The City of Lowell will welcome a new sculpture next month on the Riverwalk Footbridge, at 50 E. Merrimack Street. We're pleased to announce the unveiling of The Night Watchwoman on Saturday, April 29, 2023, at 12:00 PM, noon.
The monumental sculpture will be built from bamboo on location by The Myth Makers, artists Donna Dodson and Andy Moerlein. The Night Watchwoman is an ode to the mill girls of Lowell and the women who watched over them in the form of a barn owl. Barn owls inhabited the mills for over 100 years, kept factories clear of pests, and evolved into symbols of luck and safety. This site-specific work will form a vaulted space underneath meant to be experienced intimately from below by walkers. The exterior of the piece will be covered in a kinetic layer of dichroic ribbon designed to shimmer in light and breeze during the day, and the eyes will be lit at night by solar-powered LED fairy lights, illuminating her presence from afar.
"We love how skillfully The Myth Makers have balanced key pieces of Lowell's history with an experience that will resonate with the community today," said Peter Crewe, Director of the Office of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (CASE).
The project is funded by the New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) Making It Public 2022 program. CASE staff was invited to participate in a workshop series intended to teach municipalities how to conduct equitable and accessible calls for Public Art, as well as best practices for working with artists. Upon completion of the series, $10,000 was granted to the team to put their learned skills to work in producing a new public art project.
"We are grateful to the team at NEFA for creating this program and inviting us to participate," added Crewe. "Lowell has never undertaken a public art project like this, and we are so appreciative of the enthusiasm and support from the City Council in welcoming a new era of public art to the city."
The installation will begin Monday, April 24, 2023. Please be advised that to accommodate the installation, the Riverwalk Footbridge will be closed beginning at 7:00 AM, Monday, April 24, and remain closed until the unveiling on Saturday, April 29, at 12:00 PM, noon.