By Sharon Santillo
There is a stretch of the Northern Strand Community Trail on Canal Street just calling out for public art. On June 20 at 6 p.m. that call will be answered with the unveiling of a sculpture, a bench and a mural. Look for a white tent opposite 195 Canal Street in Malden, Massachusetts and celebrate a glorious year for the ARTLine.
The idea for ARTLine began one year ago on Exchange Street in Malden when the mural depicting “The Wonderful World of Ed Emberley” was unveiled honoring this Malden-born icon of children’s book illustrations. Emberley and his family were present for the party atmosphere and the start of fund-raising for more public art in Malden and the ARTLine was born.
The goal of the ARTLine is to develop a premier public art gallery with miles of professional murals, sculptures and community hubs. These hubs will feature gathering spaces with bursts of art, greenscapes, and pedestrian and bicycle accommodations.
“The best part of this past year has been the community support,” said Malden Arts founder and president, Naomi Brave. This was seconded by Candace Julyan, vice-president and the rest of the Malden Arts board.
Donations have flowed in from Malden residents and Mayor Gary Christenson, Maria Luise, Special Assistant to the Mayor, many city councilors including Debbie DeMaria, Jadeane Sica, Steve Winslow, Dave Camell, Peg Crowe, Barbara Murphy, Ryan O’Malley, Craig Spadafora, and Neal Anderson, John Preotle of Preotle Lane & Associates, Debbie Burke and the MRA, Brown Richardson and Rowe, CBT Architects, and Groundwork Somerville.
With a matching grant from Patronicity/Mass Development, a line item in the state budget initiated by Senator Jason Lewis and a CPC grant, $128,000 was raised.
A call to artists went out and 120 artists from across the United States responded. Entries were carefully juried by a team consisting of a graphic designer, an artist, an art educator, a small business owner, and a community organizer.
In addition to the art being unveiled on June 20, three more murals, benches and a pocket park will be installed this summer and fall to complete phase one of the ARTLine.
Walls are still needed for phase 2 of the ARTLine. If your business has a wall near the trail, contact Malden Arts for more information.