A new guerilla-style art project called "Dot Aht" has hit the Internet, and presumably the streets of Dorchester. A website at dotaht.com is encouraging artists to install a temporary objet d'art or two on the streets of the city, "to create dialog and to reinvigorate the creative spirit in all the neighborhoods of Dorchester."
The website includes examples of dressed up doggie-droppings, chalk stencils, and, concerning to some, stickers enhancing a walk signal and paint on street signs, walls, and sidewalks, though to be fair, it could be temporary paint.
"While I want to approach this with an open mind, I am concerned that its organizer chooses to remain anonymous and that some of the examples listed on its website deface public property," said City Council President Maureen Feeney in a prepared statement. "Before I rush to judgment, I would like invite whoever is organizing these efforts to reach out to city officials and to the vibrant art community in Dorchester."
Upon receiving an e-mail from the website's author, many in the neighborhood first questioned what one particular Scottish woman would think about the familiar ring of the 'Dot Aht' moniker, namely Leslie MacWeeney, director of Dot Art, the Dorchester Center for the Visual Arts.
"Well, she spelled it differently didn't she?" said MacWeeney, mentioning she could probably guess which school and program the artist came from. "Personally I'm a little sick of that joke about Dorchester's accent though."
Instead of being miffed, MacWeeney said she'd like to meet the newbie and explore a possible collaboration.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, the mysterious artist made it clear she's not advocating destruction of property or graffiti. She told the Reporter she uses sidewalk paint, chalk and other temporary mediums.
"I'm an artist and as soon as I moved to Dorchester I thought 'What's my role here? What can I do?'" said the Jane Doe. "The goal of this project is not to create masterpieces. In fact I put out something last night that wasn't there this morning."
To the question of the name similarities, she said her project might only last three months, so she wasn't too worried about it.
"I see my movement as a street version of Dot Art. I think if it were a long term project, I'd change the name."