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Public Art |  June 10, 2023- September 17, 2023

Beals Preserve | Southborough, MA



As a queer individual existing outside of the cisgender binary, I have found that the theme of transformation resonates closely with my experience. My entire life has been a slow discovery of learning how to express and acknowledge my queerness, while sometimes transforming my identity in certain situations for protection. With all that is happening in the world to minimize the existence of queer individuals, it has become particularly important for me to express my queer identity, especially through my artwork. As an artist, this proposed body of work is informed by the concept of queer abstraction. These sculptures, while originally inspired by the nostalgia and comfort of the 1970s toy, the “Pet Rock”, also act as exaggerated biomorphic forms inspired by the soft curves of the body, my interpretation of the amorphous possibilities of queer abstraction.


These Pet Rocks are three organic ceramic sculptures that sit nested near each other. Contour lines, concentrically arranged like a topographical map, are carefully carved across the surface of each one. These lines define the organic form, further highlighting the contrast between the convexities and concavities of the structures. The repetition of these lines helps to create a textural pattern and further integrates the surface with the form itself. The repeated low relief lines also act as a physical representation of how it feels to live within the margins of society as a queer person. The carved and the convex lines generated by division of the physical surface naturally create contrast, but they also work together to follow and highlight the shape of the form. In the same way, queer people must learn to survive within the structures of a society that is trying to diminish them while still trying to safely be themselves and live freely outside of the cisgender binary.

The carved lines are raw ceramic, while the remaining positive surface is glazed smooth. The cavities will become an armature for nature to take over. Moss and other greenery will be encouraged to grow across the forms, simultaneously disguising and exposing the contour lines. Throughout the length of the installation, the sculptures will continue to blend with their natural surroundings and their bright pastel forms will slowly become camouflaged. The greenery will act partly as a cloak, hiding the Pet Rocks from view, while at the same time accentuating the color of the visible ceramic – it is within these spaces of seemingly-paradoxical duality that there can be growth, beauty, and magic. Over the course of the four months, visitors will be encouraged to revisit the installation to see the transformation and ultimately nature’s reclamation of the Pet Rocks.

Preservation Map


Please Use GPS Coordinates 42.30729, -71.55445 put into your Google maps to find the parking lot. 


The Southborough Open Land Foundation, in collaboration with Southborough Artist Catherine Weber, is pleased to present the 7th Annual Art On the Trails in the summer of 2023.  The theme is Transformation.  Learn more about the them here. The exhibition will be installed from June 10 to September 17th, 2023 at the Elaine and Philip Beals Preserve, Southborough, Massachusetts.  The 2023 Art Juror is Sarah Alexander. Learn more about the juror here.

The Beals Preserve in Southborough, MA sits on Nimpuc and Agawam Native land. 

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