Pop-up: Franklin Park Art Grove

When it was announced that a Pop-up Art Grove in Franklin Park was planned for August, I was curious.  I’d never been to one of those, and it had certainly been years since I’d been to Franklin Park.  In all fairness even though it’s a beautiful public park with a Zoo and a golf course, Franklin Park is not somewhere I go out of my way to visit.   But in the past few years, the city and has been working hard to revitalize the area along with its image, and it seems silly to think that the legacy of a public park can’t endure and evolve.

Established in 1885 and part of the Emerald Necklace designed by Frederick Law Olmstead, it seemed fitting that the theme of the Pop-Up: Art Grove in Franklin Park was endurance.  Even without knowing that you could probably wander beneath the canopy of the Wilderness Picnic Grove and understand that that you were experiencing artwork installed to explore connectivity, community and longevity while helping to develop the relationship between the park and the community it’s part of.

The installations were varied and interactive and the exhibit unfolded slowly as you meandered through the picnic grove.   More people arrived as the afternoon went on, but it never felt crowded although at times the experience was a little Buñuelian.  Of all the art I’ve seen so far this summer, I think this was consistently some of the best.  The artists and performances who were present throughout weekend, helped create an additional layer of experience through exciting interactions that helped generate connections between the visitors, 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.