In celebration of community, Memorial Day and the 77th Tour of Somerville Cycling Classic bike races, Arts on Division presents the live construction of an interactive outdoor sculpture on Division Street in the hub of downtown Somerville on Saturday, May 27. (Across the street from Gallery on Main.) New Jersey artist and arts educator Bob Richardson has conceived and designed the sculpture, and has been creating its components with the participation of students from Immaculata High School in Somerville, Somerville High School, Middle Earth (a nonprofit agency providing services to teens and adolescents in Somerset County), and Richardson's own students from Arts High School in Newark, where he's been a teacher for 19 years. The public is invited to watch Richardson and the participating students assembling the sculpture on-site, which will take place from 9:00 a.m. until about 11:00 a.m.
Students from Immaculata, Arts High and Somerville High School will contribute eight original paintings to the assemblage. They, along with students from Middle Earth, are also making little wire sculptures of bicycles that will become part of the larger piece.
After the sculpture has been assembled, other students and community members are invited to use a black or red permanent "Sharpie" marker to add their own contribution to the sculpture on the themes of "community, Memorial Day, and/or the Tour of Somerville." Markers will be made available, or bring your own.
The outdoor sculpture will remain on view on Division Street.
About Bob Richardson:
Known for his assemblage sculptures made of found objects and reclaimed materials, Bob Richardson's work has been exhibited in galleries and museums throughout New Jersey and New York, including the Montclair Art Museum, Monmouth Museum and the Newark Museum, among others. His outdoor sculptures have also been on display at New York City's Central Park (in conjunction with Earth Day), and in various New Jersey towns such as Madison, Newark and Mountain Lakes. In addition to his work as a professional artist, Richardson has been a teacher at Arts High School in Newark — the nation's oldest public high school for the arts — for 19 years. Recently, he collaborated with his students on a site-specific outdoor installation at Newark's Branch Brook Park called Cherry Blossoms in Winter, which was featured in a short film by DreamPlay Media.
Prior to his tenure as an art teacher, Richardson worked in the exhibition department of the Museum of Natural History in New York City for three years. He also spent nine years with MJM Studios, an architectural sculpture service, working on landmark preservation in New York City and other projects. A graduate of Pratt Institute in New York as a sculpture major, he lives in Madison, NJ.