Artist Frank Vasello
Artist Frank Vasello

Photo: Cecily Miller

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Frank Vasello at work
Frank Vasello at work

Photo: Cecily Miller

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Ottoson Middle School Project
Ottoson Middle School Project

Photo: Cecily Miller

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Ottoson Middle School Project
Ottoson Middle School Project

Photo: Cecily Miller

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CURRENT

Frank Vasello

Green spaces and nature are an integral part of Arlington's character, and it is unusual to find a forested bike path, a scenic pond edged by wetlands, and extensive parks in a town so close to Boston.

 

I invited Frank Vasello to create a work for the Minuteman Bikeway because of his use of natural materials and respect for the landscape. He typically works alone, engaged in a meditative process. He gathers all materials on site and works intuitively and experientially, arranging and rearranging sticks of various sizes in relationship to the site and existing elements -- trees, stone, and the sloping contours of the landscape. 

For this Arlington project, I asked Frank if he would be willing to work with students as a way to engage the community in his work. He agreed, and enjoyed working with a group of middle school students at the Ottoson School. The school is edged by a significant patch of undeveloped woodlands.  The students worked with Frank to gather materials and design an installation that called attention to the magical beauty and serenity of this unexpected forest reserve.

CURRENT was commissioned as part of PATHWAYS: Art on the Minuteman Bikeway, a public art initiative launched to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the Minuteman Bikeway and activate Arlington’s newly designated Cultural District, which stretches from Capitol Square in East Arlington to Arlington Center.  The Bikeway offers a tree-lined route connecting two vibrant centers of town life, with their cafes & restaurants, neighborhood shops & libraries, and spaces for making or experiencing art, music, film & dance.