Advisory Board Hoping To Preserve Peter Valentine House As Art Center

Photo: Carl Stevens (WBZ)

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — A group of arts advocates are asking the City of Cambridge to purchase the home of the late eccentric artist Peter Valentine so it can be turned into a community arts center.

Valentine, who died in August 2022 at the age of 80, transformed his home at 37 Brookline St. into a colorful art installation called Cosmic Moose & Grizzly Bear's Ville. With the house and its art-tattooed fence now in the hands of Valentine's family, the Valentine Arthouse Advisory Board want to see the late artist's residence and its creative spirit be preserved.

"What we’re hoping to develop here is the Peter Valentine Center for Cosmic Creativity," board member and longtime museum curator Cathie Zusy told WBZ NewsRadio. "Curators from the Smithsonian, the American Museum of Visionary Art, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston have all written about the importance of this fence."

On Monday, the Cambridge City Council voted 8-1 in favor of the proposal to determine the feasibility of purchasing the house and develop it into an art center, although there is no guarantee that such a project would actually happen.

Zusy, who describes Valentine's home as "the last vestige of funk in Cambridge," worries that the house will be torn down and turned into luxury condos.

"Why not have it be a place that encourages our humanity, rather than a place where privileged families can live in $2.2-2.5 million boxes," Zusy said.

WBZ's Carl Stevens (@CarlWBZ) reports.

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