Margot Kimball and Jeanine Calabria with Signs of Life and Yard Art examples. Courtesy photo

Bringing art — and environmentalism — to Concord’s front yards

April 18, 2024

By Richard Fahlander — Correspondent   

For two Concord arts organizations, meeting the challenge of climate change is not simply a scientific matter — it requires tapping into heartfelt appreciation for the nearby natural world.   

Art for All and Musketaquid Arts and Environment have teamed up to offer two opportunities for artists of all abilities and ages to create public art in their front yards.   

Signs of Life repurposes political campaign yard signs to highlight the importance of protecting pollinators and a diversity of plant and animal species.   

“In a way, we are campaigning for the lives of all beings, not for any special interest,” said Art for All Director Margot Kimball. “For those of us who care about the climate future, making art is personally satisfying and makes a powerful community statement.”   

One day, Kimball would like to see as many Signs of Life paintings along the road as political signs during a busy election season.   

Connecting with nature 

Signs of Life workshops are now underway with families at Fowler Library, teens from ArtReach afterschool art club, and at the West Concord studio. “We’ve been having a blast painting bugs and flowers with an emphasis on encouraging eco-friendly landscaping practices to support the life of pollinators,” said Kimball.  

Katrina Kelner attaches ornaments to a rhododendron as a contribution to Musketaquid Yard Art. Courtesy photo

And Yard Art broadens artistic yard-scape possibilities with options to share with friends, neighbors, and passers-by. For more than 30 years, Musketaquid Arts and Environment has sponsored an Earth Month exhibit that is open to all.   

This year, the exhibit goes beyond the gallery walls with the theme “Kinship with All Life.” Participants are encouraged to find inspiration in nearby nature — on the land, in the water, and among plants and animals.  

“We hope that people will listen to the earth,” said an organizer, Jeannie Abbot.

“When we truly listen, we can see ways to express our care.”

With an emphasis on natural materials, suggested Yard Art pieces include banners, sculptures, mobiles, fairy houses, and window displays.   

Both organizations are participating in the Cooler Concord Climate Festival on Saturday, April 20, from 12 to 4 p.m. on the Concord Free Public Library lawn. The festival will bring together scientific and creative communities looking to spark practical and visionary solutions for the warming planet.   

Find more about Signs of Life workshops at, and for Yard Art, check out   

To encourage participation, everyone who sends a photo of a decorated sign or yard art installation will be entered into a prize drawing. Send your pictures to