Upham's Corner Online

Public Artwork - Dedication in Edward Everett Square October 16, 2010

Posted: Saturday, October 16, 2010
Nancy J. Conrad

Laura Baring-Gould artwork dedicationDedicating public artwork was the central forcus on that sunny but blustery Saturday. Well over 100 people gathered in Edward Everett Square.  Hair was blowing; faces were red and zippers were pulled up tight.  Try as it might, the wind couldn't sway the crowd or alter its mood.  Anticipation was high.  The dedication of Edward Everett Square public artwork was about to begin.

The seed of this grand event began 15 years ago with the formation of a neighborhood group, the Edward Everett Square Committee, to improve public safety.  Because some of its members had interests in history and the arts, it was natural for an initial focus on public safety to evolve into a larger project - redesigning the intersection, setting aside space for public artwork and commissioning the art.

Read more about the community design process
Selecting the artist was a major hurdle to overcome.  It wasn't just "art" that was to be placed in the square.  The artwork needed to reflect the history and the people of Dorchester.  This was no small undertaking. 
Laura Baring-Gould artwork dedication
History is not just 50 or 100 or 200 years ago.  History begins yesterday and works its way back.  Who could they find with the ability to not only research the people and history of Dorchester - especially the Edward Everett Square section of Upham's Corner - but also convert these findings into an art form and art that conveyed its history?

 The committee selected Laura Baring-Gould.  Laura is meticulous in her research.  She is also an artistic weaver of disparate, seemingly unconnected history with an uncanny ability to visualize a unified picture from which to create her art.

The backdrop to the podium was her 12 foot Clapp pear, dedicated three years ago.  Extending out along the meridians of the square were pedestals covered in royal purple cloth, tied with bows.  Under the decorative cloth were the final artistic statements tying us today into Dorchester's past. 

John McColgan, president of the Edward Everett Square Committee, introduced us to the speakers including public officials and a robust reincarnation of Edward Everett himself. 

Laura Baring-Gould artwork dedication Finally, we enthusiastically and warmly welcomed the artist. Laura Baring-Gould spoke of her years of involvement and her deep commitment to the project.  She concluded by describing how each artwork differently, yet richly incorporates the depths of Dorchester's soul.

Not one by one, but all at once, the artwork came to life as the crowd spread out to one of the covered pedestals and pulled the bows.  What incredible detail!  What talent and effort must have gone into the careful specifications necessary to craft each piece!

We are grateful to the Edward Everett Square Committee.  We are grateful to the artist.  We are grateful to the people of Dorchester who came before us and who, like Edward Everett, come back on occasion to visit.  Finally, we are grateful to the wonderful diversity of Dorchester people who live and work here and continue to create its history.

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