Sense of Place – Lowell Sun

GROTON – A collective of artists from the Nashoba Valley asked themselves, “What speaks to you in this special place you call home?” “

Their responses took the form of the “Sense of Place” art exhibit, which features a total of 25 artists from the Nashoba Valley. The exhibition opened on September 1 and will run until October 31. An artists reception will be held at the Groton Inn on September 26 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The pieces are on display at the Groton History Center at 172 Main St., the Groton Inn at 128 Main St., the Groton Public Library at 99 Main St., and Old Frog Pond Farm at 38 Eldridge Road in Harvard.

Just as art is a subjective process, so too is the definition of home.

Joni Parker-Roach’s pastel paintings are among those on display in the lobby of the Groton Inn. For Parker-Roach, the “sense of place” focused on Groton. She lives along Main Street and owns the NOA Gallery.

She describes her work as three “panoramic views” directly inside Groton. The views are from Indian Hill, Gibbet Hill and the Town Field view.

“I can put my house and my church in a room that has human touches,” Parker-Roach said.

Other pieces on display at the Groton Inn include “retina prints” by Elizabeth Goldring. The footprints capture Goldring’s retina as she looks at different objects and locations.

Goldring is a visually challenged artist and poet. To create her prints, she worked with scientists, doctors, designers, and engineers from Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

At Old Frog Pond at Harvard, there is a Paul Matisse installation known as “The Olympic Bell,” which, when struck, will produce a “harmonious sound” for just over four minutes. Matisse’s exhibition was presented during the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.

Work alongside their inspirations

Three of the 25 artists presented are those who have inspired the current generation: Otto Piene, Edmund Tarbell and Harvey Sargisson.

Speaking of Piene’s influence, Parker-Roach gets visibly excited. He is an artist from whom she is inspired and considers it an honor to be presented by her side.

The world famous Piene lived in Groton and has been featured in many top museums, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

One of Piene’s works, titled “Lunar Bird”, is on display in the lobby of the Groton Inn.

In the case of Edmund Tarbell, the exhibition will be the first time that one of his works has been exhibited publicly. Tarbell painted a painting of Yale’s first president, which can be seen at the Groton History Center.

Harvey Sargisson made cardboard birds, while Pepperell’s Peter Benedict created a standing desk in the style of one that would be used by Governor George Boutwell.

An accompanying book

The works on display at Groton and Harvard are the focal point of a new 64-page book used as a fundraiser for the Groton History Center. The center will receive all the benefits of the book.

The book is an opportunity to see the art and learn the history behind it. The book also contains a collection of essays.

“Each artist receives a double page. What inspired them, what was their story, what is close to their hearts in this place? Parker-Roach said.

The book will be available for purchase citywide, at the Artists Reception on September 26, or online at

Part of a bigger movement

For Parker-Roach and event publicist Barbara Scofidio, the “Sense of Place” art exhibit is just one part of a growing art movement in Groton.

On Wednesday, a film crew could be seen in the former Lawrence Academy dormitory on Lowell Road. Classic cars from the 1950s had lined the streets earlier in the week, Parker-Roach said.

The buzz around town was that the film crew may be working on the movie “Salem’s Lot,” which is slated for release in September 2022. However, The Sun could not confirm which film the crew was working on.

A film crew in town is just one example of Groton attracting artists, Parker-Roach said. The Groton Inn being a partner to showcase local artists and the opening of the Indian Hill Music Center in 2022 are also welcome additions to the Groton arts community.

“It’s really exciting. It’s very different from other suburbs. There’s a different kind of vibe and it’s a lot more like a Lenox,” Parker-Roach said.

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