By Jane Keller Gordon, Contributing Writer
Southborough – If a tree falls in the woods and no one hears it, does it make a sound? If art is installed in the woods, does it make an impact?
The organizers of Southborough’s “Finding Solace in the Woods” believe that the answer is yes.
Southborough artist Catherine Weber is working with the Southborough Open Land Foundation (SOLF) to launch this outdoor exhibition. Weber noted that this will be the second art on SOLF trails. The first took place four years ago.
From Saturday, June 3 to Sunday, Sept. 24, art will be on display at the Elaine and Philip Beals Preserve, a 55-acre track owned by SOLF that is located on Main Street across from Chestnut Hill Road. The trails have multiple access points.
Juried submissions are welcome from individuals of all ages, from all towns, by Monday, May 1. Public, non-juried submissions are welcome after Wednesday, June 7.
“We are excited see all of the interest, both from the arts community and the general public for this program. As a frequent visitor to Beals Preserve, I look forward to a summer filled with art on the trails,” Weber said.
Lawrence Spezzano of SOLF added, “Our mission is to preserve, protect, conserve and enhance Southborough natural resources, while improving the quality of life for our residents. Artistic interpretation is a great way to appreciate and explore nature.”
The juror for “Finding Solace in the Woods” is Mary M. Tinti, a resident of Southborough and former curator of the Fitchburg Art Museum. She will judge the quality of materials, artist’s ability to complete the work, and the piece’s connection with the landscape. Tinti mentioned that artists may submit already completed pieces.
At the end of the exhibit, the trail must be restored to its original state.
“I’m most interested in exciting works of art that somehow harness different, special moments along the trails,” Tinti said.
During the afternoon of April 9 – finally warm and sunny – Weber and Tinti led a group of interested artists on a site walk. Weber pointed out lots of spots to situate art – stonewalls, a fallen tree whose trunk arched over a trail, rocks, an old fence, and part of the reservoir.
Artists should note that Tinti will be determining the final siting of each piece.
On Monday, May 10, Tinti will email artists whose work has been selected for the show.
“Moving Celebration,” an opening reception, is planned for Wednesday, June 7, from 6-8 p.m. on the trails. Artists will speak about their work as attendees follow along.
There are several opportunities for volunteering, including sign production, installation, helping at the reception, monitoring the art during the show, and de-installation.
Weber is also planning a poetry competition, “Plein Air Poetry.”
From Thursday, June 8, to Friday, July 7, poets will be invited to submit pieces reflecting the installed art. Southborough poet Maura Snell and Hopkinton poet Cynthia Franca will judge submissions.
On Sunday, Sept. 24, from 4-6 p.m. during a closing reception on the trails, poets will read work they created in response to the art.
Weber has set up a GoFund page for the event: https://www.gofundme.com/artonthetrails?utm_medium=wdgt
For more information about the exhibit and volunteering, email Weber at Cweber@catherineweber.com.