Southborough’s Hidden Gem: Art on the Trails

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Southborough’s Hidden Gem: Art on the Trails
A look at the art displayed as part of Art on the Trails. (Photo/Tyler Charpentier)

SOUTHBOROUGH – Alongside Main Street in the town of Southborough, and across from Chestnut Hill Farm lies a hidden world filled with wooded nature trails and a variety of unique pieces of sculptural art.

Known as “Art on the Trails,” it’s on a 55-acre tract of land that is owned by Southborough Open Land Foundation and doubles as an outdoor art exhibit from June 10 until Sept. 17.

Catherine Weber is the program director for Art on the Trails. She held her seventh installation of the program this year; its theme is “Transformation.”

In order for participants’ artwork to be showcased in Art on the Trails, the artists are asked to submit existing work or a proposal piece to a blind jury by the beginning of April.

Each year there is a group of approximately 15 jurors who are scouted through a social media based “call-out” conducted by Weber. The panel consists of jurors with varying backgrounds, ranging from artists who have previously participated in Art of the Trails, to creative directors of local art centers.

“One of the most important factors in choosing the jurors is finding people who understand what this space and show is all about,” said Weber.

Out of the submissions received and reviewed by the jury, 15-16 artists are chosen to display their pieces on the trails and awarded $100 each.

Weber expressed great passion about being able to financially support the artists who participate in her installations.

“Lots of artists are asked to show their work not for money but for exposure. There are shows that will charge a fee to get in and then the artist gets nothing in return financially, I didn’t want to be one of those shows. So everyone who participates in these shows gets $100,” said Weber.

In this year’s installation, there are 16 sculpture artists who have their works on display. They include students from Neary Elementary School, Madeleine Lord, Linda Hoffman, Margot McMahon, Jon Lausten, Gint Grinbergs, Hildreth Potts, Matthew Haberstroth, Ted Castro, Rhode Island Collective, Bridie Wolejko, Meagan Hepp, Marie Despres, Lisa Barthelson, Gena Mavuli and Melanie Zibit.

Along with sculptural art, Weber also holds another segment named “Call for Poetry.”

This encourages people to walk through the installation and write ekphrastic poems in response to the displayed artwork.

Call for Poetry will be accepting this year’s submissions through the end of July. The top 32 poems will be sent to a final judge. The winning poet will be awarded $100 and their poem will be published in the seventh edition of “Art on The Trails.”

Art on the Trails is freely available to the public from dawn to dusk. Weber encourages everyone to stop by and admire the artwork while also enjoying quality time in the tranquility of nature. She sees immense value in this installation and its positive impact on the Southborough community.

“There are people who walk through these woods and don’t think about art at all but now once a year, they do. There are people who think about art and don’t walk through the woods but now once a year, they do,” said Weber.

For more information, visit https://artonthetrails.com/.

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