To the Editor:
For 10 days in July, people explored Hamilton and Wenham in search of art.
They were people like the family of four on bicycles, the Boston couple back for their third year in a row or the senior citizens in a bus from Beverly. All of them experienced something totally unique in .
These adventurous fans of art, across Hamilton into Wenham, were treated to an outsized bird’s nest woven with words, caricatures threaded in and around a tree and saw that Araneus the spider made his reappearance, in an even more fascinating guise than before.
They got to try their hand at a large set of chimes situated in a blissful garden setting and just down the street saw the playful “G.B.,” out on an adventure that is sure to have amused the children across the street at . They may have found themselves eye to eye with oversized and fantastical animals in the bushes on Linden Street. And in the center of Hamilton anyone could have spent a good amount of time with the extravagant display of 500 faces in the window of studio. While down at the library there was a seemingly peaceful yet strangely animated picnic scene on the front lawn to engage your imagination.
In Wenham, the frolicking butterflies of “Caterpillar Cove,” made by a pair of young artists headed to high school in the fall, greeted and delighted pedestrians and joggers along Main Street who likely continued on to marvel at the huge image of a daisy rendered in stone on the driveway out front of .
There was the huge wave made entirely of used plastic down on Lake Drive that caused a few to pause in passing. Down at our hapless mermaid’s adventures kept a lot of us engaged. She disappeared three days into the show and reappeared later, in a boat with her friend the fisherman bear. Finally, the very observant among our audience were treated to an intriguing, miniscule construction site on a tree stump along Cherry Street.
As a related event, The Open Road Theatre on the second weekend of the show. was the perfect venue for Thornton Wilder’s entrancing story set in small-town New England.
All of this artwork came and went, the signs are down and stored safely until next year. The exhausted artists come away knowing life is just that much more interesting for having been involved. It is our sincere hope that the show has served to engage and inspire those of you that had the opportunity to see it.
All of us involved in Art Grows Here would like to offer a big thank-you to the towns of Hamilton and Wenham for allowing something new and a little different to flourish. In particular, we’d like to thank Wenham Town Administrator Mark Andrews for access to Pleasant Pond and Jan Dempsey at the for the use of their lawn. For financial support and encouragement we thank the Hamilton-Wenham Rotary Club, our local Massachusetts Cultural Council and Paul Herrick at www.paulherrick.com.
Sue Kassirer and the co-chairs at Art Grows Here: Jill Herrick-Lee, Todd Blute and Elissa Della-Piana with help from Belinda Recio.