When it was announced that a Pop-up Art Grove in Franklin Park was planned for August, my curiosity was piqued. In the past few years, the city has been working hard to revitalize the area with an ambitious agenda of rotating public art installations but this was the first time I’d ever heard of a “Pop-Up Art Grove”.
Even without knowing that a Pop-Up Art Grove was planned you could probably wander beneath the canopy of the Wilderness Picnic Grove and understand that the natural beauty of the park was an ideal setting for the kind of surreal art experience waiting for you.
The installations were varied and interactive and the exhibit unfolded slowly as you meandered through the picnic grove happening across small painted houses, storytellers and strange performance pieces that could only be described as Buñuelian. More people arrived as the afternoon went on, but it never felt crowded so much as communal. Of all the art I’ve seen so far this summer, I think this was consistently some of the best with each piece exploring the themes of connectivity, community and longevity. The artists and performances who were present throughout weekend, helped create an additional layer of experience through exciting interactions that helped generate new connections between the visitors, the artwork and the park.
“The Pop-Up: Franklin Park Art Grove is a collaboration between the Boston Art Commission, Franklin Park Coalition, the William Monroe Trotter Institute, and the Boston Parks and Recreation Department,” according to the press release. The Pop Up Art Grove experience includes guided tours, spoken word, food trucks, art interventions, and youth led art workshops and the performances are happening August 8-9th from 11am – 6pm.