The Davis Square Tiles Project was a Distributed Participatory Public Investigation begun in Somerville, MA in April 2009 as a way to capture gentrification through participants in a mid-80’s public art project. Participants included Katie Hargrave, Nick Jehlen, Jethro Heiko, Meredith Warner, Jeremy Beaudry, and Heath Schultz.
In 1980, Jackson Gregory and Joan Wye of the Belfast Bay Tile Works worked with children aged 5 to 13 at Somerville’s Powderhouse Community School to create 253 tiles that were installed in the Davis Square subway stop. These tiles, part of the Arts on the Line program that placed art in and around MBTA rapid transit stations, present a unique opportunity to look back at how Somerville has changed since the opening of the Red Line extension in 1984. This “Distributed and Participatory Public Investigation” project collected the personal histories of people who created the Davis Square tiles and published them at http://davissquaretilesproject.com/.
This project was initiated by the Think Tank and followed through as a joint effort with The Action Mill.