A holiday project by the artist who floated a giant lamb in Boston’s Fort Point Channel in 2015. Inspired in part by the witch hazel flower, a winter-blooming flower found in Massachusetts, artist Hilary Zelson is creating garlands of artificial rose-blossoms that will illuminate Brookline’s Coolidge Corner at the intersection of Harvard and Beacon streets this holiday season.As part of her “Winter Blooms” public art project, Zelson will also lead free community workshops to make paper flowers that will be displayed in shop windows in the neighborhood. Workshops will be held at Coolidge Corner Library on October 14, 2017 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., at Brookline Art Center on October 15, 2017 from noon to 3:00 p.m., and at the Brookline Senior Center on October 20, 2017 and 27 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
All workshops are free and open to the public. Reservations are recommended for the workshop at Brookline Senior Center, call 617-730-2770 to reserve a space. “Winter Blooms” will be on view from mid-November to the end of January. The 60-foot-long chains of silicone flowers will be suspended from street lights and appear white during the daytime then light up each evening with pink, orange and yellow LEDs. (High res photos for publication are available here: here. Reporters and photojournalists are welcome to see Zelson working on the project in her Waltham studio and/or witness the installation of the artwork at Coolidge Corner in mid-November.) “How can I add warmth and bring life to this neighborhood?” the Waltham-based artist asked herself when coming up with the idea. She aims for the glowing winter blossoms to add light and enchantment to the neighborhood during the longest nights of the year—the goal of holiday celebrations from numerous traditions.Zelson’s installation of the temporary public artwork coincides with First Light Brookline from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. November 30, 2017, the annual town cultural festival and night of holiday shopping that encourages people to buy locally.Zelson’s glowing winter garlands are part of her ongoing series of public artworks.
In 2015, she attracted attention when she floated a 10-foot tall Styrofoam sheep and lamb on a patch of artificial grass in Boston’s Fort Point Channel. (Boston Globe coverage: here) Her “Spectacle Butterfly”—a giant monarch butterfly assembled from thousands of red, orange, and black sunglass lenses for a stained-glass effect—is on view at the Nashville International Airport from March 2017 to January 2018. The project was commissioned as part of the annual Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Tennessee. (Nashville Arts Magazine coverage.) For 2013’s “Play Me, I’m Yours” street piano festival around Boston, she added an easel atop a baby grand piano and got the combination stationed outside Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts for three weeks.For more information about Zelson’s project visit here.