Mass. Ave.: Share Your Stories Of Cambridge’s Essential Artery

1/13/20204 years ago

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Karl Baden photo of people walking across "Massachusetts Avenue & Prospect Street 6.30.18"

What is your story of Mass. Ave.? What does it mean to you? Cambridge photographer Karl Baden spent two years photographing Mass. Ave. in Cambridge to produce his current exhibition highlighting the city’s essential artery at Cambridge Arts’ Gallery 344.

Join Cambridge Arts on Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., for a community conversation inspired by Mass. Ave. in Cambridge at the gallery at the City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway, second floor, Cambridge. Free.

Bring your stories and memories of Mass. Ave. in Cambridge to share aloud. Tell us how Mass. Ave. embodies Cambridge. Tell us about your favorite spot along the street. Tell us of the good times you have had along Mass. Ave. Tell us about the people you met there. Tell us how it broke your heart. Tell us how it changed your life.

Baden will kick off the conversation by recounting his experience photographing Mass. Ave. Then moderator Jean Dany Joachim—a Cambridge playwright and actor, Poet-in-Residence at First Church in Cambridge, and director of City Night Readings—will invite attendees to share their stories of their experiences of the thoroughfare.

This community conversation is inspired by the exhibition “Mass Ave, Cambridge: Photos by Karl Baden,” on view through Feb. 14, 2020. The project began with a conversation between Baden and Lillian Hsu, Cambridge Arts’ Director of Public Art and exhibitions. In recent years, Baden has developed a particular interest in the people, the serendipity, and the visual forms found along our streets and sidewalks. An idea for an exhibition sprung from what seemed like a simple objective: Karl would photograph life along Mass. Ave. from Arlington to the Charles River. But, of course, Mass. Ave. is vividly complex.

After two years of documenting Mass. Ave., Baden’s photos mix objective documentation and personal interpretation. The pictures show people walking down the street, people dancing, people stepping out for a smoke, people bundled up against falling snow, people out in summer shorts. There are smiles and pain and love. You’ll recognize icons of the avenue—the Charles River, Out of Town News, Porter Square. There are dogs and buses, advertising signs, reflections in windows. Side by side, the photos add up to a portrait, unique to our time and place, of the jostle and jumble and life of the thoroughfare.

Mass Ave, Cambridge: Photos by Karl Baden
Exhibition at Cambridge Arts Gallery 344
344 Broadway, Cambridge
TTY: 617-492-0235
Nov. 12, 2019, to Feb. 14, 2020.
Admission to all events is free.