SAC mapping to make art interactive

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Hint: Find the nearest display of public art. Snap a photo. Upload it. Share what you know.

This is a scavenger hunt. Somerville Arts Council is giving you a reason to turn your daily routines into a fun adventure.

In addition to Somerville Open Studio’s celebration of local art this weekend, the SAC is asking you to join them in creating an online interactive map of public art in the area.

“Public art is what tells you about the character of a place. Without it, we would end up with cookie-cutter cities,” Emily Bhargava tells WickedLocal, creator of a mosaic tiled lizard named Lizzie who skulks on a front porch on Irving Street. “Public art can do so much more for people than a piece of art that hangs in a museum.”

The bright lizard is just one of hundreds of pieces of public art around the city that many don’t know

“We’re hoping the map can really encourage people to explore Somerville in a way they haven’t before,” Bhargava adds.

To create the map, Bhargava and local artist Louisa Beck are asking Somervillians to scout out for art in their neighborhoods–from statues, switch boxes, graffiti, murals, mosaics, etc.–as long as the submission is a free permanent installation on public property.  For example, pieces can be in parks, in libraries, outside private homes visible from the sidewalk, or in parts of city buildings that can be entered without special permission.

If you have more information about a public art piece that somebody else has already posted, add your comments! For this map to work, it would be best for all to contribute.

For the main art events, SOS is hosting free exhibits of over 400 artists at over 109 sites this Saturday and Sunday. You can find their locations here.

If you’d like to preview a variety of artists’ works to help plan which sites you’ll visit, check out the Somerville Museum first. The museum is holding the Artists’ Choice exhibit, and all participating artists were submitted a piece of their work to the showcase, making it a great way to discover different artists in one stop.

Looking at artwork that inspires can make you hungry. But no worries. The Redbones food truck will be stationed at Somerville Museum this year, so it’s a great place to grab some lunch whether you’re browsing through artwork or not.