Thanks to the efforts of Medfield resident Jean Mineo and a grant she received from the Medfield Cultural Council, a sculpture path will be returning to town this spring.
“I think it will be really cool,” said Mineo. “We are hoping for installation [of the sculptures] in late spring and depending on materials, it could be up for the summer and maybe into September or it could be a shorter project. It’s not permanent but it would be an opportunity to get that conversation going [about] what the cultural opportunities are in Medfield.”
Two years ago, Mineo organized a similar sculpture path at Vine Lake Cemetery. Five sculptors each produced a piece of contemporary sculpture related to the theme portals, which was displayed in the old section of the cemetery. The sculptures, according to Mineo, were well received throughout town.
“The response from the last one was really exciting,” Mineo said. “I think initially people were hesitant. There was some hesitation about the location and visiting a cemetery to see a contemporary sculpture. But once they did that, at least the feedback that I got, were so presently surprised and they were thanking me for the sculpture and for the opportunity to visit this really hidden gem in town.”
Unlike two years ago, when the path was mostly contained within the cemetery, this year’s sculpture path will outline the . For the designation of the Cultural District to be approved by the town, it will have to pass at Town Meeting and then go through a designation process with the state.
“I sit on a volunteer committee to create this Cultural District in Medfield,” said Mineo. “Those meetings have been happening over the past year and we’ve gotten to a point where we’ve got the physical geographic boundaries [of the district] defined. … This [sculpture path and Cultural District] is going to be along the three-quarter mile length between the Peak House along Route 109 to the old section of the [Vine Lake Cemetery].”
The idea of the Cultural District, according to Mineo, is to promote the cultural resources in town. With various town resources and organizations bringing more attention to the arts, Mineo hopes the sculptures can do the same – connecting with the program, “.”
“There is an obvious opportunity to tie to [Medfield Reads],” Mineo said. “The idea is to start getting collaborations going from different cultural groups and enhance some of the offerings to the town. I’m looking at the sculpture path as a way to tie in to both of these activities that are happening almost simultaneously.”
Mineo said while that may be a tall order for sculptors, she has received a couple of inquiries from artists about the project.
“A couple of very creative and capable sculptors [have been in touch] so I’m really excited about this project and what it could be in Medfield,” Mineo said.
The theme of this year’s sculptures will likely tie in to the book “Outwitting History,” which was chosen by the library for its “Medfield Reads” program. A secondary theme will be defining the cultural opportunities in Medfield, according to Mineo.
“We are hoping to tie the sculptures into something with Outwitting History but we are leaving the interpretation up to the artists,” Mineo said.
As to where these sculptures will be installed, Mineo said that is also up to the artists involved.
“What I don’t know yet – and this is what’s open to the artists’ interpretations and their proposals – is whether it will be a piece at the Peak House, Town Hall and Vine Lake Cemetery or are they going to do something that has a lot more pieces within that path,” Mineo said. “They might use trees or poles or light fixtures. … [The goal is to] physically help identify the Cultural District.”
Mineo, a Medfield resident for eight years, has been involved with public art projects for about 15 years and is currently the director of the Boston Sculptors Gallery – a position she has held since 2006.
In addition to her work with the Boston Sculptors Gallery, Mineo does independent consulting for exhibitions and public art projects and was one of several consultants recommended by the Boston Art Commission to the Edgar Allan Poe Foundation to assist in the art selection phase of its current project.
Mineo was chosen over the other consultants to lead the artist selection process for the Edgar Allan Poe project to commemorate the poet with a piece of art installed in Edgar Allan Poe Square, at the corner of Charles and Boylston Streets.