There’s hassle at Moose and Grizzly Bear’s Ville – the colourful public artwork challenge that’s the dwelling of the equally colourful Peter Valentine a couple of blocks beneath Central Sq.: Tuesday’s chilly snap burst a radiator pipe, flooding the house’s first and second flooring.
“As disruptive as this has been, what it impressed is gorgeous: a unprecedented outpouring of group help” from mates of Valentine together with the Central Sq. Enterprise Enchancment District, Central Sq.’s Patrick Barrett and the Massachusetts Institute of Know-how, based on a letter from the group that factors individuals to a crowfunding campaign by the Central Sq. BID to boost cash for repairs.
Between demolition and a dumpster, plumbing and electrical work, sanitization, new drywall and substitute of some furnishings and home goods that couldn’t be rescued, $50,000 is required, the marketing campaign says.
Valentine and his Cambridgeport home are extraordinary in a couple of methods. He’s liable to decidedly cosmic utterances – he has defined himself as having spent “virtually 50 years creating an final system of safety rooted within the nature of primeval energies, that are the underside line power that sustains and propels life.” And as a frequent attendee at pre-pandemic Metropolis Council conferences (all the time in signature patchwork selfmade clothes suggesting a cross of shaman and boy scout), he was the one particular person allowed to offer public touch upon topics not on the night’s agenda. He has lengthy advocated for renaming Central Sq. to one thing extra aspirational: Starlight Sq..
In a nod to his creativity and to honor Valentine, this previous summer season the Central Sq. BID named its popup out of doors group house “Starlight Sq..”
It’s solely the newest instance of Valentine’s shocking effectiveness in bending the universe to his will. Within the early Nineties he notoriously satisfied MIT to offer him the Blanche Road home that might change into Moose and Grizzly Bear’s Ville (“his metaphysical laboratory”) to ease University Park development; the institute relocated it to Franklin Road and Brookline Avenue, setting it on the exact angle he prescribed.
It turned his “Legendary Data Middle” and the “Institute for the Destruction of Boredom,” the place he has charged small charges to show his ethos as “Electromagnetic Kung-Fu,” and he set about adorning it, laying down a purple base to embellish with animals, discovered objects and Valentine’s written knowledge. “My intention is to create a wonderful planet, and that’s the entire intention of the home,” Valentine mentioned in a short Cambridge Community Television film. Because the Friday letter by supporters put it:
Valentine constructed the fence in 1991 to current what he was focused on and provoke passersby to ponder not what he thought of “the boring information media and promoting photos and designs which are projected at individuals as they go about dwelling their lives.” It options wildlife, together with the moose – so large and awkward and wealthy in cosmic information. What particularly captures guests are the philosophical morsels that adorn the fence, together with non secular insights and common aspirations.
At Valentine’s request, the Cambridge Historic Fee met in 2012 to think about landmarking the fence – tabling the request as a result of it might have frozen the work in time; Valentine would have wanted to seek the advice of the fee every time he needed to vary it. However in the course of the course of, help for recognizing its significance was heard from Leslie Umberger, curator of folks and self-taught artwork on the Smithsonian American Artwork Museum, and Rebecca A. Hoffberger, founder and director of the American Visionary Artwork Museum in Baltimore. In 2014, Cambridge Arts celebrated Valentine’s fence on the annual River Pageant, and in 2017, the Metropolis Council wrote a proclamation to “celebrate Peter Valentine’s contributions to Cambridge” and noting that he gives good civic concepts, comparable to for a photograph mural on Modica Means (“Graffiti Alley” in Central Sq.), in addition to metaphysics.
The three-story dwelling and surrounding fence has additionally put Cambridge on the map with Atlas Obscura, a compendium of curiosities value visiting worldwide. The location praised Valentine’s “unstoppable will to create” a “burst of ingenious punk rock spirituality in an in any other case bland neighborhood panorama.”
“Whereas Valentine doesn’t have cash, he’s wealthy in creativeness and intriguing concepts,” the supporters’ letter says. “In the event you may help him reconstruct his home … please give.” The GoFundMe web page is here.
This put up took important quantities of fabric from a press launch.