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Ratiner joined poets at Heaney Memorial

Steven RatinerSteven Ratiner / David Andrews photo 

The Hastings Room Series returned, presenting the Seamus Heaney Memorial Reading at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 22.

Readers are Fred Marchant, Hilary Sallick and Steven Ratiner, Arlington poet laureate. 

The event is at the First Church Congregationalist, 11 Garden St., near Harvard Square. 

Marchant is the author of five books of poetry, most recently Said Not Said (Graywolf Press), recognized as an "honored book" for 2017 by the Massachusetts Book Awards. Earlier books include Full Moon Boat, House on Water, House in Air and The Looking House. His first book, Tipping Point, won the 1993 Washington Prize, from The Word Works, and was reissued in a 20th-anniversary second edition.

Sallick is the author of Asking the Form (Cervena Barva Press, 2020) and Winter Roses (Finishing Line Press, 2017). She teaches reading and writing to adult learners in Somerville, and she is vice president of the New England Poetry Club.

Ratiner has published three poetry chapbooks and is completing work on two full-length collections. His work has appeared in journals, including Parnassus, Agni, Poet Lore, Salamander and Poetry Australia.

Giving Their Word – Conversations with Contemporary Poets was reissued in a paperback edition (University of Massachusetts Press) and features interviews with many of contemporary poetry’s most important figures.

Read more ...

Dallin Museum online fund-raising auction ends

Dallin Museum auction image

Going, going, gone – sold to the highest bidder!

From 9 a.m. Aug. 15 until 9 p.m. Aug. 29, you can bid on a wide range of fabulous items―artwork, getaways, restaurant certificates and more. To place a bid, go to dallin.org/auction. Then click “here” to register, and you’re ready to go!

Arlington’s Dallin Art Museum is hosting this online auction to support its continued work developing uplifting and thoughtful museum experiences that reflect Cyrus Dallin’s values as an artist, educator and social-justice advocate.

In addition to providing crucial support for the museum’s daily operations, funds will help achieve this year’s strategic goals:

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Dallin Museum receives artist’s only self-portrait painting

Cyrus Dallin self-portraitCyrus Dallin self-portrait.

The Dallin Museum is delighted to acquire Cyrus Dallin’s only two-dimensional self-portrait known to exist. 

“This painting was quite a surprise to us,” says Geri Trembly, one of the museum founders. 

A 20- by 26-inch oil painting depicts Dallin in middle age, wearing a tan suit and sporting dark hair graying at his temples and a silver goatee. He appears introspective and perhaps slightly weary. 

Donated by the grandchildren of Daisy Dallin Southworth, Cyrus’s only sister, it can now be appreciated and enjoyed by everyone for generations to come. 

The painting, however, is more than 70 years old, and had suffered a lot. The side nails (to attach the canvas to the frame) were rusted. There was also cupping on the paint and many bare spots.

The painting has since been restored. 

Peter Williams Museum conservator services of Boston meticulously cleaned, relined with new backing and inpainted to correct any areas of loss. Stanhope Framers of Boston provided the period-appropriate, museum-quality framing. 

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'CURRENT' CIRCLES: Vasello embraces sticks, and so do Ottoson students

Jay Saliev, 13, peeks from beneath a small platform he made between splitting trees.Jay Saliev, 13, peeks from beneath a small platform he made between splitting trees.

In your community, certain circles have people who you hope will include you.

In a whirlpool, the water circles swiftly, so fast sometimes that you'd rather be excluded.

In his essay "Circles," Emerson's wrote: "The eye is the first circle; the horizon which it forms is the second; and throughout nature this primary figure is repeated without end."

So can the hard heart of stray sticks take the shape of a circle, or at least a sinuous shape? If arranged with a careful combination intent and intuition, they can, and that illusion is behind "Current," the final art installation celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Minuteman Bikeway. "Current" is an environmental sculpture, a work of land art made entirely of natural materials and arranged to complement the contours of a hillside bordering the busy bikeway.

Go see for yourself what Provincetown artist Frank Vasello hath wrought along the stairway that descends from the bike path to Spy Pond, near the playground.


More photos >>


On this sloping site, sticks collected in the woodsy area nearby have been assembled into pleasing shapes. Depending on your viewpoint, these sculptural contours could suggest the flow of water. That makes sense, because, just beyond the whorls of sticks is the glitter of Spy Pond.

The Provincetown artist, who is 54, and has been making environmental works since he graduated from MassArt in 1987, aims to "take something static and giving it a sense of motion."

He appreciated the site chosen by Cecily Miller, the consultant helping Arlington Public Art, because of its strategic location and its public accessibility.

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Cultural Council awards 24 grants totaling $17,774

Range of arts -- visual, film, literature

Arlington Cultural Council logo

Susan Larson, chair of Arlington Cultural Council (ACC), has announced the award of 24 grants totaling $17,774, for cultural programs in Arlington, ranging from $280 to $1,154, with an average grant of $740. Grantees were chosen from 37 competitive applications.

“We are continuously impressed by the caliber of projects presented to our council," Larson said in an April 12 news release. "This year's grant recipients are equally exceptional, and we look forward to watching their performances, programs, and events unfold throughout 2021.”

The 2021 grant recipients represent a wide range of arts: music, visual, film and literature.

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ACA: Blue Jean Ball held

aca new

UPDATED, April 10: TheArlington Center for the Arts' staff and board are busy planning all of the exciting details of this year's annual Blue Jean Ball celebration, set for 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 10.

This year's event will include many of your favorite elements including live music, dancing, awards, socializing and an irresistible silent auction -- all from the comfort of your living room.

Read more ...

Poet laureate/ArtLinks exhibit open

Steven RatinerSteven Ratiner / David Andrews photo 

ArtLinks Arlington, a networking group for artists in town, have accepted the unique opportunity to collaborate with Arlington’s poet laureate, Steven Ratiner.

After he shared several of his poems and invited the ArtLinks community to create works in response, a poetry collaboration was born. This special exhibit will be gracing the Hall Gallery at the Arlington Center for Arts through March 31. 

The virtual opening was held Wednesday, March 3, from 7 to 8 p.m.

For the event link, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Artist-in-residence crochets with environmental twist

The Robbins and Fox libraries are partnering with the Arlington Commission for Arts and Culture (ACAC) to welcome PATHWAYS artist-in-residence Michelle Lougee to Arlington to create a new work of public art.

Michelle Lougee, crochet artistMichelle Lougee, crochet artist.

The Robbins Library was the host for a reception to meet the artist on Monday, Dec. 9.

Lougee’s work embraces an environmental theme, and the evening will include an update on local environmental initiatives and a performance of original songs by fith-grade activist Judah Almond.

The Fox Library will be the home base for free workshops, which start Jan. 4 and continue through June; occasional workshops will be held at other community locations.

People of all ages are invited to learn how to crochet and contribute to a collaborative sculpture Lougee is designing for the ACAC’s public art exhibitions on the Minuteman Bikeway in the Cultural District.

The project has an important twist: Crocheters will learn to make and use “plarn” -- a plastic yarn assembled from plastic bags collected from the community.

Read more ...

Poet laureate tells: How to find 'we'

Steven RatinerSteven Ratiner / David Andrews photo 

Join the Friends of the Robbins Library for an evening with Arlington’s poet laureate at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 3.

Steven Ratiner will read poems and offer a conversation about "Finding 'We': How Poems Help Us Explore the 'I,' the 'Other' and the Communal."

"We, the people" is a foundational American idea -- that a fiercely independent people can, at the very same time, embrace their commonality. The very concept of we is an essential human experience as well, and one that seems endangered during these socially and politically fraught times.

Ratiner's reading and conversation is about how he has discovered a deepened sense of both his individual voice and its connection to our vast interconnectedness through writing and reading poems.

He’ll speak about his Red Letter Project, which has partnered with a range of community organizations to send out a new poem each week to a community of readers. It began in Arlington but now extends across the country.

Read more ...

Aardvark 'Souls' CD rated among tops for large jazz ensembles

Aardvark Jazz Orchestra, with Mark Harvey, 2020Aardvark Jazz Orchestra, with Mark Harvey of Arlington, first row center.

The New York City Jazz Record has selected Aardvark Jazz Orchestra’s Faces of Souls CD (Leo Records) as one of five recordings in its “Best of 2020” Large Ensemble Releases category. 

Led by Mark Harvey of Arlington, Aardvark is honored to be recognized by this publication.  Faces of Souls is available here >>

Listen to an excerpt from this CD, called "Lament for the City," evoking America as a "City on a Hill" and our concern for our democracy. Just under six minutes, the piece is part of Harvey’s larger suite, Healers of the Universe, as the author hopes for a healing spirit in 2021. 

Read more ...

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