Make Your Own Creation and Join in YardArt Watertown

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Everyone from artists to people who have never created anything before are invited to make something and display it in their front yard as part of a Town-wide art exhibition.

Organizers of the event, dubbed YardArt Watertown, wanted to bring some cheer to Watertown during the gloom of winter, said one of the organizers, Roberta Miller.

“We need something this winter that is fun and gets people outside — kind of like porch fest, only it’s art,” Miller said. “Some people have done projects similar to this, decorate your door. So, after a lot of discussion with this small group, the idea emerged that we would do YardArt and we would encourage people to make something fun. It’s a really low bar, so it wouldn’t feel intimidating. They can do anything they want.” 

YardArt started with a concept that came from Barbara Epstein, who has been involved in the Watertown Public Art Committee and was a founding member of the Mosesian Center for the Arts.

“She had this idea originally, and called a few of her friends and said let’s start thinking about this idea,” Miller said. “Originally she was thinking we would have people create something and put in their backyards, and have people peek in their backyards. But we thought people peeking in backyards was not the best idea.”

Instead, the organizing committee decided artworks should be visible from the street.

Help Available

Those who need help coming up with an idea, or some supplies with which to make their piece of art, can get help from the Watertown Library’s Hatch Makerspace.

On Tuesday, Feb. 2 at 6 p.m. Hatch will host a virtual workshop, Make it Big, said Hatch Coordinator Liz Helfer (sign up here). A group of local artists will join Helfer to help during the workshop. Participants can also get a starter kit with supplies and tools.

“It has lumber, metal stakes to hold it down, and of course brushes, assorted hardware, old yard signs — which are great because they are waterproof — screws and screwdrivers,” Helfer said. “It is a pretty nice kit to get started.”

Kits can be picked up at Hatch, 20 Summer St. in Watertown, through contactless curbside pickup, Helfer said.

People can also look around the house for materials.

“We encourage people to reuse things, rather than use new items,” Miller said. “But people can do whatever they would like.”

The Exhibit

People’s creations will go on display starting March 5, 2021 and be up through April 2, 2021, Miller said. There will also be an online map showing all the homes that have something on display.

Miller will be participating with her own YardArt creation.

“Liz was helping me yesterday figure out how to make it,” Miller said. “I’m making a creature, a nature creature. I am going to learn woodworking. One of my major tools is going to be a chain saw.”

Helfer said she and others at Hatch will also be making projects.

Some people may not have a front yard where they can display their artwork, but Miller said the committee is trying to find a space somewhere in Town for them. They will also be reaching out to other groups in town.

“We have talked to the Boys & Girls Club. We are hoping they can do some projects. We are talking to the schools and are hoping they can do some projects,” Miller said. “We hope people can make some fun things.”

Organizers hope YardArt will become a Watertown tradition.

“We see this as the first annual (event),” Miller said.”This is the dreary part of the year. This is a special year due to COVID, but it would always be fun to have something to look forward to.”

YardArt Watertown is a collaborative project of Hatch Makerspace by the Watertown Free Public Library, the Mosesian Center for the Arts, Watertown Cultural Council, and Watertown Public Arts &
Culture Committee, Miller said, with help from the Watertown Community Foundation.

“The Community Foundation is supporting us,” Miller said. “It is not an expensive project, but we had buy all our yard signs.”

If you have questions, or need more information, email To register, click here.

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