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decordova stairs1 Tony Feher at the DeCordova Museum

It’s the final week of a show of the artwork of Tony Feher at the DeCordova Museum, one of our favorite artists who inventively use common materials others might consider “trash.” It closes this Sunday, Sept. 15.

My family and I really enjoyed our stop there on a trip to Boston this summer. I highly recommend riding your bike out (or hopping on the commuter line) and enjoying a pleasant September jaunt to the DeCordova, Walden Pond, and, if you love architecture, the Gropius House just around the bend. To complete your maker circuit, stop by the Mt. Auburn Cemetery on your way in or out of Cambridge/Boston to visit the grave of R. Buckminster Fuller (but no picnicking or bicycling among the gravestones!)

outside Tony Feher at the DeCordova Museum

The DeCordova is best known for its terrific collection of outdoor sculptures.

wall outside Tony Feher at the DeCordova Museum

The museum seen from the outside. Note Tony Feher’s piece along the glass walls of the southern facade.

wall detail Tony Feher at the DeCordova Museum

A detail of the Tony Feher piece along the glassed-in staircase. Two-liter bottles with colored liquid create a beautiful effect not unlike stained glass.

coin circle Tony Feher at the DeCordova Museum

I believe it was this circle of coins that made us understand the brilliance of the pieces in the galleries. Feher’s often whimsical pieces, composed of familiar objects, were so inviting and inspiring to our young boys, so the artistic tension came from appreciating the art while keeping the little ones from destroying it.

strawberry basket ziggurat Tony Feher at the DeCordova Museum

Here, again, we had to coach our kids to appreciate this one from a distance. This ziggurat was nearly irresistible to two pouncing boys. Happily, we made it to the next gallery, art unscathed, but encouraged to hold onto the strawberry baskets we collect in volume from our farmer’s market.

broomstick star Tony Feher at the DeCordova Museum

Can you tell what material used to compose this starburst? I couldn’t until I got really close….
(It’s Feher’s collection of headless broomsticks!)

fan Tony Feher at the DeCordova Museum

Here’s another materials riddle: this pink fan was about the height of an adult. What do you think he used to make it?

fan detail Tony Feher at the DeCordova Museum

Walk around to the other side, and you’ll see it’s just insulation that’s been folded … very carefully.

window Tony Feher at the DeCordova Museum

The last delightful, visual riddle from Tony Feher’s show at the DeCordova that I’ll share (but there were many more!) is this luminous piece at the end of a hallway. Any guesses what’s happening here?

window detail Tony Feher at the DeCordova Museum

We walked up close to find that Tony Feher had laboriously layered blue painters’ tape over a window, with beautiful results!

Michelle "Binka" Hlubinka

Michelle, or Binka, is the Director of Custom Programs for Maker Media, overseeing publications, outreach, and programming for kids, families, and schools. Before joining Maker Media in 2007, she worked at the Exploratorium, in Mitchel Resnick’s Lifelong Kindergarten group at the MIT Media Lab, and as a curriculum designer for various publishers and educational researchers. When she’s not supporting future makers, including her two young sons, Binka does some making of her own, most often as a visual artist.


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