This spotlight is the first to feature an organization, Hatch Makerspace, which has been a partner with MCA (along with other individuals and organizations) to plan and promote the community YardArt project.
Hatch Makerspace is free to use and open to everyone. Hatch Makerspace, affectionately called Hatch, is a workshop space stocked with tools, materials, and expertise so that community members can learn and create their own do-it-yourself projects. First opened at the Arsenal Mall in 2014, Hatch now resides at 20 Summer Street, a five-minute walk from the Watertown Free Public Library.
Hatch is staffed by the Hatch Coordinator, Liz Helfer, and the Hatch Assistant plus talented local volunteers. Staff and volunteers are available to assist with projects, orient new patrons to in the makerspace, and also offer hands-on demonstrations to inspire new projects.
How was Hatch involved in YardArt?
Hatch was very excited to help create YardArt Watertown! The makerspace, with its stockpile of raw materials and accumulated knowledge on how-to-make-things knew this was a great way to reach beyond its walls and into the community. Hatch hosted a virtual workshop “Make it BIG: YardArt Ideas and How to Build Them” that was co-taught by a team of talented local artists: Amelia Young, Janet Buck, Dawn Scaltreto, and Janet Scudder. The response was wonderful and Hatch was able to provide supplies to over forty YardArt projects!
Hatch also put together a team of volunteers to create its own YardArt installation. “Tribute to Watertown: The River, The Places, The People” was designed and curated by Ryan Lee who conceived of a window installation that gets at the core of Hatch Makerspace: the Watertown community. Each volunteer recreated their favorite Watertown location(s) and centered them around a vignette of the Charles River. The effect is nostalgic for our pre-pandemic community atmosphere and also hopeful, for the post-pandemic era when we can all be together again.
How has Hatch stayed connected to the community in the past year?
We never stop making. Hatch transitioned to online workshops but also started offering curbside pickup for kits to accompany those workshops, as well as pickup of original files for the 3D printer, laser cutter, and vinyl cutter. Although moving online took us away from our typical hands-on making, we also gained an international following that has pushed our creativity to new heights.
Over the summer, Hatch and the main library collaborated on a “Knit Graffiti” project that was installed on the tree in front of the WFPL. Over twenty community members contributed their knit or crocheted items to the installation. Just before YardArt began, Hatch conceived a public art project that is currently underway in partnership with the High School Robotics Team; think motors. A second public project is currently being planned for this summer, look out for a zine near you!
Has Hatch partnered with MCA on any other projects?
Hatch partnered with MCA to host the “Harder Barter Market” in 2018, and has created items for MCA, like laser-cut tokens for exhibitions. Hatch looks forward to more exciting collaborations!