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"Alley Cats"

McKie, Judy

Wellington/Harrington, Sculpture

826 Cambridge Street

Cambridge, MA 02139

Location Description: Valente Library, Garden

Date: 2005

Materials: Bronze

Completed in 2004, in conjunction with the Cambridge Street Improvements, Cambridge artist Judy Kensley McKie collaborated with landscape architects Carol R. Johnson Associates, Inc. to transform a fenced-in lawn next to the Valente Branch Library into a community-gathering place. The artist's idea of making the garden as natural as possible, with soft organic forms and an "urban wild" planting scheme, offers a respite from the heavy traffic along Cambridge Street. In line with her well-known functional animal sculptures, McKie created bronze benches for the space. Three friendly "Alley Cats" greet visitors to the garden with an offer to sit down for a while and read a book or chat with a neighbor. The landscape design also offers a space for small community gatherings and library events.