Request for proposals for murals at Weston’s link of rail trail

Mass Central Rail Trail, Weston, October 2019 post in Weston Community.

It’s hard to believe but the Weston Rail Trail has been open for a year and a half now–since October 2019. Yes, technically it is called the Mass Central Rail Trail, but in essence it is the Weston (and Wayland) rail trail since Waltham and Sudbury have yet to come on line. The right of way is owned by Eversource (and they are quite the little tree-toppers) and it is managed by DCR, while the Friends of Legacy and Rail Trail are the ones who get stuff done. Got it? Good.

Remember when the rail trail looked like this?

Photo credit: Tom Selldorff

Me neither. A million years ago and far away. It has changed from footpath to paved path with beautiful wood handtrails and fancy overpasses (remember that Conant Road’s overpass had to be completely re-done? It had been blocked for decades). It still winds its way through Conservation lands at Sears, Forbes, and the outrageously gorgeous Jericho Town Forest. We are one lucky town.

And now the next bit of progress cometh. The underpasses (as opposed to the overpasses) will be getting some loving kindness. Art in nature. Art on the trails. Yes, the Weston Art and Innovation Center has issued a call for high school artists to submit proposals for murals on two underpasses (Church Street and Concord Road–not sure why Conant is being left out).

Why is this so exciting? In 2017, the underpasses looked roughly like this:

Photo dated 2017, MCRT. Photo credit: Tom Selldorf

Some of us like graffiti and call it art. Some of it most definitely is. Some of it is not, as the rail trail underpasses suffered late last summer, when white supremicist graffiti appeared on the walls and the pavement of one of the underpasses. Fortunately, a resident sounded the alarm, and the Department of Public Works quickly came out to paint out the graffiti.

And now, we come to the next chapter for Weston’s rail trail. I am excited to see what proposals come in, and to enjoy the new art sometime in early summer.

Information on the request for proposal is here. Note that the artists need to be Weston public or private school high school students.

All proposals must be sent in by March 1, 2021.


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