

Library lawn cafe tables and chairs set up for safe social distance small gatherings

Free parking in town

Easier commutes (b/c less traffic) or no commute

No business travel

Graduation Parades & CCHS Administration stopping by each Graduate’s home in the Graduation Celebration School Bus

Drive-in movies at CCHS, from Concord Recreation

Concord Ag Week (not just Ag Day)

Less activities has allowed for more family dinners, more free time, more game nights

Zoom calls with family & friends

Concord-Carlisle Community Chest Driveway Project

Celebratory take out dinner options offered by local businesses

Chalk messages & more messages of gratitude and kindness around town

Playing games like Kahoot or Risk with friends and family

Being in your pajamas longer and having more leisurely mornings

All the new library offerings

Special take-out dinner offerings / “celebration dinners” from local restaurants

Sidewalk sales / sidewalk displays

Outdoor town meeting (with no presentations)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Umbrella’s productions you can watch via Zoom

Summer Quest

Concord Together, Concord Solstice and Fall In Love with Concord

Paperless menus  – just scan QR code with your phone.

All the new Umbrella offerings

More options to sit around town

Go Out Doors along the Rail Trail

People seem less in a hurry, kinder.

These are just a few of the good things that we have learned, started and liked during this trying time. Thank you to all of you who have worked so hard to make these things happen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer Quest!

Have you heard about Summer Quest?

Minute Man National Historical Park with our friends at The Umbrella Arts and Environment Program, Drumlin Farm-Mass Audubon, OARS, the Concord Land Conservation Trust, and some other area organizations, have created a ton of free summer activities for you to choose from! Complete those activities to collect badges and certificates of accomplishment. Earn enough badges and certificates and you’ll get a Summer Quest patch!

Explore the lands of the Concord watershed to learn about science, history, art and other topics this summer.

Learn more

Summer Quest combines the best of each site:

  • Minute Man’s history activities
  • The Land Trust’s botany explorations
  • OARS’ river adventures
  • The Umbrella’s eco-art projects
  • Drumlin Farm’s nature journaling

Subject activities are also being offered by The Old Manse, The Concord Free Public Library, The Concord Museum, Walden Woods Project, The Concord Division of Natural Resources, and Ninjas in Nature (Holy cow! That’s a lot of fun places to explore)

We know this summer is different, maybe you won’t be heading to camp, taking a vacation in a far away place, or even seeing your friends as often, but we hope Summer Quest can help make a summer at home a lot more fun. Right here in your own back yard, town, and community you can play outdoors, become an expert on local wildlife, explore history, and create fun art and nature projects.

What will you learn? What new places will you explore? What new skills will you develop? Gather your family, choose some activities and go find out!

If you have any questions about the program or how to complete the activities, please contact us.
SummerQuestProgram@gmail.com, Subject line: Summer Quest info request or call 978-371-0820 x 213

Gather your supplies, pack your bag, and get ready for adventure!