, Salem, MA

August 13, 2013

Letter: Art Grows Here thanks the community

The Salem News

---- — To the editor:

Many thanks to our sponsors, site hosts, the participating artists and, most especially, the audience in this year’s Art Grows Here show.

For the fourth year in a row, we were able to host our very unique outdoor art tour in Hamilton and Wenham with the support of many. Locals and visiting out-of-towners were treated to a show of art that was full of beauty, creativity and whimsy.

Hundreds of you from all over grabbed a map and discovered art installed and performed across the two towns — even in spite of the oppressive heat. We are grateful to have engaged you, and it is our fond hope in viewing the wonderful installations at the 22 sites that it inspired your own creativity. Art leads to art, and we are thrilled to think we may have sown the seeds in our corner of the world.

We have heard from many, artists and folks on the tour, so we know there was plenty of sharing going on between the participants. I will never forget the brother and sister I met on the last day of the show: I met them at site No. 7 on the map, Alisa Greco’s “Stop, Look and Listen.” The older brother was exploring the music boxes there for the playing, and his sister was so excited she just grabbed and hugged him. Like the ad on TV says, it was “priceless.”

Thanks to the funding from our local Cultural Council and Rotary Club, we were able to host an opening reception for the artists to get to know one another, maintain our website and post signs and cards to promote the show.

Thanks to our generous site hosts, we were able to open the show to 10 artists from out of town: We are indebted to the members of the Hamilton Council on Aging, Melissa Elmer at the Hamilton Wenham Community Center, Kristin Noon at the Wenham Museum, and the board of directors and Jan Dempsey at the Hamilton-Wenham Public Library for allowing these artists to participate.

There was a great range of works this year, some easily viewable from the comfort of air-conditioned cars, others perfect for getting out and exploring the fascinating detail and mystery built into the site. Performers ran the gamut of music, poetry and dance. A big thank-you to all the artists who participated. Of course, we could not have a show without you! Keep up the great work, and we hope to add even more of you next year for what we hope will be an amazing fifth annual show.

Anyone who is interested in participating as artist, site host or sponsor should contact us through our website. We are already planning for next year’s big event, and we are very excited about that!

Sue Kassirer

Co-founder of Art Grows Here, with Jill Herrick Lee

For fellow organizers Todd Blute, Andrew Sharp, Paula Gesmundo, Lucy Frederiksen and Rich Kassirer