Winthrop Art Association Completes Phase 1 of the Museum Without Walls

Under warm, sunny skies, members of the Winthrop Art Association completed the first phase of the outdoor art exhibit, ‘Museum Without Walls’ at French Square in Winthrop Center on Sunday, August 23rd.  Each of four artists selected a museum quality work by a known master artist, adapted their piece and replicated it in each parking space at French Square. 

Dawn Mahoney, WAA President selected ‘Luna’ by Native American artist, RC Gorman (1992); Brenda Curry, WAA Vice President selected ‘The Cat with Red Fish’ by Henri Matisse (1905); Sylvia Whiting, WAA Treasurer presented an interpretation of ‘Tar Beach 2’ by African American artist Faith Ringgold (2003) and member Dennis Smith created a replica of ‘The Poppy Garden’ by Willard Leroy Metcalf (1905).  With the removal of French Square, the artworks were completed on alternating parking spaces – with proper social distancing – created as a beginning and temporary enhancement of the total area. 

After an 8AM street sweeping of the area by Bobbie & Bolton of DPW, arranged by Steve Calla, artists started work at 9AM and worked until close to 5PM before the skies opened to a deluge of heavy thunder showers.   All pieces were then signed with the original artists’ name and date, together with their own name and date.  A second round of painting will be required to complete other spaces on the opposite side of the area.  

Frank Costantino, WAA Artist Member and local resident proposed the idea to town officials and asked for the support of WAA.  The Town Manager and Town Council were wholeheartedly supportive of the idea.  The ‘Museum Without Walls’ Exhibit serves as a prototype for larger, future initiatives to paint other spaces and walls in Town, with the adaptation of Master Artworks from any period or source chosen by the artists.  The goal of this art initiative is to involve the artist community and attract visitors, as we develop Winthrop as a strong visible presence for residents and enhance the town as a visitor destination. 

The ‘Museum Without Walls’ exhibit was made possible by the dedicated contribution of member Frank Costantino who researched paint options, coordinated with the WAA and participating artists, obtained approvals from the Town and Steve Calla of the DPW, developed the process for the paint day, and handled logistics in obtaining paint and supplies.  Special thanks to Frank for coordination, Shirley Hardware who obtained the unique paints and many supplies, and Woodside Hardware for additional supplies for this Exhibit.  We were also supported by generous donations from two Council members, Paul Lucerto of Swett’s Liquors, and Frank for the costs of materials. 

A number of volunteers also contributed to these art works.  A team of artists helped Sylvia Whiting with her piece including Adriel Breault, Devorah Linn, Nora Li and Chelsea Brendel.  Other contributors included Phyllis Poor, Susan Schorr, and passers-by, with welcome donations of drinks, many favorable comments and support; including a number of Town officials, and the watchful eye of WPD.  

Anyone interested in painting their favorite master artwork for the public and participating in future Winthrop Art Association ‘Museum Without Walls’ exhibits, please contact Dawn Mahoney by email at [email protected] or by phone at 617.846.2644.     

We hope everyone will view the new works in these public exhibit spaces at French Square in Winthrop Center.  Let us know what you think.  Thank you for your support of the Winthrop Art Association.  Have a safe and healthy summer.  

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