Public Art

FPAC sponsors works of temporary public art, enlivening the Fort Point area with works that engage the public and promote the visibility of the arts community. Calls for submissions are issued several times annually, and are juried by panels made up of community member and arts professionals.

Rising Waters, Katherine Chin, Colin O’Shea, & Richard Zuckerman

Rising Waters is a floating art installation that uses glowing orbs rising and falling on columns of water to illustrate the predicted sea level rise in Boston. The piece takes the form of abstracted buoys and merges art, light, and technology to mark the sea level rise scenarios in 2100 due to tides, storm surges as well as the inevitable long-term sea level rise induced by global climate change. This project will engage the community by creating a visceral image of the dynamic sea levels changes happening right around us and in the coming years. Use the hashtag #risingwatersBoston to share your own images of the project.

Rising Waters is generously funded by the Fort Point Channel Operations Board.

About the Artists

Katherine Chin is an artist and architect interested in the psychology of space. Her work explores ways in which light and technology can be used to reveal elements in the built environment that are beyond what the eye can see. Her large scale investigative animations titled “Thermograms” have been displayed as part of the ILLUMINUS festival 2017 in downtown Boston and the Uncommon Project at Emerson College.

Colin O’Shea is a multidisciplinary engineer interested in sustainable agriculture and energy systems. One of his first large projects as an engineer was designing and building a deep-sea energy harvesting device to power moored telemetry buoys. His outside-the-office interests include his hydroponic vegetable garden which runs an automated pump and lighting system.

Richard Zuckerman is a mechanical engineer who has focused his career on the design of complex and tightly toleranced mechanisms. He has designed flow meters for submarines, devices for underwater oil measurement, and high frequency hydraulic pumps for active suspension applications. He specializes in finding creative solutions to difficult problems through 3D modeling and detailed analysis.

Iceberg, Gianna Stewart

Iceberg updated rendering

As featured in Boston Magazine!

In conjunction with Fall Open Studios, FPAC will unveil its newest public floating art project in Fort Point Channel: Iceberg, which will measure approximately 12’ length x 10’ width x 10’ height. Created by local artist Gianna Stewart, Iceberg is a visual reminder of the effects of climate change on a local and global level. Iceberg is funded by the Fort Point Channel Operations Board, and will be on view after October 8th.

Gianna Stewart is a Boston-based artist with a passion for public art. Her first large public installation, Toll With Me, featured 8,500 bells installed on A Street for FPAC Spring Open Studios 2015. She has created site-specific outdoor works for the Fruitlands Museum in Harvard, MA, 8Nights8Windows in downtown Boston, and “The Local” commission on the Rose Kennedy Greenway. Currently, a Magical Amass of 122 colorful cast plastic tents hang in a skylight at the Nashville International Airport and nine giant Samaras gently spin over Battery Whitman on Peddocks Island in Boston Harbor. Recipient of this year’s Mary Shannon Award for Public Art from the St. Botolph Club Foundation, she received her MFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston/ Tufts University and BFA from Seton Hill University.

Starry Night, Lisa Greenfield & Daniel J. van Ackere


If you couldn’t find any twinkling blue LED lights at Target at Christmas time in 2009, that was because artists Lisa Greenfield and Daniel J. van Ackere, armed with a budget of $1000 from the Fort Point Arts Community (FPAC), bought out the entire stock from about a dozen stores in the Greater Boston area.

That, and a supply of heavy-duty binder clips to attach the lights to the bridge, was the beginning of their temporary public art project Starry Night, which was part of FPAC ‘s  2009 Winter Solstice Public Art Series.  “We wanted to brighten up our neighborhood, and make the stretch of road on A Street under the Summer Street overpass safer and festive” said Greenfield.

The piece was slated for an eight week installation, but was greeted by so much enthusiasm that it remained for the maximum time allowed by the Boston Art Commission for  temporary works of public art – 18 months.  When the lights came down,  many local residents and workers were disappointed and asked to have it replaced.

Greenfield and van Ackere, with FPAC, applied for and received a planning grant from New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) in 2011 to hire engineers to research how to make the project more permanent.

Redesigned to incorporate state of the art technology and a fully programmable interface, Starry Night is scheduled to brighten Fort Point until 2023.

The installation is best viewed from A Street at Summer Street (between Congress Street and Melcher Street), in the Fort Point Channel neighborhood of South Boston.

Starry Night is funded by Fund for the Arts, a public art program of the New England Foundation for the Arts and the Edward Ingersoll Browne Fund.

The project is made possible with support from the Fort Point Arts Community, the City of Boston Public Works Department, the City of Boston Street Lighting Division and the Artist Building at 300 Summer Street.

Special thanks to Mayor Thomas M. Menino, Boston Art Commission, ALPS Advanced Lighting & Production Services, Lin & Associates, Inc. Mystic Scenic Studios, Pharos Architectural Controls Limited, Ideal Electric, Philips Color Kinetics, Peter Agoos, and Gabrielle Schaffner and Karin Goodfellow.

PYR 2014, Don Eyles

Installed in 2014, PYR 2014 is expected to remain on view through 2019.

photo credit: Denise Bosco

photo credit: Denise Bosco

Don Eyles, PYR 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 years of temporary art installations to come. The installation was a bold move, made independently, and completely self-funded.
“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.” Eyles’ newest pyramid, PYR 2014 floated in the Art Basin (between Summer and Congress Street Bridges) in October 2015. The piece is currently located in Fort Point Channel south of the Summer Street Bridge.
This project is funded by the Fort Point Operations Board and Friends of Fort Point Channel.
See the pyramid as it takes shape:

Location: Fort Point Channel between Congress and Summer Street

Support for FPAC’s Public Art Series is provided by a grant from the Fort Point Channel Operations Board with funds from the Chapter 91 Waterways Regulations License #11419 for Russia Wharf, now Atlantic Wharf. The Fort Point Channel Operations Board is made up of representatives from the City of Boston, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, and the Fort Point Channel Abutters Group, who oversee the implementation of public benefits required from private development along the Fort Point Channel.

for previous public art projects, click here