Susan Mara Bregman
These images bridge the gap between my artistic life as a photographer and
my work life as a transportation planner. As a planner, I see streetcars
taking people to work, school, and play. As an artist, I see a blur of
lights and color as a train enters Park Street Station. I used a toy
camera, with its random light leaks and uncertain focus, to transform the
grimy reality of public transportation into a sleek and streamlined
vision. The pictures that emerged show an urban life that is, at once,
mysterious and familiar.
Charles Daniels: email
For the Green Line, I chose portraits that represent the masses who use
public transportation. Somerville's oft mentioned density is made up of a
myriad of personalities. My portraits celebrate the individual spirit
in each of us.
Daniels is one of the photographers for Think Green! event, a benefit for The Nave Gallery, on 5-6 May 2007.
Charlotte Ellen Kaplan
The proposed extension of the Green Line--like all public
transportation--gives us more than one benefit. One is efficiency in
transportation, carrying a group of people to their destinations.
Another is efficiency in using our resources. But perhaps the most
interesting benefit is the way public transportation makes connections
within its neighborhood and with other neighborhoods. Public
transportation is a social venue, not just a link between two
destinations. People meet other people from their neighborhood, and the
next neighborhood, and the next. My work is about those connections.
In 1972, I was hitchhiking south to Florida and got a ride in a Caddy
with two guys who seemed a little down and out. The car was definitely on
its last legs. The engine was rough and rust had eaten away chunks of the
car. Talking to them I was surprised at how unconcerned they seemed that
the car would get them to Florida . It looked like they'd be would be
lucky to make it ten miles further. I asked them if they were concerned
that the car would leave them stranded? "No problem, Man" they said "We'll just ditch her. We got a Harley in the trunk." We don't have to use
a binary approach--cars or no cars. We should be able to plan ahead for a
future that allows for the possibility of significant numbers of people
being able to choose to do without cars and possibly, if that is in our
best interest as a society, to have most transportation occur without the
car. The Greenline Extension and mass transit in general is our "Harley"
in the trunk.
I work in silhouette and paint, cutting the shapes of familiar sights
such as power lines, and morning commuters out of hardboard before
painting the surface.
The pieces included in the Green Line show explore the daily activity of
waiting for public transportation. We are standing on the platform,
waiting for our morning train, and we are attending public meetings,
waiting for our train-line.
Waiting interests me as a activity in that we are physically so very
close together, and yet rarely speak or make eye-contact with each other.
When I compose my pieces I design the space created by cutting and the
cast shadows to be an important aspect of the composition, and an
expression of the spaces between each of us and the world in front of us.
Through my work, I explore different aspects of seeing and awareness.
During the 20 years I've lived in Somerville, I have taken a lot of
photographs around the city. Always on the lookout for the textures of
urban decay, I find myself most fascinated with the remnants of
Somerville's past and its associated rail systems: old rail signage,
abandoned tracks and bridges, and signs of nature retaking land that
in another era was carved out for transporting manufacturing equipment
and materials, commercial goods, and passengers. For several years
I've made artists books depicting the visual experience of walking
about the streets of urban areas. I like the book format because its
small scale, physicality, and hand-held nature convey the intimacy of
personal experience. For this exhibit I created two books using
imagery from the railbed that extends through the heart of Somerville
to Lechmere, including abandoned areas that will eventually be used by
the Green Line Extension.
Meghan Moore: email
Since 1999 I've been a freelance people photographer. For commercial jobs,
I'm most often on location making images for monthly magazines, weekly
newspapers, or for companies' brochures and websites. Call me crazy, but I
love photographing weddings too, for all the joy and spontaneous moments
that are part of the day. Open Studios is for opening up discussions
between artists and visitors, so be sure to tell me what you're thinking
about. On SOS weekend, I'll be helping the Nave Gallery fundraise by
photographing you and your loved ones (liked ones? other ones!). Think
GREEN! With the Green Line Extension coming to town, we're celebrating.
Wear green, bring green, think green. Or purple, orange, red, blue. Come
as you are, come as a pirate, just expect silly, fun, painless portraits.
Riki Moss: email
Imagining the Green Line evoked thoughts of waiting at the station for a train, of a train waiting for a station. Am I the train? The station? And who waits for what? So the piece is about waiting. I thought of it in a corner, the space defined by the imaginary vanishing point tracks. I work in paper pulp, making globular forms that often wait in my studio for an environment to come down the tracks and pick them up. They feel patient and mute; the ideal attributes of a commuter waiting for a train at a station that might never appear. The tracks drawn in green wire refer to plans so loosely laid as to perhaps defy construction.
Tim Murley: email
As a native Bostonian, I often paint images ingrained in some aspect of
Massachusetts history, such as old colonial-themed magical landscapes and
swirly-skied Boston cityscapes featuring fender benders, big digs, the
Green Line, police cars, and fire engines. I’ve always been surrounded by
the vibrant, yet often extremely chaotic, city life of Boston. The Green
Line represents the urban lifeline of Boston, circulating the thousands of
inhabitants across and between hubs of the city My view of Boston is a
dichotomous balance of animated culture, life, music, and adventure
contrasted with the often extreme chaos of endless trains, police cars,
buses, taxicabs, pedestrians, and ever-growing new buildings that
overwhelmingly inundate my senses. The pervasiveness of chaos and
fascination get translated into depictions of dynamic and lively Boston
scenes contrasted with the disorder of urban living, with its inescapable
vehicles, trains, and congestion.
Dana Pearson: email
For this exhibit I decided to document the only
existing subway stop in Somerville. The images show
people coming, going, busking, and working at
different times of day and on different dates. The
photograph titled "Charlie Tickets" shows the
confusion that came with the recent switch from tokens
to a system based on paper tickets and plastic cards."Holland St. Exit" was shot at night using a long
exposure. I shot more than 30 photographs at this spot
over two nights and chose the location because of the
American flag in the background. In "Checking For The
All Clear" I was standing above the platform at the
top of the stairs waiting for something to happen,
looking for something to catch my eye. When the train
arrived I noticed a T employee checking to make sure
that the doors were clear and safely closed. I managed
to grab a few shots, both vertical and horizontal, and
waited for the next train so that I could repeat the
process. The image of the "Busker" was also shot from
above the platform but in this case the angle did not
seem to fit the subject so I also photographed him at
eye level. At this angle I framed the subject so that
the signage behind the performer gives the viewer a
sense of place.
Eli Sidman: email
As is the case with many residents of Somerville, using public
transportation, unlike jumping into a car, means walking through our
neighborhood, at least briefly. Traversing the sidewalks allows us
exclusive space and time to observe the area in which we live. This
action inevitably forces us to consider, day after day, our immediate
surroundings, both consciously and subconsciously. Eventually, week after
week, and month after month, certain moods are absorbed. For me, these
overall impressions are not particular to any specific structures,
intersections, or types of weather. Rather, the impression of the area
where I live is a
simplification of all aspects: elementary colors and shapes that speak of
all features of the landscape at the same time. My work seeks to portray
this unification of place, and convey the specific mood it creates.
V Van Sant: email
Even though I did not attend many meetings, I was in attendance for
one meeting when they passed out green glow rings. This meeting
seemed to be rehashing old stuff that was presented already and a
long time ago. And this event seemed full of doubt, double speak and
shallow promises. I left wondering if I would even see the extension
become reality. My piece was created to in some small way "keep the
My make-shift alter will have as an offering 300 green glow rings
(will need to be replenished as they are taken)
Viewer can take a ring to show support for the green line extension.
There will be a small tag on each ring with instructions.
I am excited to think that a SOS trolley ride will carry these rings
across the city and truly symbolize the Green Line extension.