Thursday, March 15, 2012

Which Design Would You Choose for the Morse-Kelley Mural?

Have your say about public art in Somerville. As part of an effort to engage residents in decision-making around art in public spaces, the City is hosting an Open Art Forum at Morse-Kelley park this Saturday, Mar. 17, 10am-12 noon.

Come meet Somerville artist Joe Barillaro, look at his sketches for the new mural planned for Morse-Kelley park, and share your thoughts with him about which design you prefer or what changes you would make. (OR, check out the sketches below and post your comments and ideas here.) Luisa Oliveira, Senior Planner for Landscape Design, will also be at the park to talk about public art citywide.

Barillaro will use your feedback to choose a design and refine his sketches. Then he’ll paint the mural, which will be ready for the park’s Grand Re-Opening this spring. Both Morse-Kelley and the adjacent Dickerman Playground have been under renovation since last fall. Click HERE and HERE for details on all the new features.

The City always invites the public to help make decisions about public spaces, and with the Open Art Forum, we're introducing a new, fun way to really get up close to the process and be a part of it. Please note, the designs below are just sketches, but the actual mural will be in full color.


Sketch #1

Sketch #2

Sketch #3


So, which design do you prefer? And what changes would you make? Tell us in the comments below.

For a look at how a discussion about public art can work, check out this short video of your fellow Somervillians sharing their ideas for the mural.

28 comments:

  1. Sketch #1. I have a three year old son who loves the art murals in local parks and I use it as a way to talk to him about community. I choose #1 as it has the most 'community' feel to it.

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  2. I like sketch #1 the best, I agree it has a real community feel. It includes the widest variety of activities that can be enjoyed in the park by the widest variety of people. It also highlights the history of the park with the KPU design. The bushes and houses in the background reflect the residential surrounds of this park. I also like that is has a "keep your park clean" message and a smiling dog :) Only request - could there be a happy bird flying around or perched somewhere? Great stuff.

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  3. Sketch #2 has the most motion associated with it--communicates something dynamic, in motion, changing. I like this on very much. Sketch #1 has a much quieter sense, more literal, there's a lot going on, but I find it's less interesting as a picture. One suggestion is to depict humans who have a wide variety of hair and skin color types--to reflect the real ethnic and racial diversity of Somerville.

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  4. I like sketch #1 more than the others because there are more people and a greater variety of activities. However, the first two sketches are rather sexist, in that the girls are stereotypically passive and the boys are active. It would be much better if the girls were doing more than holding dolls or eating ice cream. Girls like active, athletic play just as much as boys do.

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  5. Sketches 1 and 2 are similar to the mural down the hill at Craigie and Kimball. I prefer sketch #3, for variety.

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  6. #1, or at least something like it. The others are far too 'busy' and 'noisy'.

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  7. Sadly, my vote is for everyone to go back to the drawing board. Artistic merit aside, why do members of the public still need to remind artists, officials, and those who are simply sleeping, that if a work of art or a building design or a city directory or whatever it is does not represent all the people, meet real community standards of inclusiveness, portray unbiased & accurate representations of Somervillians and our differences, and be sensitive to the (hopefully) inadvertent perpetuation of sexist stereotypes, it does not belong in the public square. The girl children are indeed passive. Shame. People in all 3 images look white, save for 2 with gray-scale faces in #1. Shame. And no one in any proposed mural appears anything but able-bodied. Shame. The more I learn, the less I think Somerville is a hip, groovy, Progressive place. Sure, we win lots of awards, but maybe the bars aren't very high.

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  8. I have to agree with all the comments above about the stereotyping!

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  9. I don't care for any of them. I agree with the above 'Jay Gould' comment...
    plus dogs are not allowed in Somerville parks, playgrounds, school or
    church property. I had my opinion formed before reading Jay's post, but he said several things I had in mind. I would select another artist.

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  10. Dogs are allowed if on leashes (but there's no leash in this picture)

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  11. At this morning's event, I mentioned these comments to the artist and he pointed out that #1 shows a girl shooting a basketball.

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  12. Oh dear, Oh dear! Political correctness seems to have stifled all creativity. It's too bad that public art has to conform to an agenda. I'd vote for #3 if any because it is the most creative and allows for the possibility of some more interesting colors.

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  13. just a 'Villen...March 17, 2012 at 4:18 PM

    wow - some people take everything so literally - i don't see any skin tones excluded here for the simple reason that i don't see any *real* skin tones depicted here (do you really think "white" people have no pigmentation in their skin whatsoever? do we live in a black & white world with green dogs & two-dimensional humans? jeesh)

    these are just sketches - most design projects include further development from a preliminary versions once a design has been selected - of course we'd have to get past the finger-wagging stage to do that....

    my own feedback: each of these is fun, but I prefer the energy of 2 and 3 - i think 3 reads better graphically for a t-shirt or something, but i find the asymmetry of #2 better for an outdoor space - plus, i think the style of #3 owes too much to a single cultural source (street art/culture), whereas as #2 employs a better balance of various styles, and does so more attractively

    more feedback: i'd love to see something really colorful there - natural light is very strong, and less saturated colors (like these) can look faded in most weather & at various times of day - colors can be cultural references, too

    i think each of these projects community equally, but they do imply different communities... (personally, i think #1 is cute but looks far too suburban for the 'Ville)

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  14. Hands down #3 - it's dynamic, playful and INTERESTING - and a fantastic interpretation of the Somerville community which is also dynamic, playful and interesting. Why does public park art necessarily have to reflect the community population so literally? That's not very creative.

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  15. I like the composition of #2 the best (fewer characters clustered near each other rather than lots of smaller figures spread equally apart), but the kid eating popcorn is kind of scary and the arms of the skateboarder are covering the face of the girl with the teddy bear in an awkward way.

    Agree with the commenter above that you could probably do a bit more to swap around the races/genders. I get that it's a draft, but (for example) all the kids seem to have straight hair... and maybe the skateboarder could be a girl?

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  16. I like design number 3... very cool and will look great in color!!

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  17. I don,t care for any of them.

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  18. no no no to all..

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  19. Hi!
    I vote for #1 as I value its graffiti roots;)
    I also like #2 as it uses a graffiti sensibility and merges it with a more representational style. But I would LOVE to see more girls on skateboards in the final mural!!

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  20. OOps... I meant I vote for #3 (more graffiti-esque) and I also like #2. (DUH)

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  21. #1. Although it needs work, it feels as if it could have been produced by local kids. #2 looks too professionally done ('slick') and #3 looks too much like graffiti-- the people look as if they are drowning under the city name.

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  22. Definitely not #3. Even after I stared at it long enough to realize that it said "Somerville" I thought there were more letters. Perhaps it would work in a less graffiti-like style -- but I guess graffiti is the point -- and not a good point. It might encourage more graffiti.

    Either of the others is OK making all the (yes) politically correct changes regarding race and ethnicity, gender, physical abilities, etc.

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  23. Sketch 1 or something similar

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