Leslie Wilcox: Arboreal Attire

Jason Russell House

Jun. 1, 2024 - Oct. 31, 2021

7 Jason Street
Arlington, 02474


The Arlington Commission for Arts and Culture and the Arlington Historical Society have collaborated to bring contemporary art by the accomplished Boston sculptor Leslie Wilcox to the grounds of the historic Jason Russell House. Wilcox has selected six of her distinctive steel mesh sculptural “garments” – developed over the last 20 years – to create an evocative installation for the Jason Russell House entitled Arboreal Attire.

Inspired by fashions of the 19th and early 20th centuries, Wilcox embodies the people who may have passed through the grounds of this historic family residence, built more than 270 years ago in the 1740s. At the same time, she seeks to reveal the idiosyncratic character of six individual trees. Wilcox’s sculpture aims to capture a hybrid presence, part human and part force of nature. Memories of the past and the qualities of historic fashion unite with the shapes and spirits of the trees themselves to bring a diverse cast of characters to a forested space.

Wilcox’s sculptures look delicate, even ephemeral. In reality her gowns and jackets are tailored from tough, durable stainless steel mesh. Her Arlington installation required weeks of demanding work, hoisting pieces of translucent metal up into each tree, wrapping and draping the sculptural garments around massive trunks, and carefully stapling seams into place, ensuring that the trees were not harmed in the process.

Boston-based Wilcox studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts on scholarship after graduating from Kent State University, OH. Her recent work can be seen regularly at Boston Sculptors Gallery, MA, and has been shown at Chesterwood (Stockbridge, MA), Kunstverein Tiergarden (Berlin, Germany), Boston College McMullen Museum of Art, Brandeis University (Waltham, MA), UMASS Lowell (MA), and Fuller Museum (Brockton, MA). She has completed many public and private commissions for both indoor and outdoor venues and has work included in major collections such as Fidelity Investments, deCordova Sculpture Park & Museum (Lincoln, MA), Boston Public Library, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston as well as Brandeis, Simmons, and Harvard Universities (MA). Reviews of her work appear often in regional and national periodicals. For more information visit www.lesliewilcox.com.

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