, Salem, MA

July 25, 2012

Art can triumph over vandals

The Salem News

---- — If you’re strolling through Salem sometime over the next several days — and with the great weather in the forecast, why wouldn’t you be? — make sure to stop by Leslie’s Retreat Park off Commercial Street.

There, you’ll find an installation of a half-dozen pieces of unusual kinetic art designed by Salem State University professor Ken Reker and his students. The works range from a whimsical wind chime designed by Sophout Nop to a two-wheeled sculpture by Casey Carroll, and they are meant to engage passers-by.

But the works, which will be on display through Monday, do more than succeed as art; they also show a willingness to stand up to those who would tear down such community-building efforts. A similar installation in 2010 fell victim to thieves and vandals. This time, however, the art is under the watchful eye of police and the dog owners who frequent the park.

Reker and his students should be praised for their persistence, as well as their artistic ability.