Come Meet the Artists Behind the New Pieces in Watertown’s Sculpture Walk

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Photo by Liz Helfer “All Style, No Substance” by Ken Reker is one of the new additions to the Watertown Community Sculpture Walk.

Watertown’s Community Sculpture Walk has four new works of art, and the public is invited to meet the artists and find out about their process and inspiration.

The opening reception for the new sculptures will be held on Friday, May 10 from 5-6 p.m. The tour begins at the beginning of the Community Path in Saltonstall Park (behind City Hall).

Three of the artists will attend the opening, and one provided some audio of his poems to share at the event, said Liz Helfer, Watertown’s Public Arts & Culture Planner. Also attending the event will be Zachariah Hickman — the Tuba Guy.

The sculpture walk started in 2023, after being organized by the Watertown Public Arts and Culture Committee (WPACC). Helfer noticed sculpture walks popping up in many surrounding communities and wanted to have one in Watertown, she said at the opening ceremony last year. The sculptures will be on display for two years, and new ones will rotate in at that time.

The first sculptures were in Saltonstall Park or along the path between Whites and Waverley avenues. One of the new ones is along that path, another on Main Street near Moxley Field, one is near the Halfway Cafe, and one is on Howard Street.

About the Sculptures

All Style, No substance by Ken Reker

(Mixed media assemblage, completed in 2022. On view from May 2024 until 2026)

“Over many years of production, with works that have engaged in polemics & culture, my interest in the natural world and specifically its’ degradation has always been an overriding concern and subject within the work. The work I make is highly eclectic. Beyond my natural inclination to continually ‘make something’, the impetus for doing so, has varied widely,” Reker said. “My artistic production and process lies within the genre of assemblage. The process is multifarious and often begins with a response to a found image or an object. Through philosophical inquiry and material investigation, the work is developed through accretion over time in the studio. It is guided by my curiosity and levity throughout the process. Much of this body of work is inextricably linked to both my pedagogical and curatorial practices.”

More about Ken Reker on his website: 

Colliding Worlds II by R Douglass Rice

(Aluminum, completed in 2021. On view from May 2024 until 2026)

Photo by Liz Helfer “Colliding Worlds II” by R Douglass Rice is now on display.

“Colliding Worlds is a study of positive and negative space as well as of light and shadow. My abstracted work is preoccupied with an understanding of space, scale, balance, and color. My sculpture sometimes comment on current events and sometimes just celebrate sculpture,” Rice said.

“My sculptures begin as a series of small cardboard cutouts. From 4″ x 8″ pieces of cardboard, I cut out various abstract shapes. Slotting the top of one and the bottom of another, I join them together creating a free-standing cardboard sculpture. Once this is complete, I do the same process with sheets of 3/4″ AC plywood, cutting each of the abstract shapes with a jigsaw. I then sand and paint them with high gloss metal paint, so that they looked like they are made of steel. From there I take the full-scale plywood pieces to a metal fabricator who cuts the shapes out of two 4’x8’ sheets of 5/8’ aluminum or steel depending with a water jet. They then finish them in powder coat or with rusted patina”

Learn more about R Douglass Rice on his website:

Beacon by Michael Alfano

(Bronze, completed in 2019. On view from May 2024 until 2026)

Photo by Liz Helfer Artist Michael Alfano installs his piece “Beacon” as part of the Watertown Community Sculpture Walk.

“In Beacon, a profile of a child’s face represents the flame of a candle. The base of the sculpture forms the stylized candle, and the face rises from it, driving out the darkness with their light, serving as a guiding beacon. Though made of bronze, a hard material, the sculpture is designed to form a light, wispy profile,” Alfano said. “It is inspired by the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. quote: ‘Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.‘”

More about Michael Alfano on his website:

Transparencies in Time: Cuahpohualli by Jose Trejo Maya

(Plastic transparency film and plexiglass, completed in 2023. On view from May 2024 until 2026)

Photo by Liz Helfer “Transparencies in Time: Cuahpohualli” by Jose Trejo Maya being installed this week.

I am a remnant of the Nahuatlacah oral tradition, a tonalpouhque mexica, a commoner from the lowlands (i.e., Mexico) from a time and place that no longer exists. At present my poetry has been reified as it has been published in the UK, US, India, Spain, Australia, Argentina, Germany, and Venezuela. Transparencies in Time: Cuahpohualli embedded in ethno-poetic language poetry came from dreams, it’s a refraction of our ancestors so you see a mirror in yourself.

More about Jose Trejo Maya on his website: 

See more information and take a virtual tour of the Watertown Community Sculpture by clicking here.

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