Waterstone at Wellesley and the Wellesley Council on Aging have joined forces to present a Senior Art Exhibit at the Wellesley Free Library. Stop in and view the works of nearly 50 artists across multiple mediums, all on exhibit in the Wakelin Room and the lobby through June 29. There will be an opening reception on June 4, 2pm – 4pm in the Wakelin Room.
The grounds are weeded, mulched, pruned, and blooming within an inch of their lives. Banners have been hung, and tents have been erected. It’s Wellesley College graduation time, and it’s a special one this year. First of all, after four years of unremitting labor, the Class of 2017 will receive their diplomas. Oh, and Secretary of State and Wellesley College Class of 1969 alumna Hillary Clinton will be on hand to deliver remarks.
Tomorrow everyone will be all smiles and tears, but just a few short months ago, the stress level on campus was running high over the upcoming Commencement. According to an editorial in the student newspaper of Wellesley College, The Wellesley News, some students were concerned that Commencement was in danger of becoming more of a post-election rally for Hillary Clinton than a celebration of the Class of 2017 and their families. The idea that a couple thousand alumnae might descend on campus (as they did on election night, hoping to celebrate a big win) was making some graduating seniors wonder if their milestone moment was in jeopardy of being overshadowed by Clinton’s star power. Toss in rumors that Paw Paw and Granny might not be invited due to limited ticketing, and you had a lot of women asking, “Who’s being celebrated here, anyway?”
As it turns out, the administration took matters firmly in hand. Back in March, Clinton spoke at a private event at the college, perhaps taking a bit of the edge off of alumnae demand to see her this week. In a nod to the 570 graduates that their four years of continuous struggle and triumphs counted for pretty much everything, the school instituted a lottery in order to limit the number of alumnae who would be allowed to attend. Such a compromise ensured not only that security and parking would be kept under control, but that extended family members would be warmly welcomed to the campus to witness their student receive her diploma. (You can also see it live streamed.)
So although Wellesley College encourages alumnae to consider the campus something of a second home, for this go around they’ll have to think of that second home as one that’s not available to them this weekend. Kind of like the family lake house that everyone shares, but that you can’t go to when the cousins are taking their summer weekend turn.
Here’s a sneak preview of graduation day. I get to go as press, so thanks for reading The Swellesley Report.
Wellesley’s Wonderful Weekend had something for everyone, from the sold-out pancake breakfast to the veterans’ parade and from fireworks to public art.
We hit a bunch of the activities, including Friday’s Through the Looking Glass Art show (more on that later), Art in the Park, the Fuller Brook Park walk led by the Wellesley Trails Committee, the dog contest at Warren Park, the open house at the Police Department for our annual hot dog and ice cream fix, Wellesley Historical Society’s open house and Tollhouse Shop sale, the Wheels of Wellesley car show and the grand finale of fireworks from the comfort of a nearby friend’s patio. Here’s a sampling of scenes from the big event:
Pickle Point at Morses Pond, the Guernsey Path along Sabrina Lake and the Esker Trail near Longfellow Pond are among Wellesley’s most beautiful outdoor spaces. Wellesley High School’s Kyle MacKinnon, for his senior project, this weekend will attempt to make those spots even more attractive via a dozen Cypress wood plaques featuring short Robert Frost-style poems that he’s written.
Finding all 12 poems will amount to something of a scavenger hunt for the public, as some of the plaques are right out on the trails and paths, and others are a bit hidden.
“I have always been a big fan of the outdoors and also starting this year I have been writing on my own, mostly poetry, so I wanted to find a project where I could use my passion for both,” says MacKinnon, who following his graduation from WHS will head to Sewanee, The University of the The South, in Tennessee, which has a strong English and liberal arts program.
Back to Wellesley, MacKinnon says Pickle Point at Morses Pond is his favorite outdoor location in town, noting that it reminds him of his summers on Long Island.
The Wellesley Natural Resources Commission approved MacKinnon’s project as a temporary one, though he says he’d love for it to become permanent or at least an annual event to kick off the summer months.
“All the poems are around the common theme of why people go outside,” MacKinnon says. “Some will be about peace, others beauty and escape. The community service aspect of the project is that it will encourage people to get outside and walk along the paths.”
If you’d like to try to spy all 12 poems, we can tell you this much. They can be found at the locations listed below (and the Wellesley Trails Committee’s listing of trails in town might help guide you to areas you might be unfamiliar with):
*The start of the Charles River Path
*Crosstown Trail by Warren Park
*The Esker Trail
*Duck Pond at Town Hall
*Guernsey Sanctuary at Sabrina Lake
*Cliffs at Boulder Brook/Rocky Ledges
*Morses Pond trail
*Pickle Point on Morses Pond trail
Come check out one of Wellesley’s Wonderful Weekend‘s coolest event, an art show focused on creating a surreal and awe-inspiring space at 405 Linden St. in the dearest, most romantic cottage in town, hard by the train tracks, but easy to find. Just follow the light from the community up-cycled chandeliers.
Also, The Swellesley Report is not just covering the news on this event, we’ve inserted ourselves into the action, and it all began with my weekly trips to the dump. With permission from the RDF, and backed by a grant from the Wellesley Cultural Council, one day I set myself up at the RDF Reusables area and got the dump-going community to join in “Wellesley Dump Art” day.
The idea behind “Wellesley Dump Art” was simple: to create still-life arrangements on-site at the RDF using exclusively items that came into the Give-and-Take area and flowers from my garden. I then photographed the completed arrangements. The next part of “Wellesley Dump Art” was to frame and exhibit some of the photos. Thanks to Seminar Day at Wellesley High School and the talents of Mr. Reddy’s students, some of the framing was accomplished.
Now, it’s exhibition time. Wellesley’s Wonderful Weekend has provided the opportunity, and local artist and Wellesley High School graduate Alexander Golob has provided the venue. Come check out an adventure that has been part performance art, part photography shoot, and a lot of community participation.
Other artwork that will be included at the cottage at 405 Linden St.:
– Community up-cycled lantern entrance (by a parent and a number of Wellesley community members). Want to decorate a chandelier for this event? Email Alexander at amlgolob
– Interactive textile work that investigates Chinese-American identity by having having people create fabric steam buns (by WHS 2011 alum)
– A collaborative artwork made with laser-cut wood and photo transfers looking at experiences of Wellesley High students in the environment of the Presidential election and subsequent Trump administration (in collaboration with WHS’ Diversity Club)
– A series of photographs imposing a mysterious light in regular spaces around Wellesley (by Alexander Golob)
– An art installation that creates a stained-glass landscape on paper left to be colored in by visitors (by Alexander Golob)
– A series of prints about the US presidents
– A portrait series accompanied by interviews (by a WHS 2013 alum)
– A video installation looking at supermarkets (by a WHS 2013 alum)
– A collaborative artwork that creates a gif out of paintings (by a BU 2017 student and Alexander Golob)