With its diverse population and embrace of multicultural influences, Arlington finds many ways throughout the year to celebrate communities all around the world.
But once a year, the Arlington Center for the Arts turns its perspective inward, to commemorate the town itself. The 10th annual installment of “Images of Arlington” is centered around the theme of “Putting Arlington on the Map” — and artists of all ages were quick to seize the challenge.
Suzanne McLeod made a “Trash Triptychs” out of items she found at the curb on three successive rubbish pick-up days in town. Timothy Wilson used his camera to explore Arlington’s Old Schwamb Mill, the oldest continuously operating mill in the United States. And Nilou Moochhala made a collage out of Arlington maps.
For the past eight years, “Images of Arlington” has also included participation by fifth-graders at Arlington’s two public elementary schools. Art teacher Deborah Chisholm, who has helped her students participate in the exhibition since it began, set up this year’s undertaking by showing her students ways that contemporary artists had made art from maps.
But the possibilities for using maps as a medium multiplied unexpectedly when Chisholm found out about a large supply of 30-year-old Arlington precinct maps the arts center had in storage. Once the students had the maps in hand, all kinds of ideas bubbled up.
“Some used the actual maps as a historical background and designed images to go on top of the map, such as Paul Revere’s ride. Others cut the maps into collages or created their own maps of Arlington based on the landmarks that were most significant to them.”
Linda Shoemaker, who is the nonprofit center’s communications director and served as curator for the exhibition, saw a similar range of responses from adult contributors.
“One artist created a linoleum block print on canvas depicting last summer’s microburst in Arlington, which knocked down over 100 trees. That was an interesting way to commemorate current events here,’’ she said. “Others looked back to a much earlier history, such as the artist who made a collage of print material depicting Uncle Sam, who was reputedly born in Arlington.”
In part, Shoemaker explained, the theme of maps ties in to a website called Arlington Interactive, being developed this spring in collaboration with the MIT Mobile Experience Laboratory.
“The website is sort of like a Google map in that you can zoom in and out and pinpoint different spots in town. But we are also populating the map with the kids’ and adults’ depictions of local landmarks. So, for example,’’ she said, “you can click on an image of artist John Maciejowski’s abstract ice cream cone painting, and it will direct you to the Chilly Cow ice cream shop on Mass. Ave.”
“Images of Arlington’’ will be displayed Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., through June 14 at Arlington Center for the Arts, 41 Foster St. The student entries will be up through May 14. For more information, call 781-648-6220 or go to www.acarts.org.
CHILDREN’S STAGE: “The Velveteen Rabbit,” Margery Williams’ classic tale of a toy rabbit made real through a child’s love, will be performed by Concord Youth Theatre’s Main Stage troupe (ages 10-18) this weekend and next.
Recommended for ages 4 and older, the play will be performed at 7:30 p.m. the next two Fridays, at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. the next two Saturdays, and 2:30 p.m. on May 19 at 358 Baker Ave. in Concord. Tickets are $13, and may be reserved by calling 978-371-1482, and purchased in advance at www.concordyouththeatre.org.
CLASSICAL SOUL: On Saturday at 8 p.m., the Assabet Valley Mastersingers ensemble will give its final concert of the season, “Music of the Soul,” at the Mill Pond School, 6 Olde Hickory Path in Westborough.
The program features three selections: Randall Thompson’s “The Peaceable Kingdom,” Eric Whitacre’s “Five Hebrew Love Songs,” and “Dark Night of the Soul” by Ola Gjeilo.
The singers will be accompanied by violinist Khanh Trinh and Judy Yauckoes on piano, and joined on stage by the Algonquin Regional High School Chamber Singers for one piece. General admission tickets are $20, or $15 for students and seniors. For more information, call 978-562-9838 or go to www.avmsingers.org.
POETRY IN MUSIC: “Poetic License,” a Mother’s Day concert of poetry set to musical favorites performed by the group Cantilena, takes place at 7 p.m. Sunday in First Parish Unitarian Universalist of Arlington, 630 Massachusetts Ave.
The performance by the regional women’s chorale will include the premiere of “Jabberwocky,” a work by Boston composer Scott Wheeler; Brian Holmes’ version of a Jane Ken-yon poem, “Let Evening Come”; a moving treatment of the W.B. Yeats poem “The Lake Isle of Innisfree” by Eleanor Daley; Persichetti’s music set to the words of e.e. cummings; Kenneth Seitz’s interpretation of Hogan’s “I Know a Place,” and Verdi’s Italian “Macbeth.”
SECOND SUN: Made up of longtime area residents Cliff Henricksen, Rob Guadagno, David Mendelsohn, and brothers Steve and Tom Greeley, the band Big Red Sun, which plays original music inspired by classic ’60s rock, R&B, American hymns, and folk music, debuts its second CD at a release party Sunday at 6 p.m. at the Amazing Things Arts Center, 160 Hollis St. in downtown Framingham.
Tickets are $15 general admission; $14 students and seniors; $12 Amazing Things members; and $8 for children under 12. For more information, call 508-405-2787 or go to www.amazingthings.org.