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Newton Community Mosaic Sculpture - Lilli Ann and Marvin Rosenberg - Newton Center, Massachusetts
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member 401Photos
N 42° 19.866 W 071° 11.670
19T E 319197 N 4688871
Quick Description: The Newton Community Mosaic Sculpture is a three-part abstract artwork at the junction of Langley Road and Centre Street in Newton, Massachusetts. Originally created in 1982 by Lilli Ann and Marvin Rosenberg, it was restored in 2014.
Location: Massachusetts, United States
Date Posted: 6/12/2019 1:13:57 PM
Waymark Code: WM10QQY
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Outspoken1
Views: 0

Long Description:

The Newton Community Mosaic Sculpture is a three-part abstract public artwork installed at the northeast corner of Newton Centre Green at the junction of Langley Road and Centre Street in Newton, Massachusetts. Originally created in 1982 by Lilli Ann and Marvin Rosenberg along with some 300 town residents, it was restored in 2014.

The freestanding components are roughly arranged in a triangle -- one section each at the north, west, and east. Though they have a homogeneous aesthetic, the individual forms are unique. The north component is the tallest and most narrow and serves a practical function, too -- the Langley Road street sign is incorporated within an arrow near the top. It is capped by a blue bird that is also a sign for drivers which says "ONE WAY", in conjunction the arrow pointing east. Altogether, this part is about ten feet tall. The western portion is a four-piece semicircle which stands about five feet tall at its apex. The smallest figure, to the east, resembles a three-branched tree or a tulip and is also about five feet high.

Each contains myriad ceramic tiles, both manufactured and handmade, set in concrete and rimmed by two-inch strips of oxidized quarter-inch thick iron. The custom tiles take many forms including:

  • lots of people in a wide variety of activities such as riding a bike, playing musical instruments, dancing, delivering a bouquet of flowers;
  • abstract and realistic flora and fauna;
  • inanimate objects like sailboats, city buildings, and a trombone;
  • geometric and free-form shapes;
  • and simple pieces carved with names of local business patrons.

A panel embedded on the west face of the western element describes the piece, its origin, and renewal:

ORIGINALLY CREATED BY LILLI ANN AND MARVIN
ROSENBERG IN 1982 THIS COMMUNITY SCULPTURE IS
A PROJECT OF THE MAYOR S OFFICE FOR CULTURAL
AFFAIRS AND THE NEWTON PARKS AND RECREATION
DEPARTMENT AND WAS UNDERWRITTEN BY A GRANT FROM
THE MASSACHUSETTS CULTURAL COUNCIL AND
GENEROUS NEWTON CENTER BUSINESSES
IT WAS INSTALLED BY THE PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT

RESTORED IN 2014 BY MOSAIC ARTIST CECILIA KRAMER
FROM CHROMATILE INC WITH THE ASSISTANCE OF
NEWTON CITIZENS BUSINESSES AND THE POTTERS
SHOP AND STUDIO
THE PROJECT WAS UNDERWRITTEN BY NEWTON
COMMUNITY PRIDE

Lilli Ann Rosenberg
Lilli Ann Rosenberg

From the Boston Globe:

When it comes to the public arts projects that Lilli Ann Killen Rosenberg created throughout the country as muralist, sculptor, and potter, the 12-ton, 110-foot-long cement mosaic in the Park Street subway station she made in 1978, depicting the history of the Boston subway system, is considered among her most memorable...

She was a strong believer in public art, friends and family said, and public participation in it. Years ago, as art director for 17 years at the Henry Street Settlement House in New York City’s Lower East Side, she made certain to draw young people who were potential troublemakers into her program. She knew they would protect the work against vandals...

Her technique, according to her website, was “to embed a variety of materials in concrete using color and texture, sometimes carving it into the concrete or casting with it.’’...

In her self-profile, Mrs. Rosenberg said her goals in life were “to enhance the quality of my own expressions in the medium and to work with architects and planners in the development of more opportunities for artists like myself who wish to create art with and for people - improving the quality of life for all of us. Each new project is an exciting adventure.’’...

SOURCES:
Lilli Ann Rosenberg obituary. (Boston Globe, August 12, 2011)
Newton Community Life guide published by Newton Community Pride (2014, p. 26)

Title: Newton Community Mosaic Sculpture

Artist: Lilli Ann and Marvin Rosenberg

Media (materials) used: Ceramic tile - manugfactured and handmade, concrete, metal, wrenches, horseshoes, river rock, glass marbles, wheel, street sign,

Location (specific park, transit center, library, etc.): Langley Road, Newton Centre Green

Date of creation or placement: 1982

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