LA PASSEGGIATA: ANIMAL NEIGHBORS OF ARLINGTON
Eileen de Rosas
Eileen de Rosas is an Arlington-based ceramic artist and educator best known for her accomplished ceramics. Many of her functional pieces bear vivid portraits of local wildlife. In conjunction with her design for a bus shelter as part of Arlington's BRT Pilot project, Eileen created a complementary large scale wheat paste mural on the Fox Library. She took a series of small ink brush drawings of foxes, bears, deer and fish and had them printed as large scale black and white graphics.
The resulting temporary murals retained the freshness, spontaneity and intimacy of the original sketches. DeRosas captured the psychology of these animals in portraits designed to increase compassion and empathy for "animal neighbors." The artist's message is that we must make room in our cities and towns for wildlife despite the pressures of development. If we do not share our spaces, they will have no where to go. It is no coincidence that at the time that DeRosas' murals were on view a bear was sited in Arlington; luckily it was captured unharmed and relocated to wilderness areas further from the city.
This installation was an ideal conclusion to the BRT project, as improving public transportation is key to environmental protection.
Cecily worked with Arlington Public Art to curate temporary installations in 5 bus shelters as part of the Town's BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) Pilot Project. The BRT Pilot experimented with ways to improve public transportation – specifically the morning commute on buses that run along Mass Avenue. Art installations supported this effort by landmarking bus shelters and creating a buzz. Each shelter design was unique, reflecting the style and interests of each artist; several of the artists also executed coordinated elements along Mass Ave. Shared themes included protecting the environment, connecting with neighbors, and enlivening the experience of waiting for the bus. The art successfully celebrated the Town’s initiative to improve bus service so residents can leave their cars at home.