Restoring Public Art One Piece At A Time: Part 1

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"East Cambridge - 1852." East Cambridge Parking Facility, corner of Second and Spring Street

George Greenamyer Restoration

You may have noticed that our fair City has A LOT of public art. With more than 200 artworks in neighborhoods all across the city, Cambridge holds the largest contemporary public art collection in Massachusetts.

Since 1979, one percent of the construction cost on municipal capital investment is designated for use in developing site-responsive public artwork.

Anyone who lived through our recent Winter will understand that many public artworks need to be refreshed and restored periodically.

I had the opportunity this week to speak with George Greenamyer about his recently restored piece, a 1988 steel sculpture entitled "East Cambridge – 1852," which celebrates the furniture-making and glass-blowing industries which flourished in East Cambridge during the 19th century.

I spoke with Greenamyer and his wife and business partner, Beverly Burbank, who is also a sculptor in her own right.

“It was a great experience to work with the Cambridge Arts Council to restore this piece. We do a public art all across the U.S., and, although the steel lasts, the paint can definitely use a periodic freshen-up. Also, the expoxy paint that we use now is longer lasting than the older paint.”

The Cambridge Arts Council’s Art Conservation program supported the artist and a team of technicians to reduce rusting, stabilize sculptural elements, and repaint the entire surface to the original colors.

More About Public Art Conservation Maintenance: http://www.cambridgema.gov/arts/Programs/artconservation/ongoingcollectionscare

Take your own tour of public art: http://www.cambridgema.gov/arts/publicart/percentforart/publicarttour

Next week, "The Bluefish is Good Tonight” mural in Inman Square is refreshed and rededicated.

What’s your favorite piece of public art in Cambridge?