Kennard Park Sculpture Trail, Newton, MA 9/11/16

Kennard Park is part of a surprising 100 acre open space in Newton/Brookline, MA, now hosting a Sculpture show on its trails through November 11, 2016. The park includes beautifully preserved grounds, apple trees, woodlands and wetlands, and it houses the Newton Parks & Recreation Department in the old Kennard Estate (1906).  You can reach the park on Dudley Road, off of Route 9.

The artworks now on display are all site-specific, designed by the artists for each work’s particular micro environment location.


You’ll first see the bright red aluminum Red Gate and Sun Pavilion by Murry Dewart:


Jean Blackburn’s Kennard Web weaves wide fabrics of different colors around a group of 5 tall trees at the edge of Dudley Road:


Beyond the web is Kit Clews’ inventive Propeller Bench, with the instructions to take a seat, spin the propeller, feel the breeze, and contemplate whirled peace.


Nearby are apple trees hanging with porcelain Japanese lanterns.


A triangle of lawn pointing to the estate was filled with pieces sticking out of the ground – some black & white target circles, and orange amoeba shapes with cut out circles – but some had fallen over, their support stakes broken (by wind or human?). We enjoyed talking with the artist Marek Jacisin and his wife as they considered ways to repair/re-position the piece titled Don’t Believe Everything You See:


Into the woods:

Strata, by Caroline Bagenal:


Peter Diepenbrock’s multi-piece installation:




The discs on the barely-visible mobile above shine circles of light on the ferns, trees, visitors, depending on how each catches the sun.

These are part of Deborah Putnoi’s interactive totem and stone messages, inviting visitors to take pencil and paper and create. Doubleclick to enlarge any photo:

Next comes Marco Vargas’ Hombre Pato, with a pile of sticks, symbolizing the tree growing in the place where the Aztec wind god arrived to earth, then the god himself. And worshipers.

The woods themselves are lovely, with great colonial/early 19th century stone walls marking where farmlands were once cleared.

The next piece is Carolyn Kraft’s Sacred Space – celebrating the natural and the opportunity to stop and “be” in nature. The sheer fabric tenting the moss-covered chair and table remind me of the marriage canopy, symbolizing the new couple’s new home/life together, open yet protected. And the glittering crystals hanging throughout the space  – a hint to notice what sparkles in life?

Moved by Rachel Carson’s 1962 Silent Spring, which told how pesticides were wiping out bird populations, Mary Dondero created this memorial to the birds – over 200 porcelain bird shapes climbing many trees far along the trail, plus the red hands in the dry stream bed.

Boardwalk and bridge:

Allison Newsome’s Biomimicry Raincatcher, a very fancy functional rainbarrel with a garden hose attached on the far side – it can actually be used to water plants.


The Kennard estate, and Park Dept office:


Zoe Friend’s collection of Bromeliads, out in front of the Estate:

And just so that nature and the sculptors wouldn’t get all the accolades, the architects and painters in Newton Highlands, on Lincoln St., had to get involved, showcasing Newton’s dramatic Victorians:

Highly recommend Kennard Park, for an easy hike with or without the sculpture. Free and open to the public.


1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    I will have to visit soon! Thank you for the tip!

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