We Were Here

We Were Here

A site-specific series of vinyl banners, hung from light posts in the Cambridge Common park.


We Were Here is a site-specific public art project, presented by Cambridge Arts as part of Common Exchange—a unique suite of temporary public art projects, curated by Dina Deitsch that are in response to the Cambridge Common, a historic civic space.

As the Cambridge Common has transitioned over the centuries from battleground to playground, the important memories being created there are becoming less public and historic, and more private and personal. In an effort to honor these experiences, I collected memories about the Cambridge Common through online forms, in-person meetings, an open telephone line, and a gallery installation in the Cambridge City Hall. I have distilled a selection of these memories into concrete poems that echo the shape of the Civil War Monument at the center of the park. This series of banners throughout the interior of the park memorialize personal narratives in a poetic form, alongside the Civil War Memorial and the Revolutionary War monuments, questioning what we collectively value and memorialize.

The banner color palette is derived from colors found in early American design. The typeface, Miller, is based on the Scotch Roman style, which was prevalent in 19th century Massachusetts. It is the Boston Globe's dedicated typeface and was designed by Cambridge resident and type designer Matthew Carter.

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