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The Easthampton City Arts’ Public Art Committee is pleased and honored to announce the artist-team selected to create our City’s newest public sculpture: Janna Ugone and Piper Foreso.

Photo credit: Tracey Eller, Photographer, Chair of Easthampton City Arts (ECA), and Member of the ECA Public Art Committee




Artists Janna Ugone and Piper Foreso have been selected to create Easthampton’s newest public sculpture, which will be installed along the Nashawannuck Pond Promenade in spring 2024. Located in the heart of the Cottage Street Cultural District, their collaborative piece—titled: Easthampton Storyscape: A Salute to Volunteers for the Artswill honor and celebrate the past, present, and future of volunteerism in the arts and cultural sectors in the City of Easthampton. 


This engaging and meaningful public installation will also serve as a heartfelt tribute to two dear and beloved community members, Debra Tautznik and Denise Herzog, whose lives were sadly lost too soon. Debra and Denise were each artists and long-standing members of Easthampton’s creative community, dedicated volunteers, and true champions for the city. All of us at Easthampton City Arts continue to be inspired by their efforts, their characters, and their memories—and this opportunity was created in their honor. 


Janna and Piper are both longtime professional Easthampton artists who have been committed to and engaged in the creative growth of Easthampton for decades. Additionally, each artist’s studio practice has been based at Cottage Street Studios for several years—with Janna establishing her space in 1987 and Piper setting up shop in 1997, making for a combined tenure of 62 years and counting. This ongoing dedication to their creative work is deeply inspiring and continues to impact our community in vital and dynamic ways. Furthermore, both the selected artists as well as the artists being commemorated were contemporaries, all sharing the values and practice of creativity, community-building, and friendship. In fact, they all were working diligently, joyfully, and simultaneously to establish the arts community in Easthampton that is thriving today. 


Janna and Piper reflect and offer the following about Easthampton Storyscape: 


“Our intention and hope is to create a sculpture that celebrates and captures the quality and spirit of the solid core of arts volunteers who have been instrumental in making Easthampton the special place that it is today. While our communities thrive on spirited visionaries, it is the follow-through from folks willing to give their dedicated time to a common cause that transforms dreams into reality. 


“The timeless exterior of Easthampton Storyscape is designed to solidly stand in the context of an historic mill building district, as the artists have complemented and referenced nearby structures, brick, and detailing. Additionally, it embodies a larger world than its timeless architectural exterior suggests. With inviting portholes for viewers of all heights and ages, it beckons the viewers to take a deeper look at what is behind the essence of a cultural community. Viewers will glimpse curated icons symbolizing art, music and other activities and the many hands that it takes to build and uphold a creative community. Janna and Piper thoughtfully reflect: “This is our salute to the often-invisible force that helps shape and create the world we enjoy.”


“Atop the tower is a sculptural globe with a golden star, marking Easthampton’s special spot on the planet. With a subtle nod to their work, the globe will be topped with a finial from Janna’s lighting collection and inside will feature a bird silhouette from Piper’s steel sculptures series.


“The rest is a surprise to explore!”




The vital arts and cultural efforts in the City of Easthampton are the direct results of dedicated and hardworking volunteers. In fact, it was through a years-long coordinated volunteer effort that Easthampton City Arts itself came into being. These volunteer efforts serve to support the overall vision and direction of our organization as well as help to bring our programs, festivals, and community initiatives to life. In addition to accomplishing so many tangible tasks—like serving on our ECA Coordinating Committee & Subcommittees and helping events like Art Walk, Poetry Day, and Cultural Chaos run smoothly—these efforts also serve to cultivate an environment where community members are deeply invested in local arts and cultural initiatives. Furthermore, the sheer number of volunteers in our community help to ensure that ECA’s programming is free and accessible for each and every person who wishes to participate. 


Acknowledging, honoring, and celebrating our volunteers has been a longtime practice of Easthampton City Arts. Prior to the pandemic, ECA hosted an annual gathering to honor and celebrate the volunteers in our community and offered two awards: the Debra Tautznik Volunteer Award (formerly known as the ECA Volunteer Award), which honors those who have generously dedicated their time and energy to Easthampton City Arts initiatives—and the Pioneer Valley Community Buzz Award which recognizes the individuals and communities that have impacted the exciting cultural advancements throughout the region. Building upon this history, we are proud to extend our appreciation of our dedicated volunteers and their exceptional efforts through the platform of public art and with this public sculpture. Once installed, additional signage will be included with this project that will link to a “living, growing” list of dedicated community members who have contributed their efforts to Easthampton’s arts and cultural initiatives. 


Additionally, we offer our sincere acknowledgements and appreciation to Denise Riggs and Marcia Morrison—Chair and Member of the ECA Public Art Committee, respectively—for first introducing the idea of a public sculpture to both honor our City’s volunteers and to honor the memories of Debra Tautznik and Denise Herzog. This initial spark, along with their ongoing dedicated efforts to see this process through, will serve to create a lasting legacy in Easthampton for years and years to come. 




The selection process for this project was organized by the ECA Public Art Committee: Bob Riggs, Denise Riggs (Chair), Jamie Webb, Jean-Pierre Pasche, Marcia Morrison, and Tracey Eller, in collaboration with ECA Arts & Culture Program Director Pasqualina Azzarello. Additional guidance and support for this project was provided by the Cottage Street Cultural District, Easthampton’s Parks & Recreation Commission, and the Department of Public Works. 


This project is possible due to generous funding from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).