Longtime Jamaica Plain resident Andrew Haines contacted the Arnold Arboretum to see if they had an art exhibition planned to capture the changing Forest Hills area. They liked the idea so much they invited Haines to create his own exhibit.
“The Evolution of an Urban Landscape: Recent Paintings of Forest Hills” documents the development of the new park and Forest Hills station, said Haines to Jamaica Plain News.
“When it was decided to take down the Casey Overpass, I thought this would be the first time in 60 years that Olmsted’s plan would again connect through green spaces of the Emerald Necklace all the way to Franklin Park,” said Haines.
“The plan was to document as best I could, the development of the new park spaces and Forest Hills station. I painted a lot of the tree stumps in anticipation of the new Forest Hills. But as construction was delayed and delayed more the theme changed a bit. I could, and did, make paintings about living with all this chaos, but instead I focused more on the neighborhood and the bridge before it was gone. (And) multiple views of this section of the Stonybrook valley,” said Haines.
Haines knows the area well. He and his wife moved to Jamaica Plain in 1986, and they’ve spent most of their JP time in the Forest Hills area. He said they witnessed the last “Forest Hills Renaissance” that included the current station being built and the old elevated line coming down.
He has always loved having access to the greenery of Jamaica Plain and the transportation infrastructure nearby, which both gave him great inspiration as a landscape painter.
The exhibit will be in the Arnold Arboretum’s Hunnewell Building (125 Arborway) through October 8. There will be an artist talk on September 16 from 1 to 2 pm.