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Cambridge Street public art proposals on display

Posted by Brock Parker  April 1, 2010 02:00 PM

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Nick Rodrigues' “Gossiping Birds” is one of the public art proposals selected as a finalist in a contest to find art for Cambridge Street between Inman Square and Lechmere Square.


The current world record for unique dishes brought to a pot luck dinner is 602. But if Boston artist Catherine D’Ignazio wins a city-sponsored arts contest, a Cambridge neighborhood might try to cook a new record.

D’Ignazio is one of 10 finalists in the Cambridge Arts Council’s competition to create public art for a one-mile stretch of Cambridge Street from Inman Square to Lechmere Square.

The arts council is offering a $50,000 grant to the artist with the winning visual, performing, mixed media, architectural, landscape or social art proposal and the finalists are now on display in the city’s gallery at 344 Broadway.

Jeremy Gaucher, the city’s public art administrator, said the proposals for the street art are “wildly” different and illustrate how the artists dug into the project.

“We wanted people to really think about the street,” Gaucher said.

Some of the proposals are, temporary such as D’Ignazio’s proposal for an afternoon-long potluck feast with tables set up on the street, while other ideas would permanently place colored tiles on bus stops or unique bicycle stands in the shape of fish or coffee cups along Cambridge Street.

Another proposal “Gossiping Birds” by Boston artist Nick Rodrigues would last four months and use flocks of bronze birds equipped with projectors to instantly project in the neighborhood any electronic messages Tweeted about Inman Square and life on Cambridge Street.

Gaucher said the arts council chose the 10 finalists from a field of 110 entries. The city was specifically searching for artists who had little experience with public art before, he said.

The winning proposal will be selected by a committee of judges and residents from Cambridge Street in late May, Gaucher said. But the 10 proposals will remain on display in the Cambridge Arts Council gallery until June 11.

For more information about Cambridge Street corridor project, visit the art council’s web site at www.cambridgeartscouncil.org.

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