The Foundation for a Meaningful Life
Kindergarten - Grade 9 in Southborough, MA

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Fay Artists Support Marathon's Local Roots

When runners gather in Hopkinton, Massachusetts this April for the start of the Boston Marathon, the work of Fay artists will contribute to the festive atmosphere! 

This year, Hopkinton, Massachusetts, is marking its 100th year as the starting point for the Boston Marathon. Two local non-profits, the Hopkinton Center for the Arts and the 26.2 Foundation, invited local artists to submit their designs for a winged foot art installation to commemorate this historic occasion. The installation is a tribute to the marathon’s rich history in Hopkinton. When art teacher Catherine Gruetzke-Blais presented the Boston Marathon Winged Feet project to her eighth grade 2D2 students as a real-world application of their drawing and painting skills, they were eager to participate. Each student was tasked with creating a design using the winged foot template, and their collaborative efforts resulted in two submissions. In February, they received the exciting news that both designs had been accepted for the project! 

Excited about their designs being chosen, the seven students embarked on the task of bringing their concepts to life on 2’ wide by 3’ high Veritek winged-foot cutouts. The colorful designs blending Hopkinton and marathon symbolism with a touch of whimsy were meticulously replicated using acrylic paint pens. “The Start at Hopkinton Common” design incorporates the gazebo and fountain on the town common and the Boston Athletic Association’s unicorn symbol. “Coffee and Donuts” depicts a coffee cup running the marathon, cheered on by donuts, treats that fuel runners and spectators alike. Once the painting was complete, a protective isolation coat and a layer of varnish were applied. 

A professional artist with experience creating public art, Cathy also had her own design, “Trot Trot from Hopkinton” inspired by the familiar Boston-themed nursery rhyme, accepted for the project. All three winged feet will be mounted on metal poles and displayed in the plaza near the start of the race for the month leading up to the event. After the marathon, the signs will be put up for auction, with proceeds benefitting the two sponsor nonprofits. Cathy is pleased that her students were able to experience the unique rewards of making art for public display and the shared sense of personal investment in the work. “It’s very satisfying and gratifying to see your art out in public.”
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