Thursday, October 6, 2016

Living in a Creative Arts Community

I feel like I can say that as an artistic community, we recognize that art comes in all forms, that it often challenges, inspires, or makes us look at things in unexpected ways. It doesn't always make us feel good, but it makes us feel something. 

How much have you heard about the controversy over "Seagull Cinderella," the giant bird sculpture created by sculptor Donna Dodson, that usually resides on Summer St.? The sculpture seems to have offended people in New Bedford because she's a bird with a woman's torso. She's not even naked, and is completely stylized. Some citizens even signed a petition to have her removed from a summer display that she was asked to be part of. Artists from that area rallied to support both the sculptor and the sculpture, and the petition was eventually withdrawn. Well, her stay in that community is coming to an end, and thankfully it's time for her to return to her home in Maynard.

She has gotten lots of press, which is a good thing for both the artist and Maynard. It's a sculpture worth talking about. I think her notoriety adds to her story and in some sense, our community's own, of whether or not we want to challenge traditional conventions of art and beauty. And as Maynard is applying to get a Cultural District Designation, her presence becomes even more important. To quote the Mass Cultural Council's site, "The evidence is clear: A thriving creative sector is one of our Commonwealth's most powerful economic development assets. In support of this, the MCC’s Cultural Districts Initiative was authorized by an act of the Massachusetts state legislature in 2010, and launched in April 2011." 

People, bottom line, art is valuable to a community. It makes whatever space it's in become more interesting. A street is a street is a street, but put art on it... well, now we have something to talk about! I want to live in a place worth talking about, don't you?

There are certainly people here in Maynard that don't love her, and of course that's fine. But a few of us ArtSpace artists are planning her a welcome back parade. With this parade we'd like to send the message that Maynard is a home for artists, art lovers, and art, in all its forms. 

Please join us on Saturday, October 15th, 2:30pm for
the "Seagull Cinderella" Homecoming Parade. 

We're meeting at 2:30pm at the library, then we'll walk, hand in wing with the sculpture over to 6 Bridges Gallery, where there will be a pop-up show of artwork inspired by Seagull Cinderella. Some students of SmARTroom will be participating in the parade carrying an artwork that they are creating.

Your presence would mean a lot to the Maynard arts community, so I sure hope you'll consider being a part of this event. 

Maynard is such an interesting place, and I'm so glad to be here, and I'm glad you're here, too. "Seagull Cinderella" belongs here... with us.