Art Picnic, a two-week community art project designed to beautify Springfield and give local art students the chance to collaborate with established artists, kicks off on July 29 on the Springfield Museums campus and downtown on Main Street. Visitors can watch local artists and student interns transform ordinary picnic tables into unique works of art. The project is funded through the Art & Soles Fund of the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts and supported by the Springfield Business Improvement District.
Work on the picnic tables will continue through August 9 at the Springfield Museums and at the former People’s United Bank building at Main Street and Harrison Avenue in order to showcase the progress of the artists and students.
Nearly two dozen design proposals were submitted by local artists for consideration, and the twelve finalists were chosen to bring their designs to life by public vote on the Museums’ Facebook page. They include: Reena Allen, Don Blanton, Samantha Buckley, Karen Dupuis, Mischa Epstein, Mark Stuart Gagnon, Gina Restaino, Stephen Schreiber, Susan Shaylor, Sophie Theroux, Narelle Thomas and Whitney Wood Rahm.
The completed Art Picnic tables will be unveiled at a free community picnic at the Museums on Saturday, August 10, from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Visitors are welcome to bring a blanket to picnic alongside the new works of art. The picnic also includes a “real-life adaptation” of Degas’s famous ballerinas by Linda Peck and strolling entertainment by Bending Gravity. Hamburgers and hot dogs will be available for purchase at the Blake House Café. Guests who fill out a visitor survey will get a free ice cream (while supplies last).
Art Picnic is designed to contribute to the creative economy of Springfield by providing a vehicle for local artists to display their work while allowing local art students to expand their skills, build their resumes, and feel motivated to pursue a career in the arts.
The 2013 Premier Sponsor of the Springfield Museums is MassMutual.