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WEB ARCHIVE 2010-2018

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Imagining Somerville: Discovering a City Through Art, 2008


Imagining Somerville is an exhibition project that explores the role of the city of Somerville in the work of its artists. The exhibit is composed of two closely related aspects.


First, in recognition of the important work performed by visual artists working in collaboration with participating community members in the production of art works, Community Art in Action: Collaborative Artists Explore a City is both a celebration of community art made in Somerville over the past decade and a "how to" primer for community members who wish to initiate similar projects in the future.


The second part of the exhibition, shown in the adjoining gallery, is called Discovering a City Through Art: Visual Artists Construct Somerville. This portion of the exhibition will feature a juried exhibition of individual Somerville artists whose subject matter centers on Somerville.


About the exhibition: Art and Activism Married at Somerville Museum


The exhibition encompassed:


The Mystic River Mural Project


Photos | About the Project| Case study | Join the Facebook page

In 1996 artist David Fichter and his young collaborators from the Welcome Project at the Mystic Housing Project in Somerville, MA, began producing panels depicting wildlife observed by students enrolled in an environmental study program for urban youth which takes place during school vacation each summer. Today the mural has grown to cover a large span of the Somerville/Mystic Avenue overpass of I-93, adjacent to the Mystic Housing Project. This became an ongoing project, resulting in an enormous mural about the watershed that is enlarged every summer with the work of new students.

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Diversity Mural in Union Square, Somerville Boys and Girls Club

Project description and photos

A group of kids at the Somerville Boys and Girls Club worked with local artist Tova Speter to design and paint a thirty-two foot long mural welcoming pedestrians and drivers to Union Square. Celebrating the diversity among themselves, their peers, and their neighbors, the mural highlights a variety of cultures through flags and faces.





Visual Artists Construct Somerville


Painting, photography, film/video, sound art, sculpture, and installation produced by individual visual artists from the community. Artists were asked to share their interpretations, reactions, reflections, and impressions of places in Somerville.  Auxiliary programming and events included poetry and narrative readings by local authors whose subject is Somerville and a panel discussion of the connections between artist and place, art in context, art and community.




Participating Organizations:
Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service


Participating scholars and artists:

Jessie Chamberlin, University Scholar, Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service
Michael O'Connell, artist/exhibit professional
Stacy Pyron, arts administrator
David Guss, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, Tufts University; University Fellow, Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service
Martha Friend, artist
Sebastian Chaskel, University Scholar, Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service
Lisa Brukilacchio, Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service
David Fichter, community artist/muralist

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