Art on the Trails connects community

Director Catherine Weber invites creative minds to join her in creating a complete artistic exhibit


Courtesy Chelsea Bradway

“Entelodent” by Robert Shannahan won best in the show. His piece was based on the Entelodent: an extent warthog-like animal with large teeth and a powerful bite.

Katrina Liu, Opinion Editor

Walking through the Beals Nature Preserve in Southborough, a 56 acre land with a diverse ecosystem, Art On The Trails, a summer-long art exhibition inspires many with its effective way of showcasing the power of nature to the community.

Art on The Trails is run by artist Catherine Weber and the Southborough Open Land Foundation (SOLF), the organization that owns Beals Nature Preserve. This exhibit includes many different showcases that display astonishing works from artists in the local community that fall under the year’s theme. This year’s theme was Unexpected Gestures. Other events include a poetry program that results in the creation of a poetry book at the end of the season.

Weber’s favorite part of this project is giving artists an opportunity to show their talent.

“I love the whole process of founding and directing the event, including coming up with a theme, finding a juror to chose the art, seeing the amazing ideas that artists have, and helping them install the work,” Weber said. “The very best part is working with all of the talented and creative people who help make this program happen.”

President of SOLF Whitney Beals immediately supported the project after seeing last year’s exhibit.

“I am a frequent visitor to the property and am active in maintaining trails and in controlling invasive shrubs,” Beals said. “Having seen last year’s [exhibit], I was very interested in helping with the current installations.”

Senior Leah Grinblatas is constantly trying to find ways to be involved with art around the town, especially being a part of the National Art Honor Society, and is thrilled to be involved in this project.

“When I heard about Art On The Trails I contacted [Weber] to find out if she needed any help,” Grinblatas said. “She then asked if I would be interested in being an intern and assistant for the event and I of course said yes. I love being involved with art and I had attended it the year before and loved it.”

Weber finds artists she wants to showcase through multiple mediums.

“I call for art in local and regional publications, including Art New England and Art Scope magazines, and the Metrowest Daily News,” Weber said. “I also use Facebook, Instagram and an email list to invite artists to submit work.”

Although the exhibit is closed for the season, Grinblatas and Weber have high hopes and goals for next season.

“I want to become even more involved with art events like [Art On The Trails] and get a more in depth look into the life as an artist so to gain a better appreciation for what they do and for art itself,” Grinblatas said.

“My goals for next year is to continue to raise the quality of art and increase visitation to the Preserve to get exposure for the artists and the art, and to expose the community to something they might never have seen before,” Weber said.