Wellesley’s pre-Spring Cleaning: Empty storefronts turned art galleries; Street sweeping; Tidying up Town Meeting articles

Wellesley is brushing off the Winter and looking forward to Spring in numerous ways:

Empty storefronts turned art galleries

If the new ArtWellesley group is successful, the art it has worked with local property owners and the town to place in empty storefronts won’t be there too long.

The hope is that the former Talbots and Dunkin’ Donuts spaces, and others in Wellesley Square and across town, will soon be filled with new businesses.

But until then, you can get outside and enjoy the town’s temporary outdoor art gallery, and visit the businesses that are open.

ArtWellesley is the brainchild of residents and artists Annie Newman, Laura Robert, and Julie Vari, and the first phase of its storefront effort features works from members of Wellesley Women Artisans as well as from students and other local artists.

The storefront art project is supported in part through a Wellesley COVID-19 Relief Fund grant to the Wellesley Celebrations Committee.

We took a peek at the art just after dusk one night this week. Let’s just say these artists are better at art than I am at taking photos, so we recommend checking out the works in person to fully appreciate them.

storefront art

storefront art

storefront art

storefront artstorefront art


Street Sweeping

street sweep

Perhaps a sign that the town is feeling pretty good about winter storms and storm treatment being over, we caught the street sweeping crew on Thursday morning making Rte. 16 spotless.


Town Meeting articles

The Wellesley Select Board, now chaired by Tom Ulfelder, seeks the public’s input on several board-sponsored warrant articles sponsored before they head to Town Meeting, which starts on April 26 and will be conducted online.

These articles (embedded at bottom of this post) require capital appropriation and changes to the town’s general and zoning bylaws.

  • ARTICLE 17. Wellesley Town Hall interior renovation and construction

This article seeks approval to appropriate or borrow money to finance the schematic design and permitting through bidding of planned interior renovations to Wellesley Town Hall. The project, if approved, would return to a fall 2022 Town Meeting to request a debt exclusion for construction funds. 

  • ARTICLE 21. Alcohol licensing

This Article seeks approval to change the Town alcohol licensing bylaw to allow locations with less than 50 seats to apply for an alcohol license. (Read more on this: Nearly half of Wellesley’s available restaurant alcohol licenses are gathering dust).

  • ARTICLE 26 and ARTICLE 27. Wellesley Affordable Housing Trust Fund

Article 26 and 27 are companion articles. Article 26 seeks to amend the Town bylaws to eliminate the now defunct “Wellesley Housing Development Corporation” and instead establish a trust, known as the “Wellesley Affordable Housing Trust Fund”, to provide for the creation and preservation of affordable housing in Wellesley for low and moderate income households. The Article also details the composition and powers of the trust fund. 

Article 27 seeks to amend the Zoning bylaw to delete every reference to term “Wellesley Housing Development Corporation” and replace it with either “Affordable Housing Trust” or “Board of Trustee” as applicable. 

The board will discuss these articles at its regular meeting on Monday, March 22 at 6 pm.

Residents may email comments in advance directly to all Board members at sel@wellesleyma.gov  or may call in to speak during the public comment portion of the Select Board meeting. If you would like to speak during the Select Board meeting, email sel@wellesleyma.gov to receive your call-in number.

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