When we moved to Maynard five years ago, Donna Dodson’s sculpture, “Seagull Cinderella,” had just returned from her tour of Michigan, so we stored her temporarily on our front lawn. She received fan mail, daily visitors taking selfies and local media attention. Later that summer, “Seagull Cinderella” flew to New Bedford for a public art project where she became the subject of controversy. In an unexpected outpouring, the people of Maynard rallied behind her and said to New Bedford: “If you don’t want her, send her back! We miss her.” So, she paraded back into town followed by a band and a throng of Maynard’s liveliest in spirited attire. And to this day, she remains perched out front of our home. It was then that we realized we had joined a uniquely supportive arts community.
What drew us to Maynard was its reputation as an arts hub. ArtSpace Maynard’s studios in the town’s iconic 1871 schoolhouse mounted lively fall open studios and regular gallery exhibits that drew curators, collectors and media attention from Boston and beyond. In addition, the town had recently won a coveted Cultural District Designation.
Besides the arts, the downtown is filled with local restaurants that serve cuisines from all over the world, a beer garden at the local craft brewery and a fascinating collection of small owner-operated shops. Maynard is a walkable town that is connected to a newly minted rail trail.