Category Archives: Massachusetts

ICA-Part II (Boston, MA)

*This is Part II of my 2 part series about the ICA Museum in Boston, MA.  To view the first part please click here*

In addition to the works of Nari Ward, the ICA displayed art exhibits from a variety of other artists.  One of these artists is Dana Shutz’s.

Dana, an American artist based out of Brooklyn, is widely known for injecting humor into her gestural paintings.  She  has studied art extensively , even studying abroad at the Norwich School of Art and Design in Norwich, England.  While not all of her work had a description of their meaning or intent, I think many of them are fairly self-explanatory or, at the least, left to our own interpretation.

IMG_0071

Elevator On Canvas, 2017, oil on canvas.  This work is part of a series of paintings of an imagined struggle between larger than life figures and giant insects glimpsed between the gleaming doors of an elevator.  Besides addressing people’s claustrophobia, the art may speak to the current heated debate, inner struggles or struggle for attention within the public arena.

IMG_0074

Conflict, 2017, oil on canvas.  This work portrays a quarrel, possibly between lovers, The couple in the painting are both embracing and fighting at the same time.

IMG_0076

To Have A Head, 2017, oil on canvas.

IMG_0081

Shame, 2017, oil on canvas.

IMG_0078

Shaking Out The Bed, 2015, oil on canvas.  This 18 foot wide canvas recalls the Western tradition of history painting.  This painting differs from most history paintings in that it does not highlight noteworthy men and women in our history.  Rather, her painting consists of everyday items that revolve around people in bed.  All of the things we use and, dare I say, rely upon on a daily basis.  A calendar, an alarm clock, day old pizza (a must) and a glass of water are some of the items Dana included in her painting.  Dana said she “wanted the whole painting to feel like a book that was being opened, like you were shaking out of bed and all of the objects contained within are falling and suspended in front of the scene.”  She went on to say she wanted to convey the feeling that “you just missed the alarm and the world is coming back to you in pieces.”

IMG_0083

IMG_0110

Flasher, 2012, oil on canvas.

In addition to Shutz’s work, there were a number of other artist’s work being displayed at the ICA.

IMG_0080

IMG_0102

Trace, 1980, by Nancy Graves made of bronze, steel, polychromed patina and paint.  Trace depicts a dynamic, wind-blown tree with its bright-green forked trunk rising from a red and brown ground and curving toward the top.  The amorphous crown of leaves is composed of layered, multicolored sheets of steel grating punctuated with geometric lines and grids.  Graves likes to inject nature and the natural world into her works.

Hidden Relief, 2001, by Sarah Sze made of a halogen work lamp on tripod stand, rulers, spring clamps, levels, plastic, styrofoam, bamboo, toothpicks, branches, bottle caps, string, artificial plants, artificial moss, T-square, Alligator clamps, T-pins, cotton swabs, pushpins, dried plants, paint and glass (or pretty much everything but the kitchen sink).

Sarah uses everyday items, like the items included in this display, to create site-specific sculptures and installations that take on the character of landscapes, architecture and improvisational systems.  She used a sample palette of white, orange, yellow, blue and black throughout the work which is brightened by work lights.  Sarah also drew diagram-like lines using pins and string in this work of art.

 

IMG_0104

Depose II by Keith Sonnier made of nylon sailcloth, metal.  This inflatable design balanced a ready made aesthetic with painted geometric elements.  The inflatable part of the sculpture assumes an anthropomorphic form that, when mixed with air from the blower, suggests a living being.  Initially a limp sack, the sculpture must breathe and expand to assume its final form. The title references the act of being deposed, wherein a person is required to give oral out-of-court testimony. The person being deposed is often asked exceedingly personal questions. Perhaps the pinched or pressed inflatable alludes to the feeling of duress that might arise from having to tell the truth in a compromising situation.

IMG_0100

Untitled (Topanga, CA, Umbrella 17) by Sam Falls made of nylon.  Untitled displays the fabric of an umbrella without the support and pinned to the wall.  Sam exposed some of the umbrella’s nylon panels in the California sun for a prolonged period of time.  Then, he interspersed the faded panels with panels that had been kept out of the sun causing a contrast in the colors of the sculpture.  Sam’s work of art invites speculation about the elements of time and change in art and nature.

The intermediate-Inceptive Sphere, 2016, by Haegue Yank made of artificial straw, steel stand, powder coating, artificial plants, artificial fruits, plastic twine, Indian bells and casters.

The Intermediate-Inceptive Sphere is an anthropomorphic sculpture that belongs to a series of woven straw works titled The Intermediates.  The sculpture is adorned with items such as bells that are meant to hang from the necks of cows in India and Korean bridal headpieces.  The work of art also invokes Asian folk cultures, shamanic figures and their rituals.  Haegue used plastic straw to foreground the tension between the organic and synthetic in contemporary life.

Ashes, 2017, is a video by acclaimed director Steve McQueen.

Ashes presents footage on two sides of a freestanding screen. One of the sides, originally shot on soft, grainy Super 8 film, shows a young, carefree fisherman named Ashes balancing playfully on a boat. The other side shows a second projection, shot in 16 mm film, that shows Ashes’s unexpected fate. The videos conjure an easy vitality and a vivid description of place against the darker forces of society and fate.

The last, but not least, attraction at the museum is the view.  Full length glass windows give stunning views of Boston Harbor.  I bet it must be spectacular during sunsets.

On the way to the train station, we met these dogs taking a stroll along the boardwalk at Fort Port Channel.

Emmerson, a 13 year old Shetland, was very comfortable in his stroller

Archie, a 10 year old Yorkie peeking out from behind Emmerson, decided to get out and walk around.

There were also some pretty views of Boston at night along the way.

Today’s featured blogger is The Culture Club.  The Culture Club visited the ICA recently.  I thought his post would be a good companion to my post since he may have photographed pieces I may have missed or weren’t on display when I visited the museum.  You can find his post here.  The Culture does reviews, writes about music and entertainment and he’s got a cute dog!

 


ICA-Part I (Boston, MA)

Date Of Visit: August 25, 2017

Location: 25 Harbor Shore Drive, Boston, MA

Hours:

Tuesday + Wednesday: 10 AM – 5 PM
Thursday + Friday*: 10 AM – 9 PM
*First Friday of every month: 10 AM – 5 PM
Saturday + Sunday: 10 AM – 5 PM

Closed Mondays, except on the following national holidays, when admission is FREE for all: Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Columbus Day.

Closed on Patriot’s Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.

Cost:

General Admission: $15
Seniors: $13
Students: $10
Youth 17 and under: FREE

Admission is FREE for all eve

Parking:There are several parking options that are listed at their ICA parking info

Highlights: creative art displays, info sessions about the art

Tips:

  • parking is very limited in this area.  The museum recommends using public transportation.
  • The museum only has art on the 1st and 4th floors of the building (mostly the 4th floor)

Website: ICA

*I had to split this post into two parts, as it was too big for WordPress to save.  Part I of this post will center upon the works of the featured artist Nari Ward.  The second part of this post will focus on some of the other art at the museum.  I have also included half of the number of the cute dogs I photographed during this visit*

 

IMG_9998

Always at the intersection of art and social issues, he ICA (The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston) recently highlighted the works of an artist who uses his art to make various statements about our social, economic and political climate.  Even if you may not agree with or see his points of view, I am sure you will enjoy his artistic aptitude.

During my visit, Jamaican and American Nari Ward’s work was being featured in his “Sun Splashed” exhibit at the museum.

IMG_0041

Sunsplashed, 2015, is the centerpiece of the art exhibit.  The second work of art is called, Scandal Bag: History Feeds Mistrust.

Nardi, born in 1963 in Jamaica and currently based in New York City, uses everyday items to create works of art that play on the history, economy and social issues surrounding his environment.  He also embraces cultural diversity.

Nari uses wood, metal, iron and other materials with everyday items such as soda bottles.  Nari hits on some hot button issues such as migration, citizenship and economic disparity in his works.

One of the things that struck me about these works of art is the thought and creativity that went behind all of them.

The We The People exhibit by Nari Ward was one of the main works of art at the ICA.  In fact, many of his works of art are being featured

IMG_0008

If you look very closely, you may notice it is not written in ink.  Rather, it is spelled out in artistic dangling shoelaces.  This exhibit was being displayed a block away from the museum.  It surely created a lot of interest and lured in quite a few visitors eager to learn more about Nari’s works of art.

 

Below are Nari’s works of art that were being displayed with a brief description and explanation of their meaning.  Sadly, his art is no longer there as the exhibit’s last day was September 3.  The first work of art is rather unconventional.  But, it was very interesting.

 

Jacuzzi Bed by Nari Ward is made of headboards arranged around heating lamps and fans.  The work of art is meant to produce an approximation of the Caribbean breeze.  The name is meant to conjure association with pleasure and comfort.  Nari says the work conveys his sense of nostalgic displacement.

 

Sky Juice, 1993, is made of an umbrella, iron fence, plastic soda bottles, photographs, Tropical Fantasy soda and sugar.  The soda bottles, hanging from the umbrella, have photos inside of them.  His goal was to create a work of art with disparate things from everyday life to create a work of art everyone can relate to.  “Sky Juice” is the name of a Bahamian drink made from coconut milk and gin (yum).

During my visit, one of the museum guides led an open discussion about the work of art where visitors and she discussed the deeper meaning of the work of art and what the work of art means to them.  She did this several different works of art during my visit.

 

Mango Tourist, 2011, by Nari, are “snowman-like” sculptures are made of burnt foam spheres that he decorated with mango seeds and small electrical parts.  The small capacitors bear traces of the economic and industrial history of New England and of course the snowmen are a staple of our winters.  The organic mango seeds resonate with his memories of Jamaica.

 

Happy Smilers: Duty Free Shopping, 1996, by Nari is made of awning, plastic soda bottles, fire hose, a fire escape, salt, sand, household elements, an audio recording, speakers and an aloe vera plant.  Party music and background conversation from the speakers gave the display a feeling of sitting on a fire escape on a hot summer night.

This exhibit was inspired by a candy store not far from where he lives in Harlem, New York.  While the store appeared to be a convenience store, it was really the site of a small scale gambling site.  This gave Nadir the idea of making an exhibit that shows you can’t judge a place, person or thing by outside appearances.

The name Happy Smilers was derived from a band that was led by Nadir’s uncle that entertained tourists in Jamaica in the 1970’s.  The fire escape and discarded furniture wrapped in fire hoses suggest an urban tableau.  The salt and sand, aloe vera plant, speakers and bright yellow walls are drawn from the cultural context of Jamaica.  The salt evokes a common Jamaican expression about the devil not being able to step over salt.  The succulent symbolizes healing.  Lastly, the soundtrack symbolizes one of the artist’s earliest childhood memories of lying in bed at night while he listened to rain fall on his tin roof in Jamaica.

 

The Naturalization Table is an exhibit based on Nari’s personal experience of becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen, this interactive artwork gives museum visitors a better understanding of that process. During certain days, visitors could add their photo to the display.

 

Radha Liquorsoul, 2010, is a metal and neon sign made of PVC tube, artificial flowers, shoelaces and shoe tips.  This was part of a work made from out of use liquor store signs that Nari removed from building facades in New York.  Ward was interested in the many uses and impact liquor has in our lives.  Nari also used shoe tips (which Nari considers a a signature material that symbolizes human presence), shoelaces and artificial flowers.  Nari was partly inspired by impromptu street or roadside memorials.

 

Homeland, Sweet Homeland, 2012, is made of cloth, plastic, megaphones, razor wires, feathers, chains and silver spoons.  The “Miranda Rights” which are listed on this work have appeared as a running theme on many of Nari’s works.  The combination of razor wire, megaphones, leather and gold thread with feathers were meant to evoke a kitschy domestic memento and a heraldic government edict.

 

Rock, Booked, Scissor, Vice, 2010, is made of book, rock, scissors and vice.  This exhibit was spawned from a mistake.  When Nari first saw the “Black’s Law Dictionary” as a child he thought there were different law dictionaries for white and black people.  Although his brother corrected, his initial thought stuck with him and inspired his work.    To create this work, Nari cinched the dictionary with a vice, pierced it with scissors and weighted it with a stone.  It is meant to symbolize a violent reenactment of the game “rock, paper, scissors.”  It is meant to represent the seemingly arbitrary application of the law experienced by people in many of the communities in America.

 

Savior, 1996, is made of a shopping cart, plastic garbage bags, cloth, bottles, metal fence, earth, wheel, mirror, chair and clocks.  Nari constructed the sculpture by utilizing the shopping cart, a common item, and using items to bling it up.  In the blue bag you can see clocks.  The sculpture had an accompany video titled, “Pushing Savior.”

IMG_0046

Iron Heavens, 1995, made of metal pans, cotton and wooden bats came from Nari’s observation that the holes dotting the the metal surfaces of certain baking pans look like stars.  Nari collaged pans together on a wall to evoke the night sky.

Nari used baseball bats to form a ground to the heaven above.  The bats were burned, sterilized and had cotton applied to their surfaces.  This was meant to convey violence and healing.  The materials were also used to signify the American South, especially the older south.  The cotton was used to signify slavery as that was the main crop slaves used to pick.  The baseball bats were used to signify the violence many blacks suffered.  The overall arrangement recalls the yard assemblages and sculptural folk traditions of the region.

 

Glory, 2004, consists of an oil barrel, fluorescent and ultraviolet tubes, computer parts, DVD audio recording, Plexiglas, fan, camera casing elements, paint cans, cement, towels and  rubber roofing membrane.

The tanning bed is made out of old oil barrels.  As this work of art was built one year after the Iraq attack, he used the oil barrels represent the political debates over the connection between oil and patriotism.

The oil barrel also signifies the issues related to identity and race.  While in some cultures, a tan is viewed as a mark of leisure and privilege.  However, “pigmentocracy” can ascribe a higher value to lighter skin tones in some societies.

As you stand by the Glory sculpture, you can hear recordings of voices and people talking in hushed tones.

 

Afroochase, 2010, made of ink, a found vinyl banner, cowrie shells, Afro picks and felt weatherstripping is built from a Chase Bank banner that he found mixed with various materials each of which have a symbolic meaning.

The cowrie shell has several possible meanings.  The shell has been used as a form of currency,  It is also used in divination ceremonies in African and North African and South African religious contexts.

Afro picks have been used as a symbol of black cultural identity and the shapes of the particular picks (the raised fist of the Black Power movement) refers to black nationalism and resistance.

IMG_0061

Crusader, 2006, is made of a shopping cart, chandelier, trophy elements, metals, plastic bags and plastic containers.

Crusader has been described as  a radiant poetic work that mixes the personal and political.  Nari used comedy to make a political statement about his feelings concerning the second Gulf War.  Oil plays a central theme in many of his works, evident by the oil canisters in this work.

IMG_0067

Beat Box, made of an old New York City payphone, a drum and a fire extinguisher was made as a way of showing the different ways people have communicated.  The old (the drums which have been used as nonverbal communication in some traditions ) with the modern (the payphone).  After Ward had modified the pay phone he put it back outside where it had originally came from.  Imagine the looks on the people’s faces when they tried to make phone calls!

 

I noticed how Nari likes to incorporate audio and videos into his exhibit.  This is only one example of this.  Those chairs look very comfortable!

IMG_0062

Den, 1999, made of wood, chain-link fence, metal pole, tacks, rug and wooden furniture legs

IMG_0063

Chrysalis, 2010, made of mirror, rope, foam, and a found paper bag

IMG_0065

Vertical Hold, 1996, made of yarn and bottles. This sculpture was made from old, used glass bottles Nari found at a dump site and some bottles he found while he was in residence at a Shaker community in Sabbathday Lake, Maine.  He wove the bottles together with string thus creating a web that he described as a quilt.  This work was inspired by bottle trees, a traditional African, Caribbean and Southern black sculptural form that was believed to protect against evil spirits.

IMG_0116

Canned Smiles, 2013, explores the intersection of art history and identity.  Nari was influenced by another artist, Piero Manzini.  Piero created Merda d’artista (Artist’s Shit) that consisted of 90 small cans labeled with the title that he sold.  The art exhibit by Piero was a sarcastic way of saying that anything that belongs to an artist is worth value.  It also was a commentary about how not all art may have merit.

Ward’s art display aims to question people’s perceived stereotypes and the reality of constructed values.  Nari used the Black Smiles idea to play on the minstrel shows which used to be popular in America during the 19th century.  The work inspires us to ask whether the notion of a smile trapped in a can is any more or less strange than the ideas we construct around identity.

During my visit, the ere was a social gathering on the desk of the museum.  Music, food and refreshments were being served and there were a number of therapy dogs at the event.

A “cuddle zone” was created by visual artist J.R. Uretsky.  The “Cuddle Zone” featured nine therapy dogs from Dog B.O.N.E.S. There was also quilted works for people to use as comfort aids.  You will also some of the dogs wore or sat on these quilted comfort aids.

IMG_0138

Hey, we all can use this kind of therapy!

In fact, the dogs were so popular and in such high demand, I was only able to photograph two of these special dogs.

IMG_0136

Spider is a 5 year old chihuahua.

IMG_0132

Ruby Pearl is a 4 year old pitbull.

Please connect with me on Facebook to view videos, links, articles, photos and other content not included on my blog.  Thank you!


Wheels & Waffles (West Springfield, MA)

Date Of Visit: August 19, 2017

Location: Eastern States Exposition Center,  Avenue Of The States, 1305 Memorial Ave, West Springfield, MA

Cost: Free

Parking: There is ample parking located at the entrance

Dog Friendly: Yes

Website: Wheels N Waffles

Highlights: classic cards dating back to the early 1900s, waffles

Tips:

  • The “Avenue of the States” (where the event was held) got the name because it has a replica of each state’s house of each state in New England on its premises
  • The Wheels & Waffles event is usually held at the Eastern States Exposition Center twice each summer, annually

IMG_9244

What goes better together than wheels and….waffles?  Well, that was what was on the menu at the Eastern Exposition Center last month.

There were some novelty card there too like this “General Lee” Dukes Of Hazzard replica car.

And this replica of Herbie The Love Bug

IMG_9389

If only I was better at identifying cars with the years they were built.  Unfortunately, that’s not my forte.  But, I still appreciate the curves, style and power of these vehicles.

Look at those fins and designs.  Those beautiful, beautiful fins…

Not all of the cars were from the 50’s and 60’s.  In fact, some of you may have owned some of these more recent classics.

I’ve always loved long, shapely cars.  So, of course this was my favorite.

Of course, as the name of the event suggests, there waffles provided by the Storrowton Tavern.

 

The “Avenue Of The States” didn’t get its name by accident.  The grounds have a replica of each original state house for each of the six New England states.  Below is the original state house of Massachusetts.

Here is what the Boston State House actually looks like (courtesy of everstockphoto.com)

Wheels & Waffles is a dog friendly event and I’m really not sure what I thought were more beautiful, the dogs or the cars.  OK, it was the dogs.

CJ is a 5 or 6 year old Jack Russell Terrier.

Lola is a 3 year old Lab.

Gunner is a 2 and a half year old Lab mix.

Below is a video of the Wheels & Waffles event

Please like me on Facebook.

 

 


Beyond Walls (Lynn, MA)

Date Of Visit: July 29, 2017

Location: Lynn, MA

Cost: Free

Parking: There is street parking and some parking lots available throughout the city

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Website: Beyond Walls

Map of Mural Locations: Beyond Malls Mural Map

Tips:

  • A good landmark to enter into your GPS is The No Matter What Club (33 Spring St, Lynn). You can find parking in one of the lots near there or try to find street parking (I parked short term in the lot at 173 Oxford St)
  • If you take public transportation, the Lynn stop on the commuter rail (aka Central Square-Lynn) on the Newburyport/Rockport line is located in the heart of the city where the murals are easy to find
  • Most of the murals are on Munroe, Exchange, Oxford, Spring and Central streets

IMG_3699

In an effort to revitalize their city and bring people to their city, Lynn decided to add some color to the city.

The Beyond Walls Festivals took place between July 13-23.  During this week and a half time frame, artists came from all over the world to post their art throughout Lynn.

There were 15 murals total  I found all of the murals except one that is located at the state house (#15 on the map) and I saw a few extra surprises along the way.

What struck me most about these murals is the vivid colors and how the creativity of their projects.  There’s something about being outside in the open doing something you love.  I would love to be able to do this.  If only I could paint.  I’ll stick to photography I guess.

The murals below are listed in the order that they correspond to on the map which I have attached the link to above for your convenience if you decide to look for them yourself.  (https://www.beyond-walls.org/)

1

This mural was hard to photograph without gaining special access to the building roof, this mural was painted by the team of Nicole Salgar and Chuck Berrett (NS/CB).  Nicole (from Florida) and Chuck (based in New York), have been working as a mural painting team for many years.    This mural can be found at 33 Central St.

 

2

This mural, at 27-31 Spring St, was painted by Marka27, a native of Juarez, Mexico.  He draws much of his inspiration from his Mexican heritage.

 

3

Some of the murals proved harder to see and access than others.  This mural by Chris Coulon (aka Tallboy) and Brian Denahy, both of the North Shore area, was not accessible from the street.  It is located at 31 Spring St.

 

 

4

David Zayas from Puerto Rico painted this mural at 33 Spring St.  He tends to show his work through portraits of women, children and animals.

 

5

Team Rekloos, three artists from Boston, painted this mural on the back of the building at 69 Exchange St.

 

6

This mural was painted by Angurria from the Dominican Republic.  It can be found at 516 Washington St.  I like the simplicity of this one.  It’s simple, yet it is makes you wonder: who is this mural based on?  Who is the person that inspired this mural?  What is her name and what makes her so special (besides her natural beauty)?

 

7

Don Remix, an artist from Miami, painted the mural at 129 Munroe St and 515 Washing St.  Don tries to make a connection between nature, city and being.  In this mural, the bricks represent the city, the wood represents nature and the combination of wood and brick symbolize the human and animal element.

 

8

Bruce Orr and Good To Go (both from Lynn) painted the mural below on the back of the building at 129 Munroe St and 515 Washington St (the second mural posted).

Bruce has worked as everything from an art teacher and art therapist to a puppeteer.  He also plays the drums in his spare time.

Good To Go is an all male public arts team based out of Lynn.

 

9

Look at that bone structure.  The mural at 114-120 Munroe St was painted by Cedric “Vise” Douglas and Julez Roth.

Cedric, an artist from Boston, is the founder and Creative Director of the Up Truck which is a mobile art lab designed to engage underserved Boston communities through art and creativity.

 

10

Georgia Hill, all the way from Australia, painted this mural at 79-87 Munroe St.  Georgia specializes in black and white lettering, as you can see by this mural.

 

11

This lovely mural at 65 Munroe St was painted by Cey Adams.  Cey, an artist  from New York City, draws much of his inspiration from pop culture, ’60’s pop art, comic books and social and cultural themes.

 

12

Cambridge, MA, native Caleb Neelon painted this mural at 33 Munroe St with help from Lena McCarthy.

Neelon enjoys a diverse range of activities.  In addition to street painting, Neelon, who has authored or collaborated on 2 dozen books, has worked as a curator at museums as well as working on documentaries.

Lena McCarthy is an accomplished visual artist.  She has an exhibit called, “In Search Of Open Spaces” that is currently on display in the atrium of the Joseph Moakley Courthouse (1 Courthouse Way, Boston, MA)

 

13

Fonki, an artist from Montreal, painted this mural at 18 Munroe St.  Originally from France, Fonki discovered graffiti at the age of 15.  Since then, he has mastered his craft and has been featured in exhibitions for such famous groups as the Christie’s auction house.  Anyone who can’t relate to this mural, specifically the heart being tossed in the air, has obviously never been in love.

 

14

This mural at 173 Oxford St was painted by Temp & Relm, both from Lynn.  The lettering is kind of faint.  But, the artists took an old, outdated, uncomplimentary phrase about Lynn; “Lynn, Lynn…city of sin” and put a new twist on it, “Lynn, Lynn…city of firsts.”

 

The last mural is located at City Hall Square (3 City Hall Square, Lynn, MA).  Unfortunately, I was not able to photograph this last mural.

Some of the murals and art work in Lynn were either not listed on the official website or were not part of the actual Beyond Walls Festival.  But, they are still worthy of being mentioned here.

This mural is one of my favorites.  It has so many parts to it.  For one, the artwork is beautiful.  But, there’s so much more to it.

From the many important historical figures who resided or had some connection to Lynn (such as Frederick Douglass, former Red Sox ball player Harry Agannis and Maria Mitchell, an American astronomer who discovered a comet which later became known as “Miss Mitchell’s Comet”) and the illustrations of the workers who made Lynn such a prosperous city, the mural gives a colorful history of the city.  The quotes from Vincent Ferrini and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (who both also have a connection to Lynn) are a nice touch also.

 

This is another mural or art work that I found in my travels.  The phrase says:  “Love Her Beauty.  Respect Her Body.”

IMG_3680

IMG_3684

Today’s featured New England link is to the link to Irish Se7en’s website.

Irish Se7en primarily shoots in the North Shore area north of Boston, specifically Lynn, Marblehead, Nahant and Swampscott.  But, he also photographs areas in and around the Boston area.   He also uses a drone to get photos from a different perspective. His photographs are amazing.

You can like his Facebook page here.

Please stop by and like my Facebook page.

 

 

 


Revere Beach International Sand Sculptures (Revere, MA)

Date Of Visit: July 29, 2017 (competition took place July 21-23)

Location: 850 Revere Beach Parkway, Revere, MA

Hours: open daily 24 hours a day

Cost: Free

Parking: Street parking is available.  There are also parking lots nearby that charge a flat rate for all day parking.  Parking rates vary depending on the time of the year.

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: sand sculptures

Website: Revere Beach Sand Sculpting Festival

 

IMG_3301

Playing in the sand isn’t just for children.  Each year, some of the most accomplished sand sculptors across the globe converge on Revere Beach to compete for the title of Revere Beach International Sand Sculpting Champion.  This year, 15 sand sculptors threw their sandals in the ring to compete for this coveted title.

Since we had a lot of rain recently, some of the sculptures had some damage to them.  In fact, one sand sculptor was pretty much entirely damaged.  I usually try to attend the actual sand sculpting event but I had a previous engagement that weekend.  The sculptures were only one week old.  But, they did have visible damage in the photos.

It didn’t feel the same without the crowds, the hustle and bustle of the street vendors and street performers.  Each winning sand sculpture was marked with their place and a quick bio of each sculptor.  So, without further delay, the winners are….

First place went to Pavel Mylnikov from Moscow, Russia for his sculpture “Soul Evolution.”

Jonathan “Jobi” Bouchard from Montreal, Canada came in second with his sculpture “Two Energies”.

The third place winner and winner of the “Sculptor’s Choice Award, was “In Justice We Trust”, by Andrius Petkus, from Lithuana.  Unfortunately, it destroyed by the weather or some other forces.  Below is a photo of the sand sculpture from Revere Beach’s Facebook page as well as Cheatsheetoflife’s website..

Image may contain: ocean, beach, sky, outdoor, nature and water

The fourth place sand sculpture was “Dunkaroos!” by Abe Waterman from Prince Edward Island, Canada.

Fifth place went to Leonardo Ugolini of Forli, Italy for “The Monstrous Gorge.”

There were many more sand sculptures worthy of recognition.  The following sand sculptures did not win any awards.  But, they are still worthy of being mentioned.

“Remembering Self” by Morgan Rudluff from Santa Cruz, California.

 

Dan Belcher from St. Louis, Missouri, sculpted “Rock. Paper Scissors.”

One of my favorites, “Even Though We’re Oceans Apart, You’re Always Near In My Heart” was sculpted by Sue McGrew of Tacoma, Washington.

“Whisper In The Dark” was sculpted by Dmitry Klimenko of St. Petersburg, Russia.  The sculpture was dedicated to H.P. Lovecraft, a New England native (Providence RI) who died 80 years ago this past March.

Deborah Barrett-Cutulle, of Saugus, MA, sculpted “Wishful Thinking.”

This sculpture,”Who Are You” by Susanne Ruseler of Ultretch, Netherlands, had a sculpture of a boy next to the dragon before it was destroyed by the weather.

Below is a photo of the sculpture from Cheatsheetsoflife’s website.

 
“Look Up” was sculpted by Marianne Van Den Broek from Key West, Florida.

Steve Topazio, from the United States, sculpted “The Sand With The Dragon Tattoo.”

I could not find a name nor the name of the sculptor for this sand sculpture.

Paul Hogard from Bulguria won the “People’s Choice” Award for “Save The Elephants.”

Dogs are welcome at Revere Beach.  I met Tony, a 4 and a half year old pit bull mix, there.  He’s such a natural poser!

There is no set date for when the sculptures will be taken down.  The website for the event states they will stay up until the weather erodes them.  Some of them were already beginning to erode when I went to visit last weekend.  But, some of them may still be up now!

Today’s Featured website is Cheatsheetsoflife.

Cheatsheetoflife took some wonderful photos of the sand sculptures during the sand sculpting festival.


Bare Cove Park (Hingham, MA)

 

Dates Of Visit: July 28 & 30, 2017

Location: Bare Cove Park Drive, Hingham, MA (about 20 minutes south of Boston)

Hours: open daily, sunrise to sunset

Cost: Free

Parking: There are several parking areas.  The main parking area on Bare Cove Park Drive has room for about 40-50 vehicles

Trail Size/Difficulty: 484 acres, easy trails

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Fitbit stats: 3:16, 985 calories, 10,069 steps, 4.21 miles

Highlights: scenic, water, family friendly, dock house with historical military items, wildlife

Website: Bare Cove Park

IMG_5027

I made two visits to Bare Cove Park.  The first time I visited the park was July 28th.  I got there late on the 28th and the lighting was poor.  So, I stopped by two days later, Sunday, July 30.

As you can see by the photos, there are some beautiful sunsets at Bear Cove.  Unfortunately, the lighting wasn’t very good, though.

 

Once the site of a U.S. Naval depot (more on this later), Bare Cove Park now is the home to a variety of wildlife.  I found many birds during my visit.  There are also supposed to be fox, deer and other animals at the park.  I didn’t see any of them.  But, I did see evidence of them.

If you look closely at the little bird photo at the end, the bird has his or her lunch.

 

There was a crisp pre-autumn chill in the air when I made my way to Bare Cove Park.  It reminded me of the mornings you whittle away before the college and pro football games start.  But, I’d rather spend my day at Bare Cove anytime.

The views are simply amazing.

 

The thing that stood out to me mostly are the variety of pretty trees and flowers at the park.

 

Bare Cove is only 484 acres and it’s very easy to get around, even without a map of the park.  Trust me, I didn’t even get lost and I always get lost.  The trails are easy with hardly any inclines and they are mostly paved if you stay on the main trail.

 

Because of its proximity to Boston, Hingham was considered an important location for the military to produce ammunition and other supplies during World War II.  The magazines, or manufacturing  buildings, ran 24 hours, 7 days a week and employed thousands of people at is peak.

The dock house (only open Sunday from 12-2) has a variety of items from World War II that were manufactured in this very same area.

 

There are also two memorials outside of the dockchouse as well as other items from the days of the hey day at Bare Cove.  The ammunition depot was closed in the early 1970’s.

The memorial to the left, lying vertically on the ground, is dedicated to the men and women who worked at the ammunition depot during World War i, World War II and the Korean Conflict.

The memorial to the right standing up is dedicated to naval crew members who were lost when some ammunition exploded on a ship they were loading.

 

While dogs are allowed at Bare Cove the park is not considered a “dog park” per se.  All dogs are expected to be leashed or respond immediately to voice commands.  In my visits there all of these dogs fit into both or either category.

Here are a few of the cute four legged visitors at Bare Cove that I ran into during my visits.

Hickory is a 7 year old tree walking coon hound.

 

Bronn, named after a Games Of Throne charcater, is a 9 month old Newfie.  His mommy was teaching to fetch.

 

Gracie is a super friendly 2 year old pitbull.

 

Tundra (on the left), a 2 year old Golden Retriever, just got finished with his swim and was getting ready to go home.  His sibling, Piper (on the right), didn’t want to leave..

 

During my first visit, on the 28th of July, I met a very nice lady with three dogs.

America is a 10 year old mixed breed dog who got that name because the dog is a mix of many breeds, kind of like how America is a mix of all kinds of people.

IMG_3076

Sophia is a 6 year old chihuahua.

IMG_3062

Lily is a 10 year old Lab and Collie mix.

 

 

Bruiser is a 6 year old part pitbull.

 

Below is a video of fireflies at Bare Cove Park.  The lack of light and various animal aand bird noises give it a little bit of a spooky feel.

Please consider joining my Facebook page for updates, additional photos, news and other fun stuff not included in my blog!

Today’s featured link is a link to a 30 minute documentary that explains the history of Bear Cove Park.  The documentary was put together by Scott McMillan, the very same man who gave me a detailed tour of the dockhouse.

 


Congamond Lakes (Southwick, MA)

Date Of Visit: July 4, 2017

Location: 93 Point Grove Rd, Southwick, MA

Hours: the ramps are open around the clock

Cost: $5 boat launch fee

Parking: there is parking available in the parking lot of the boat launch and there is limited parking on Point Grove Rd.,

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: boat launch, fishing, scenic

IMG_9482

What better way to spend July 4th than at one of the busier lakes in Western MA?

Lake Congamond in Southwick, MA, seemed like the perfect place to spend the summer morning hours before our barbecue.  But, mostly because I like to say and write Lake Congamond.  What a fun name to say and what a fun lake to visit.

As  the name suggests, Congamond Lakes is not one lake but, rather, a group of lakes at the border of Massachusetts and Connecticut.  There are various boat launches.  We stopped off at the boat launch in Southwick (MA).

 

With a maximum depth level of 35 feet, the Congamond Lakes are a popular place for boating or taking some other aquatic vehicle.

 

Ducks are common at the lake and they are so used to being fed they will sometimes eat from your own hand.

 

Congamond roughly translates to “long fishing place” and we saw quite a few people fishing.

 

The pier offers spots for fishing, places to view the water and the boats or a place to sit with a friend.

 

Dogs are allowed at Congamond Lakes.  I’m just not sure they’re supposed to navigate the boats.

 

IMG_9319

Some dogs prefer land to being on boats.  Samurai is a Belgian Malinois.

 

Today’s featured link is Paul Samson’s Kayaking Blog.    People on boats, or in this case a kayak, can get to places those on land can’t get to and Paul found some gems during his kayaking adventure.  Paul’s blog post about Congamond Lakes can be found here.