Art Basin in Boston
The Boston Redevelopment Authority, in partnership with Channel landowners, nonprofit and cultural leaders, and residents, created the award winning 2002 Fort Point Channel Watersheet Activation Plan: a dynamic vision of recreation, cultural activity and diverse year-round programming on and around the channel which the Friends of Fort Point Channel is responsible for overseeing and executing.
The Watersheet Activation Plan identifies the basin between the Congress and Summer Street bridges, the most visible basin, as the Art Basin. The Art Basin will host large and small works, permanent and temporary works, performances, planned and spontaneous.
Artist: Don Elyes
October 12 – Present, 2014
In 1998 Fort Point artist Don Eyles floated his first pyramid in Fort Point Channel, marking the water as a venue for art and opening the doors to the years of temporary public art installations to come. The installation was a bold move, made independently, and completely self-funded. Don Eyles was selected to create a new floating sculpture, PYR 2014, for this fall’s Public Art Series in conjunction with the Fort Point Arts Community’s 35th Annual Open Studios. The launch of PYR 2014 also marks ten years of FPAC’s collaboration with Friends of Fort Point Channel on temporary public art in the Fort Point Channel. Says Eyles, “Consider the history has passed along the cobbled streets of Boston — all the men and women, famous or unremembered, who have walked and rode here, crossed our bridges, gathered in our public spaces, imported and exported, bought and sold — always with granite cobblestones beneath their feet and wheels. I have long dreamed of making this history tangible, by constructing a great pyramid from the cobblestones uprooted by the City’s recent development.The first embodiment of this train of thought — on a modest scale — was the stone pyramid that I constructed in 1988 in the open area across from 249 A Street. It was built from over 1600 cobblestones borrowed from a pile that fortuitously appeared nearby.”
Tropical Fort Point
Artist: Peter Agoos
April 28 – June 15, 2014
The struggle for quality public open space in the neighborhood and the likelihood of climate change-induced rising sea levels are the conceptual parents of Tropical Fort Point. Inspired in part by seeing the Sudbury River at spring flood turning the adjacent wetland woods into wooded wetlands—trees apparently growing out of a lake, with an occasional canoe or kayak slipping between the trunks — the concept was initially planned as an evergreen installation called Fort Point Forest. The design evolved to embrace the low centers of gravity, salt-resistance, and wind-shedding characteristics of Majesty Palms and grew the new title of Tropical Fort Point. This tongue–in–cheek preview of the effect of rising tides stakes a claim to the Channel wetscape as an unexploited green space. A rendering of the future installation is to the right.
Night Blooming Day Lillies
Artist: Beverly Sky and Mario Kon
November 2012 – April 2013
During the day, the sun charges the flowers through solar voltaic cells. At dusk, the flowers begin their dance of colored lights. On cloudy days, the flowers rest at night. When the sun shines again, the flowers come back to life and begin their dance of light again. Snapping us out of our daily habits of observance, these seemingly inert flowers are in fact “alive” with the cycle of charging and recharging themselves, holding the energy within them that will be expressed when the sun goes down.
The artists’ goal is to give the viewer a different perspective, an invitation to stop for a moment and enter another dimension and invite the viewer on a journey, however brief, of discovery. Night Blooming Day Lillies is completed when the observer stops to look. That is the definition of public art. By changing the environment or atmosphere of a particular location and arousing curiosity, the observer is transported for a moment to a different reality, noticing occurs and the work is completed. The circle is closed.
(Photo Credit: Angela Morely)
Bucky’s On The Channel
Artist: Carol Bugarin
October 2012 – November 2013
Colorful large Buckyballs created from pool noodles were installed in the Fort Point Channel art basin between the Congress Street and Summer Street Bridges. Buckyballs, named for Massachusetts born architect Richard Buckminster “Bucky” Fuller, popularized this shape in his geodesic domes during the late 60s – early 70s. This universal shape recurs in design, art, math, science, medicine, technology and play. All of these are a part in the framework of the Fort Point neighborhood.
Carol Bugarin, designer of this project and glass jewelry artist, will adorn the Channel with the Buckyballs and geometric shapes repeated within the geodesic pattern. “The techniques used to create the Buckyballs are no different than those used in jewelry making. I envision the work like beads or jewelry for the water, only bigger.”
Artist: Peter Agoos
Fort Point’s arts community has long been buffeted by the winds and tides of development and economic pressures and urban and culture politics. The long–term survival of the artist and craftsperson population in the Fort Point neighborhood has never been less certain. Art Imbalance is an expression of the tenuous relationship between the artist and the urban economic milieu. A pair of life–size artist’s manikins balance — one up, one down — on a bright yellow line stretched above the heart of the Fort Point Channel. Between the superstructures of the Summer and Congress Street bridges, dual gateways to the neighborhood. The figures, precariously poised foot–to–foot on the thin line with arms outstretched, tilt and sway to the force of the elements, repeatedly tipping to the thrust of the wind but always righting themselves.
The Remodeling Project
Artist: Heidi Kayser
The Remodeling Project was a performative micro-environment that investigated ideas of public versus private activities in daily life, shared ideas of home, and boundaries between social and personal identities. Throughout the month of May 2012, a small floating platform located between the Summer Street and Congress Street bridges became a home base for an evolving narrative of constructed reality.
“The Remodeling Project” was named in “Best Shows of 2012 in Boston-Area Art Galleries” by Cate McQuaid of The Boston Globe.
(Photo Credit: Heidi Kayser)
Artist: Tim Murdoch
Tidal Flowers consisted of 5 floating flowers, ranging in size from 10 to 18 feet in diameter. Each flower opened as the tide receded from the Channel and closed as the tide returned. The floral sculptures were made from recycled detergent bottles collected from neighborhood and Boston residents.
(Photo Credit: Tim Murdoch)
House of Cards
Artist: Lisa Greenfield
House of Cards, when originally conceived, was intended to signify the tentative nature of artists’ housing in Fort Point. With the loss of so many buildings, and neighbors scrambling to find new places to live and work, it seemed like the community could collapse at any minute. Many of the Fort Point buildings owned by Archon are now vacant and dark. Buildings on Summer Street and Melcher Street which were once home to dozens of artists are now empty. The streets are less safe with no one living or working in these buildings to keep an eye on things. In the months since the original idea, the project took on a much broader meaning relative to today’s overall economic crisis. And while the decimation of neighborhood is still an important concern, the attention has focused on other, larger issues.
(Photo Credit: Lisa Greenfield)
Walking On Water
Artist: Lisa Greenfield
Evoking Narcissus as he kneels toward his reflection, 6 bubbles in which figures float casting a reflection in the Channel as they sway with the breeze and glide across the water with the changing tide. Commentary about privacy, isolation and being in our own little worlds.
(Photo Credit: Lisa Greenfield)
Artist: Colleen Paz
(Photo Credit: Colleen Paz)