Sculpture Racing & the Preservation of Public Space

Dear Racers and Fans,

The Cambridge Science Festival has been cancelled, and the Cambridge Arts River Festival will likely be cancelled as well.

Prospective Racers who send their proposals in accordance with the call for this year’s race will still have them reviewed by jurors with comments, and the proposals will be posted on-line.

We would love to collaborate with other artists to preserve the public space of performance. We are looking into the possibility of holding an online race with multi-cam live-streaming, or other projects.

Please write us at if you are interested in this approach to preserving public space in this uncertain and fragmented time.

Good health to all!

2019 People’s Sculpture Race Winners

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Reid Drum, one of this year’s jurors, generously created our remarkable trophies–for Spectacle, Speed, and Ingenuity. The Spectacle trophy is above. Ingenuity, not shown, features an aluminum wheel, which required a special forge, as it melts at a higher temperature than copper wheels, as above.  Drum, a MassArt faculty member, runs the school’s industrial-scale, 11,000 S.F. foundry. He is a kinetic artist, and teaches classes in kinetic art and sculpture-making.

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Steve Hahn won the award for Spectacle with his all-new work Lady Liberty Kickin’ Down the Wall.  The Lady’s foot rises to kick against the wall, which falls, then rises again. The crowds of the great People’s Republic of Cambridge lining the streets cheered the Lady as she passed!

 The Schainker-Frehywot Family won the award for Ingenuity, for Whale for using an ingenious kinetic control wheel. The mechanism was inspired by Rueben Margolin ( 6:24 – 6:53). The rotational movement generated by the “control wheel” generates the wave like motion of the whale. They also happened to be the fastest in the race, so the speed award this year went to….

The Speed trophy went to Mac Peirce, for Including the Kitchen Sink! This is the second year in a row Sink! won the Speed trophy. This fabulous work includes very interesting kinetic aspects: As the sculpture is pushed forward, the teapot turns between clockwise and counterclockwise positions, operating as “a Boolean variable container (0 or 1). Over the course of the Peoples Sculpture Race’s path the kettle displays 96 Boolean positions, enabling it to articulate a 12 byte character sequence, like HELLO WORLD!” One day soon, he’ll get the ingenuity trophy!

The muses love all sculpture racers, regardless of whether PSR awards them!

Behind the Scenes

Great thanks to the behind-the-scenes crew!


The day before the race was very busy for the team! We picked up two works from the Andres Institute of Art–a magic mountain of sculpture and a sculpture teaching center just across the border in New Hampshire. The Institute is directed by John Weidman, one of this year’s jurors, who lent the race one of his sculptures and a work by one of his students.

Next, we picked up Bill Wainwright’s Wheel #1 in Allston, kindness of Clara Wainwright. Our use of it was made possible by Clara, and also Ross Miller and Stuart Cody, who brought the work up from storage, and by Lew Weitzman, who made transporting the work from Allston to Central Square possible. Douglas Hayden made his garage and garage driveway available just a few blocks from the race site. Doug has contributed his space before: we were able to all give an affectionate pat to BiblioBurro, who is spending his retirement from sculpture racing in Doug’s garage.

Later in the day, PSR Chief Engineer Jeff Del Papa arrived with Race Day supplies and Dizzy the Cat, which he assembled in Doug’s driveway.


Saturday, the Race Day Team Arrived–PSR Team Member Daniel Rosenberg, David Eggers, Peggy Kutcher, and David Dunne.

Daniel assembles Bill Wainwright’s Wheel #1, while David Dunne and Peggy look on.

David Eggers rolls Dizzy the Cat up River Road towards the starting line at Carl F. Barron Plaza.

Shortly thereafter, Emily Bridgham and Nicholas Herold arrived to be take on their role as Race Managers (starting, timing, and ending the race), followed by Nat Herold and others who volunteered as flaggers/race marshalls.

Just before the start of the race, Reid Drum arrived with the trophies. Drum is a MassArt Faculty member, who manages the school’s foundry. He was also one of the jurors, along with John Weidman and Mags Harries.

We thank all of the above, and also those who joined the race as designated sculpture racers, including PSR Team Member Drew Wallace, and Joy Wallace and son (racing Dizzy); Ron Newman (racing Wheel #1); and two great anonymous volunteers who raced The Grand Dame of Andres, and The Winged Commuter.

Julie and Jeff: site visit

Last but not least, we thank all of the racers, the spectators, and the fabulous folks at the Cambridge Arts Council, and especially Public Programs Director Julie Barry, for inviting us again this year, and making everything possible.

Join us at the Community Sculpture Race!RAIN OR SHINE!

Saturday, April 20, 2019 – 11:00 AM – LEAVE PLENTY OF TIME TO FIND US!

Rain or shine, but the post-race exhibition may be canceled

This is a Cambridge Science Festival Event, a 4/10 mile race of wheeled arts and crafts on the loopy sidewalks around the Olympic soccer field at Danehy Park in northwest Cambridge (near Alewife), followed by an exhibition of works until 2 PM. The race is followed by an exhibition of works lasting until 2 PM. There will be an artist/engineer design table at the exhibition where fans of all ages can contribute a conceptual design for a racing sculpture.

Here’s a link to more information about entering.

Here are images of 2017’s race.

Here are images of the first, 2016, race.


New Picture (28)

Racecourse at Danehy Park. Green marker in the earthview view above is the location of starting (and ending) line. The exhibition area in on the hill to immediately to the northwest of the marker (on the course).

Where is Danehy Park?

Where is Danehy Park

Danehy Park is at the top left. It is an easy lope from Alewife T Station (16 minutes). We suggest parking in the Field Street lot to the S.W. of the park. (Parking is available from New Street to the west of the park, but that lot fills up fast on Saturdays.) Fresh Pond Mall’s parking lot is also close. (The green marker in the map view above doesn’t mean anything.)

Walking Distances
Alewife T: 16 minutes
Porter Square: 22 minutes
Davis Square: 24 minutes

NEW DEADLINE for 2019 race: March 24

2019 River Festival Call


  • NEW Application/Design due date: Sunday, March 24, midnight.
  • Jurors’ announcement: Within a week of the design deadline
  • Raceday: Saturday, June 1, 2019

The Event

This is a ¾ mile juried race of pushed, pulled, or pedaled sculpture with a following daylong exhibition at the Cambridge Arts River Festival. The festival is an annual celebration with 150,000–200,000 festival-goers. Participants have the opportunity to join in a spectacular, well-attended event, and exhibit their work publicly on Race Day and on the PSR site, and become part of the sculpture racing community.

The Exhibition site will be at Carl F. Barron Plaza in Central Square, and the racecourse will run for most of its length along Massachusetts Ave.

How to Enter

Email proposals, title, images of proposed and past work, short bio, contact info by March 24 to Jurying takes place early the following week. The three jurors–Reid Drum, kinetic artist in the 3D Department at Mass Art and two other jurors TBA–will judge work on the basis of quality, originality, fidelity to guidelines, practicality, & entrants’ demonstrated capacity to complete the project.  Notifications within a week. Works need not be completed until RACEDAY.

More information….

About the 2019 Jurors

Introducing the jurors for the June 1 2019 River Festival race: John Weidman, Mags Harries, and Reid Drum.

John Weidman in the Andres Institute’s workshop.

John Weidman is one of the original members of the World Sculpture Racing Society, a working sculptor, and the co-founder and director of the Andres Institute of Art and Sculpture Garden in Brookline, NH. The sculpture garden, which magically covers a small mountain, is the largest in New England. John’s website.

Water Sports (1980s). John has created and raced metal and stone sculptures, including possibly the heaviest piece ever raced. Some of the best works finish last! (G. Koetsch image)

Mags Harries was a juror in the inaugural 2015 race. Here she is (leftmost) with Laura Knott and Nick Capasso reviewing entries.

Mags Harries’ public art projects have received national recognition and won many awards. Her early projects Asaroton and Glove Cycle have become icons of the Boston area. Many of her temporary projects involve community participation and social action, including: Winding Down the Charles, Speed of Light, and One Legged Table. She is an active member of the Boston Sculpture Gallery and teaches at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. Mags was a juror for our premiere River Festival race in June 2015 Mags’ website.

Reid Drum is a faculty member of MassArt, and runs its industrial-scale, 11,000 s.f. foundry. He is a kinetic artist, and teaches classes in kinetic art, the design and construction of metal sculpture, and general 3D art.

Last year

Raceday 2018 – Schedule & Directions


Give yourself plenty of time to orient yourself and make your way to the Sculpture Garden and Cambridge Parkway.

11 AM sharp – opening ceremony at the Sculpture Garden
11:10 or so – staggered race from the Garden down Cambridge Parkway and back the same way.
11:50 or so – awards ceremony at the Garden
12-6 – sculpture racing exhibition at the Garden


The Sculpture Garden and the Start and Finish lines are at the top (north) of  Cambridge Parkway.  There’s no parking there.

THREE MAPS (the first two are upside-down)

River Fest - the Sculpture Garden
The Sculpture Garden. This above map is upside-down (east is to the left!)

River Fest - Walk from First Street
Walk to the Sculpture Garden along Lechmere Canal, which runs east from Cambridgeside Galleria (the above map is also upside-down; east is to the left!)

Where is the River Festival
Cambridge Parkway runs along the Charles River near the Science Center. (This map is correct.)

Location of River Festival
And where is all that? (Red marker is right next to start/finish line.)

How do you get there?

Walk easterly from the Cambridgeside Galleria past the fountain, along the Lechmere Canal, under Land Boulevard, towards the Charles River.

If you’re dropping someone off, drive in a northerly direction along Land Boulevard (the wide orange road on the map), and pull over just before or after Cambridge Parkway, which runs east/to the right off Land Boulevard (you can use “International Merchant Services” on your GPS).


  • Cambridgeside Galleria Garage (100 Cambridgeside Place) –5 hours or fewer $11;  more than 5 hours, daily max of $22.
  • First Street Garage (Spring St at First) – 5 hours is $8; more than 10 hours is $20.
  • There is metered parking to the west of the Galleria, and then, further west, resident parking.

The T

10 Minute Walk

  • Lechmere Station
  • Science Park

20 Minute Walk

  • MIT/Kendall
  • Charles/MGH are 20-minute walks.

We look forward to seeing you!