Somerville Up-Close

Last Saturday I volunteered for Somerville Up-Close, a community arts project for youth conceived of and directed by my friend Sara Argue (she strikes again!). The premise of the project she envisioned was simple: create a collaborative art project for kids who are interested in growing up to be artists, and get real artists to volunteer to help the project come to life! Sounds pretty cool, but the final product was incredible: a mosaic map of the town of Somerville made entirely by 5th and 6th graders in four short afternoons. Look at the line! the color! the energy!

I feel so excited when I look at this piece; there’s a freedom and intensity that’s so rare in work by grown-ups. And the scale of it, the hugeness of it, makes me want to do bigger work. The time has come to stretch my wings, and I give myself permission to jump!

2 thoughts on “Somerville Up-Close”

  1. Wow, wotta map. I’d love to see it in detail. For other examples of art by youngsters, visit the Davis Square (Somerville, MA) T stop. On the wall outside the turnstiles are hundreds of small ceramic tiles that local schoolchildren painted for the station in the early 1980s. The sheer volume of artistic observations—motorcars, houses, buses, people, pets, buildings—and lively colors are enchanting. Why, oh why, do so many people simply quit drawing after childhood?

  2. I know the tiles you’re talking about! I love arriving in Davis Square and strolling by all of those lovely little squares. Children haven’t tuned into their internal editor. It’s so sad to hear so many adults say that they can’t draw. It’s only because they stopped doing it; I firmly believe that everyone can draw. If you can write, you can draw!! Thanks for sharing with me!

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