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Public Art Tour | Cambridge Arts Council
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"Various Works"

Houck, Lisa

Central Square/Cambridgeport, Mural

805 Massachusetts Avenue

Cambridge, MA 02139

Location Description: Cambridge Senior Center, dining room, vestibule, first floor corridor

Date: 1995

Materials: Oil enamel on plywood, terra cotta tiles

Dimensions: 2' 3" x 9' 3"; 2' 3" x 6' 9"; 7' x 10'; 3 1/2' x 2'

Playful and vibrant, Lisa Houck's work delights in nature. Her stars, suns, trees, rivers, flowers, birds, and fish recall Pennsylvania Dutch motifs, African textiles, Native American symbols, Henri Matisse's cut-outs, and eye-popping modern graphic art. One Seasonal Cycle depicts a field in summer, fall, winter, and spring. The work's two canvases, mounted on either side of the entrance foyer, greet visitors to the Center. This Is Where..., a landscape of fall colors, and They Settled..., a portrait of Colonial-era Cambridge, dance across two walls of the cafeteria. Finally, the 68 terra cotta tiles of Scientific Observations provide a quilt-like backdrop for a bench in the first-floor hallway.


Houck has exhibited her work in galleries and museums throughout Massachusetts, as well as in New York, Iowa, Tennessee, and Washington, DC. After her undergraduate studies at the Rhode Island School of Design, she received an MFA in a joint program at Tufts University and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. Her paintings are in the collections of Harvard University's Fogg Art Museum, Boston's Museum of Fine Arts, and the Brunnier Museum in Ames, Iowa.