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Independent Thoughts: Cultural Council brings art to masses this week; Climate Action Event at Senior Center

by | Oct 9, 2023 | Featured, Featured: Features

Diversity Mural unveiling

Artists pose in front of their Celebration of Diversity murals at Monday’s unveiling. PHOTO/JERRY SPAR

It’s a busy month for the Hopkinton Cultural Council, which has two signature events.

The first was the unveiling of the newest additions to the Celebration of Diversity Mural Project, which was held Monday.

There are five new murals this year on the fence leading to the EMC Park, off Hayden Rowe Street.

Among the new additions are two that are focused on individuals with special needs.

Chelsea Bradway, a special education teacher at Marathon School, invited her students to splatter paint on her section of fence, creating a “firework display of colors and swirls.”

She added a quote from English philosopher Francis Bacon: “We rise to great heights by a winding staircase of small steps.”

Another mural pictures three giraffes, including one with multicolored spots that represents neurodiversity — the way people’s brains work differently. Behind the giraffes is a rainbow infinity symbol, also representing neurodiversity and autism.

The mural was created by Kayleen Tang with help from her sister, Karen.

“I think these are important because they show that the murals don’t just represent diversity of skin color or religion, but people with diverse backgrounds and neurodiversity as well,” HCC chair Ilana Casady said. “We have five very different and very beautiful murals.”

The HCC also this week will open the annual Art on the Trail exhibit on the Center Trail. An artist’s reception/welcome event is set for Thursday (Oct. 12) at 6 p.m. at the start of the trail (across Main Street from Hopkinton Lumber). Art on the Trail runs from Oct. 12-22.

For this year’s exhibit, organizers presented artists with a similar large piece of canvas with four grommets and gave them the freedom to do what they wanted.

“So we have different expressions using the same base for the art,” Casady explained.

There will be about 30 pieces in the exhibit.

“The general theme is community and inclusion, but people could do what they wanted,” said HCC member Christine Enos, also a visual art teacher at Hopkinton High School. “They could work individually or as a group. We wanted to include more groups this year, as well as individual artists.”

Among the groups submitting works were the Hopkinton Public Library, Special Education Parents Advisory Council, Hopkinton Moms Group and the Michael Lisnow Respite Center.

National Art Honors Society students from HHS — some of whom contributed works — were to help install the pieces this week.

Said Enos: “I think it’s going to be fabulous.”

Climate Action Event at Senior Center

The Hopkinton Sustainable Green Committee is hosting a Climate Action Community Drop-In Event on Wednesday (Oct. 11) from 6-9 p.m. at the Senior Center.

The free event is designed to inform residents about the Climate Action Plan and related initiatives and get input about them.

Topics will include strategies and incentives for homeowners and drivers; municipal aggregation for greener, cheaper electricity; the building code article that will be up for a vote at next month’s Special Town Meeting; and sustainability strategies for schools, including plans for the proposed Elmwood School replacement. Attendees also will be introduced to Julia Chun, the town’s new sustainability, economic development and equity project manager, and get to view a scale model of a home with energy-efficient amenities, such as a heat pump and induction stove.

Sustainable Green Committee member Linda Chuss, one of the event’s organizers, noted that Hopkinton voted at Town Meeting in May to adopt a net-zero resolution where the town will not emit any greenhouse gases by 2045.

“This is an early step showing people what actions we can take to get there,” she explained. “We want people to look at the Climate Action Plan and offer input before it’s formally adopted. Everybody has to do their part locally.”

Similar additional events are being planned. The committee also recently took part in a well-attended regional event in Westborough to promote electric vehicle awareness.

For more information, visit HopGreen.org.

Student Conservation Association volunteer

Student Conservation Association volunteer Jack Haubner works on a bridge that was installed on a trail off Pond Street late last month. PHOTO/JOHN CARDILLO

DCR trail gets new bridge

The Student Conservation Association (SCA) recently constructed a bridge over wet areas on the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) trail off Pond Street. Hopkinton State Park forest ranger Richard Trubiano submitted the project application, which was one of six chosen by the SCA out of 60 applicants.

The Friends of Whitehall (FOW) provided $2,000 to fund the materials for the project. The bridge is approximately 30 feet long and helps make the trail much more accessible, explained FOW’s Margaret Mighton.

FOW also worked with DCR two years ago by providing the funding for a bog bridge on the trail off Winter Street.

The five SCA volunteers — Jack Haubner (from Buffalo), Josef Wamsky (Texas), Alex Fauteux (South Hadley), Anthony Alameda (California) and Sam Spence (Lowell) — camped out at DCR headquarters on Cedar Street while they worked on the project, which took about five days.

The Student Conservation Association, founded in 1957, is a national youth organization based in Charlestown, New Hampshire, that does volunteer projects all over the country.