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Imagination reigns on the lawns of Watertown with YardArt project

More than 120 residences are festooned with original artwork for the first annual YardArt Watertown.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

At the corner of Mount Auburn Street and Adams Avenue, there’s a new scarecrow-like figure standing guard. She’s crafted from empty soda bottles, a few paper plates, and the empty wrappers from some Bounty paper towels.

“Trash Fash” is just one feature of the inaugural YardArt Watertown, a town-wide effort bringing homemade creations to more than 120 porches and front yards. The YardArt vibe is unmistakably scrappy, with many pieces constructed from garbage and castoff household supplies. Other offerings include a wooden-log person, a colorful hanging dragon, and flower bouquets fashioned from old bottle caps. Everything will remain on view through April 2.


At 422 Mount Auburn Street: "Trash to Fash" was made from recycled bottles and trash.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

“As you walk around Watertown, you’ll see things that are very creative and inventive,” said YardArt organizer Barbara Epstein, a member of the Watertown Public Arts and Culture Committee. “This art is clearly a way for people to give rein to their imagination and their creativity.”

Some YardArt works are joyful and escapist. Others are heavy, reflecting the pain Watertown residents have endured this pandemic year. Striking one or both notes are temporary sculptures on the grounds of the Commander’s Mansion — for example, a colorful signpost inspires wistfulness and wanderlust alike as it points to sites near and far.

“Everybody understood the need to create a bridge for people during this time,” said Epstein, adding that she also cooked up some art for the front yard. “We needed to find a way to overcome what we’ve all gone through.”

At 66 Chapman St.: Flowers were made from old bottle caps. John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

YardArt is a collaboration between the Watertown Public Arts and Culture Committee, the Mosesian Center for the Arts, Hatch Makerspace, Live Well Watertown, and the Watertown Cultural Council. An interactive map (available via the Mosesian website) allows visitors to find every last creation by foot or car.


Through April 4. Find an interactive map at www.mosesianarts.org


Natachi Onwuamaegbu can be reached at natachi.onwuamaegbu@globe.com.