Bike it, walk it, Somerville’s art map is filling up fast!

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After a few months of photography, data entry and prodding, the map of public art in Somerville includes nearly 80 pieces of art!  I’ll be tabling at the ArtBeat festival in a couple of weeks as a way to gather more information about the pieces that are already included and to begin to let people know about the map and how they can use it.  We’ll have a Davis-square kids’ scavenger hunt to find all of the pieces already on the map and we’ll award the final prizes to contributors.

Visit the map as it unfolds at http://www.somervilleartscouncil.org/artmap.

I’ve been brainstorming with the arts council and Shape Up Somerville about a walk/bike event to formally launch the map in the fall.  We could have people visit pieces that are on the map, hearing from the artists about why and how the art was created, and dancing in the streets with local bands.

In the meantime, I’ll be gathering information about art near Clarendon Hills and Mystic at next week’s mobile farmers’ markets and I’ll print out neighborhood maps for ArtBeat so that people can take one with them to find out what there is to see in their neighborhood.  Somerville’s been getting a lot of press for its art scene recently, so I’m excited to put public art on everyone’s radar and to give residents and visitors one more reason to get out and move and be healthy.

We had a couple of setbacks along the way, including some difficulty as people tried to submit pieces through the website, and a surprising “no” from a website that has information about monuments and memorials all over the country. We had hoped to include their content in our map, but we have to gather it ourselves.  Despite the setbacks, we’re chugging along and have made some exciting discoveries, including a set of murals hidden in the back stairs and a beautiful carved wooden panel hidden in the storage room of the West Branch library!

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