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.

Starry Night, Lisa Greenfield & Daniel J. van Ackere

public art installation

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: http://pyr2014.tumblr.com

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