Art on the Trails: Celebrate the opening Thursday night (Updated-again; postponed to 6/20)

Above: Last year, a nice crowd turned out for an Art on the Trails reception at Beals Preserve. The public is invited to come out this Thursday to help launch the new “Marking Territory” exhibit for summer 2019. (image from

A public reception this week will mark the opening of a summer-long outdoor art exhibit. For the 3rd summer running, the Southborough Open Land Foundation is hosting a juried “Art on the Trails” exhibition at the Beals Preserve.

This year’s theme is Marking Territory. The press release shares:

“It was a pleasure to jury this outdoor exhibition with beautiful wooded trails and serene waterways in mind as the backdrop for the art”, said Art Juror Shana Dumont Garr [Curator at Fruitlands Museum]. “The theme, Marking Territory, will be activated in many ways, bringing forward environmental, personal, and societal concerns. Rather than drawing lines, the artists seemed most concern with artwork that enables visitors to the preserve to connect with the natural world and their community.”

This Thursday night at 5:30 pm, the public is invited to celebrate the exhibition. It’s a chance to hear the artists speak about their work. That also makes it a great opportunity for those who want to be part of this year’s poetry chapbook. SOLF’s website specifies:

The moving celebration will begin at the KIOSK near the Route 30 entrance and includes food, music and a guided tour of the installations along the trail.

Beals Preserve Trail mapFor a trail map with parking areas, click on the thumbnail right. (The kiosk is at the intersection of the Main Entrance trail and the Reservoir Trail.)

The public is invited to submit poems inspired by the art this Thursday through July 30th. In addition to being published, the selected poems will be part of the reception capping off the summer. During the closing ceremony on September 22nd, poets will read their works at the exhibits that inspired them.

Rainbow Wall being installed by Patrick Steele as Miley walks through - photo by Chelsea Bradway
(click to enlarge)

To prepare for the opening, artists were busy at work over the weekend. (The photo right of  artist, Patrick Steele, installing his Rainbow Wall while “Miley” walks through it was taken by another artist in the exhibit, Chelsea Bradway. You can see a larger version of the photo on Facebook.)

Below are more details from the release:

Opening Reception Planned for June 13th for Art on the Trails at Beals Preserve in Southborough

The Southborough Open Land Foundation invites the general public to the opening reception, Moving Celebration for Art on the Trails: Marking Territory, on Thursday, June 13th from 5:30-7:30 pm at Elaine and Philip Beals Preserve in Southborough, Massachusetts. The event, a moving celebration, will feature a leisurely walk along the trails to hear the participating artists speak about their work.

A juried exhibition of sculptural installations will be on view beginning June 9th and closing on September 22nd. The exhibition is juried by Shana Dumont Garr, Curator at Fruitlands Museum.

Under supervison of art teacher Denise Johnson, Neary students wove this mobius strip to include in the exhibit (photo from Facebook)
(click to enlarge)

Artists exhibiting are Anne Alexander (Windham, ME), Pedro Baptista (Hopedale), Chelsea Bradway (Southborough), Alex Calhoun, (Worcester), Marie Craig (Natick), Alicia Dwyer (Winchendon), Michael Greenberg (Hopkinton), Jen Hansen (Southborough), Lanting Huang-Truong (Southborough), Denise Johnson and 257 children in grades 4 and 5 from Margaret Neary Elementary School (Southborough), Cynthia Roberts (Marblehead), Nikki Sao Pedro-Welch (Revere), Lawrence Spezzano (Southborough), Patrick Steele (Southborough), Miles Warner (Peterborough, NH), and Claire Marie Watt (New York City). . .

Deborah Costine, Vice President of Southborough Open Land Foundation (SOLF) said, “SOLF is very pleased to again host Art on the Trails at Elaine and Philip Beals Preserve. Activities such as this often bring people to the preserve who might not otherwise discover the peaceful quiet of these local woods. Our hope is that they return often and develop a fond connection for not just The Beals Preserve, but for the unspoiled beauty of wild places everywhere. People protect what they care about and we at SOLF want to protect open land and wild places.”

In addition to the installations, the program will include poetry written in response to the work and will be juried by Tishman Review founder, poet, and Westborough resident Maura Snell. A prize-winning poem will be selected from submissions by Zachary Bos, poet, and publisher at Pen & Anvil Press. All accepted poetry will be included in a chapbook along with the art installations which inspired them. Submission guidelines can be found at

The exhibition is sponsored in part by the Southborough Community Fund.

Updated (6/11/19 3:15 pm): The event won’t be much fun if there is heavy rain as currently forecast. Organizers are waiting until tomorrow to make the call. But if the forecast remains the same, the reception will be postponed to June 20th. Stay tuned for an update on that.

Updated (6/12/19 1:49 pm): The event is being rescheduled for June 20th at 5:30 pm. 

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