Just as the name suggests, Art Grows Here - now in its second year - has grown.
Last year 11 artists produced ten pieces of art for anyone who wished to drive by homes and visit galleries. This year the number has grown to 15 pieces, while there will also be a one-act play and a poetry reading that includes dance and music, bringing the total number of participants to 25.
“I’m happy the way it has evolved,” said Jill Herrick-Lee, a founding member of Art Grows Here, and now that it has been incorporated, the clerk. “I like the way the community has supported us and grown with us.”
Art Grows Here is a self-guided tour of art installations throughout Hamilton and Wenham. The pieces of work are meant to blend into the environment.
Examples include a giant spider made of sticks and other materials collected from the woods near Allan Brockenbrough’s Hamilton home, called “Araneus”, and “The Trees,” where Rosemary Farrell is “replacing” one of the felled trees in her front yard.
The art will be displayed in yards and two galleries – and – July 15-24.
“Last year we did this as a way to do something creative in our community,” said Herrick-Lee. “We had an idea that if we do it in our own environment we could do something outrageous. We wouldn’t be limited like if we showed (the art) somewhere.”
Brockenbrough, who last year amazed the hundreds who took a peek with “Stick Ball,” appears to have outdone himself with “Araneus.” Not bad for someone who usually delves in 3D paintings with sculptural aspects.
“I like doing (Art Grows Here) because, for the small amount of time, we transform Hamilton and Wenham into something a little out of the ordinary,” said Brockenbrough, who lives at 109 Cutler Road in Hamilton.
“If you drove through last year and you didn’t know about (Art Grows Here) you might have seen a house strangled by vines. It makes things fantastic for nine days.”
Expanding the offerings and hoping to broaden those who come out, “The Suitcase,” a one-act play starring Kobo Abe and directed by Jonathan Kinney, will be Monday, July 18, and Tuesday, July 19, both at 6:30 p.m. at . And the poetry, dance and music recital, by Karen McOnomy, and Dan and Denise Sklar, at the home of the Sklars (95 Asbury St.), will be performed Saturdays, July 16 and 23, 1 p.m.; and Sundays, July 17 and 24, 1 and 3 p.m. Both are free.
“It’s gotten a little bigger and more variety in the works,” said Brockenbrough. “Each year we hope it grows a little more and is a little more exciting.”
In addition to bringing out the community with something entertaining and free, Herrick-Lee has been fascinated with the new-found community that most other artists were unaware of, while also announcing to her neighbors that she is an artist without blowing her own horn.
“I’ve lived in this community for 25 years and I did my artwork in my own quiet way. It is nice to know people know I’m an artist. People can now see what we’re doing.”
Maps can be found at either gallery - Gallery Della-Piana, 152 Main St., Wenham; and True North Gallery, Woodbury Street, Hamilton - or in front of artists’ houses. More information can be found at www.artgrowshere.com or Art Grows Here on Facebook.