The Desire Line

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L’Merchie Frazier, an artist and educator who has created and lectured around the world, is working with young artists of color on a collective project for the Art Grove installation in Franklin Park, opening August 8. Frazier has named her project The Desire Line: Seventeen Syllables, and it reflects an improvisational departure from and exploration of expanded urban possibilities. On a base derived from West African masks, which were and are ritually used to connect sympathetically to nature and to personify and enact group energies, Frazier is stringing streamers printed with haiku poetry, comprising seventeen syllables, expressing new 21st century voices impacted by and reflecting a mélange of cultures. The Desire Line: Seventeen Syllables, an interactive installation, was made possible by a collaboration between the William Monroe Trotter Institute at UMass Boston, which I direct, and the Artward Bound program at MassArt, partially supported by the Boston Cultural Council. Carolyn Lewenberg, a conceptual artist who works at MassArt and enjoys investigating the conversation between art and nature, created the Art Grove concept. I participated further in the current Art Grove initiative by choosing endurance, reflecting Franklin Park’s legacy, as the motif for participating public artists and by curating three talks on contemporary issues that allow select artists to publicly share their ideas and inspirations.


Written for The Public Humanist, a blog by Mass Humanities.