News and Current Projects

All Year Round

The art conservation program works actively year-round to care for Cambridge's public art collection, from planning new fabrications to major repairs to annual routine tasks. Here are a few examples of recent art conservation activities:

Mosaic Repair

Director of Art Conservation Rika Smith McNally installs new grout during the repair of the mosaic by artist Heidi Whitman entitled

Artist Heidi Whitman's sidewalk mosaic Brain Terrain was damaged along one side from snow removal equipment during this past winter's snow storms. Conservators and technicians used tesserae reserved from the original fabrication to carry out repairs.

Fountain Mechanics

Conservation Technician Rory Beerits works with Engineer George Bossarte to make mechanical repairs to

After 14 years of continuous use, the water pump and valves of Drawn Water, an art installation at the Cambridge Water Treatment Facility by artist team Mags Harries and Lajos Héder, required replacement. The original golden ball inside the Plexiglas water column, which reacts to the use of the drinking fountain outside by dancing with the bubbling water, was damaged from wear. After repairing the fountain works, a new golden ball was placed inside the column.

A Better Painting System

A team of art installers from US Art re-installs the newly treated sculptural components of the artwork entitled Yerxa Road Underpass by artist Randal Thurston.

A team of art installers from USArt re-install the steel components of the public artwork, Yerxa Road Underpass, by artist Randal Thurston after the sculpture was temporarily taken down and sent to a fabricator for repainting with a high performance paint system.

The Best Garage Windows in Town

Conservation Technician, Case Randall, cleaning the colored plexiglass components of the sculpture entitled Dot Matrix by artist Ed Andrews.

Artist Edwin Andrews' Dot Matrix, a series of Plexiglas windows integrated into an aluminum and steel grid in the wall openings at the Green Street Garage, are checked and cleaned annually.