“We Are Here: River Year,” my temporary ecological and astronomical art-calendar, will be installed on the river bank at the DCR Blessing of the Bay Boathouse in Somerville as part of this year’s Mystic River Herring Run and Paddle, Saturday, May 20, 2017, from 9 to 11 AM. The event is a fundraiser for the Mystic River Watershed Association to help restore our river ecosystem. The Mystic River Herring Run and Paddle includes a 5K run/walk race, three paddling races (3, 9, and 12 miles), educational booths, children’s activities, and more.
Art viewers are invited to stand in the center of the circle of flotsam and jetsam, to view an array of seasonal events that mark the changes of the year on the Mystic River, such as the time in April and May when the Alewives crowd up the river to spawn, or in November when the hooded mergansers return from Canada to overwinter here, or the time in March when the Kingfishers return as the ice breaks up. The tiny paintings are on slate collected from the mouth of the Mystic River in Chelsea and birch bark collected at its headwaters. A basket of extra pieces of slate and chalk invites viewers to add their own favorite Mystic River moments to the art installation. This art project has been made possible by the Medford Arts Council, the Mass Cultural Council, and the Mystic River Watershed Association.