By Sarah Freedman, Contributing Writer
Hudson – The Arts Alliance has sponsored the arts since 1991, funding programs like “Art in the Hall.” This summer, Hudson residents will soon be able to find art in other places – like on the Hudson Rail Trail.
“Art Rocks” is a program in which local artists of high-school age and older can paint rocks along the trail with nature-themed art. It is the third of many ongoing projects collectively known as Hudson Pathways. The goal for Art Rocks is to beautify the rail trail and spark interest in it.
Lynne Johnson, executive director of the Arts Alliance, said two – Rail Trail Section Markers and the 290 Connector Tunnel Mural – have been completed. Mike Correa, a retired teacher of 34 years and curriculum coordinator for the visual arts in the Hudson School district, has been instrumental in the success of the program. He was a part of the initial meetings for the Art Rocks project and “did a bit of research on other community projects of this nature,” which helped the Arts Alliance, according to Johnson.
“Public art projects in various other communities inspired the idea,” she said, “which was first broached during initial planning for the Hudson Pathways project.”
She described Hudson Pathways as a “project building community spirit through art, education and history.”
The project is a collaboration between the Arts Alliance, Hudson Recreation Department and Hudson Public Schools and funded by the Sudbury Foundation, Avidia Bank and individual donors.
Johnson said artists should demonstrate the ability to paint and interest in the Art Rocks theme: animals or plants natural to the Hudson Rail Trail. They are asked to submit a sample of their artwork to “reflect the artist's abilities.”
“Artists interested in the project have been encouraged to submit a sample of the work they would like to render on a rock,” she noted.
Six to eight artists have shown interest in the Art Rocks project, said Johnson, who reviews all submissions with Correa. Correa also does liaison work between the Arts Alliance and schools and helps “get students and teachers involved.”
“Arts rocks are helping to represent native flora and fauna,” Johnson said.
To this end, there is no deadline, and new artists in the Hudson community are encouraged to contribute. Johnson added the Alliance would welcome rocks for as long as people are interested.
She said the response from the public and the artists to the project has been a positive one.
“We look forward to each new work of art as it becomes a permanent part of the rail trail,” Johnson said. “It is our hope to involve community members in the rail trail development in the beautification of our area through both nature and art.”
For more information about the Art Rocks program, visit www.upwitharts.org/hudsonpathways.html ?or call the Hudson Arts Alliance at 978-562-1646.