‘Go Out Doors’ returns for third year in memory of NCC member

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‘Go Out Doors’ returns for third year in memory of NCC member
Northborough Cultural Council Secretary Suzanne Cox speaks to the crowd during the opening of the “Go Out Doors” exhibit. (Photo/Evan Walsh)

NORTHBOROUGH – Craig Cox loved the “Go Out Doors” exhibit.

From April through June, several painted wooden doors are stationed around Ellsworth McAfee Park in Northborough for the public to observe. As the treasurer for the Northborough Cultural Council, which organizes the exhibit, Craig was heavily involved with the project, recovering the doors, “upcycling” them and installing the doors — now art pieces — in the park.

Craig took pride in making good use of doors that would otherwise be forgotten. He had helped conceptualize the exhibit years ago and organized the event since its inception in 2022. Last year, he salvaged several doors from a demolished house on Hudson Street, telling the Community Advocate that the art puts a “smile on [people’s] faces, and they see something and it makes their day better.”

After Craig passed away unexpectedly in December, the exhibit’s fate was uncertain.

The Northborough Cultural Council, led by Craig’s wife, Suzanne, leaped into action to hold the event. It wasn’t easy picking up the pieces, but Suzanne made it work.

On April 27, dozens of community members gathered for the “Go Out Doors” exhibit in Craig’s memory.

“This whole thing is in his honor. It was hard to know what we were going to do, but we all came together and put it together anyway. We wanted to make sure this was dedicated to him to recognize all the effort he put into making this a reality. He was the key to getting the doors,” Suzanne told the Community Advocate before the event.

Although Craig couldn’t be there in person, his love for the event was certainly shared by event attendees, including local and state government officials. Select Board Chair Mitch Cohen offered remarks remembering Craig and commending the hard work of event organizers. Rep. Kate Donaghue (D-Westborough) and Sen. Robyn Kennedy (D-Worcester) also attended the event. Rep. Meghan Kilcoyne (D-Clinton), who owns one of the doors from a past year’s exhibit, also stopped by.

‘Go Out Doors’ returns for third year in memory of NCC member
Uniquely decorated doors line Ellsworth McAfee Park in Northborough. (Photo/Evan Walsh)

The doors — decorated by local artists — are bright and colorful. The designs range from nature imagery — Jill Strait’s “Bird Quilt” and Rebecca Duffy’s “Farmyard Friends” — to more adventurous pieces, including Brittni Laquidara’s “Sky’s the Limit.” Other entries include Peggy Ann’s “Reflections of Connection: I am Tree,” Bindu Gupta’s “The Peace Within,” Lisa Hayden’s “Verdant Bloom,” and Jamie Andrade’s “Virginia Simms George.”

“It’s about community. It’s about showcasing our local artists so when people go out into community spaces, they see the people in the community through their art. We have all these wonderful artists here, and when you come to public spaces, it’s nice to see people adding value to the spaces. It’s the cultural council’s way of bringing people’s culture into the community. It’s about saying, ‘Did you know we have incredible artists here in Northborough?’ and showcasing art,” said Suzanne.

The Northborough Cultural Council is one of 329 local cultural councils under the Massachusetts Cultural Council. The group aims to improve the quality of life for Northborough residents and contribute to the economic vitality of the town.

The seven doors will remain at Ellsworth McAfee Park over the next few months. If you want to own part of the exhibit, the Northborough Cultural Council is auctioning the doors to raise money for the LOVE Northborough Art Campaign. To place a bid, or to see the doors, visit https://www.32auctions.com/GoOutDoors2024.

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