Arts & Culture Community

Greenway Parcel 12 Fence Sports Text-Based Public Art


In January 2016, artist Matthew Hoffman installed a new text-based exhibition, “May This Never End” on the Greenway, specifically on the ramp parcel 12 fence. The narrative work stretches about 320 feet in a series of yellow lettering modeled after Hoffman’s handwriting. The message in full reads:

Nothing’s for keeps. Except that we must keep going. You’ll spend your entire life searching, ok? We all want to belong. So let’s all get along. Make the most, and hope. May this never end.

“Text” is a theme this year on the Greenway. A few months ago, Lawrence Weiner’s “Translation” took its place as the mural in Dewey Square.

The “May This Never End” public art was commissioned by the Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy with funding from ArtPlace America, under the direction of Greenway curator Lucas Cowan.

Hoffman is the Custodian of “You Are Beautiful,” a project to better the world through small gestures. Hoffman began the project as a graffiti-style self-affirmation scrawled on the rusting trusses of an underpass in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago. Following significant praise for this small act, Hoffman began to develop stickers bearing the phrase that have now been circulated across the globe, as well as massive installations in all manner of media. The message has reached every corner of the globe, with over 2 million stickers shared.

“I like to make things open ended, so the viewer can go on their own journey. I don’t want to script that too much. I like presenting an idea, and seeing where it goes,” said artist Matthew Hoffman. “I hope that the phrases illicit ideas or feelings, that give the viewer an experience.”

The Greenway is working on programming and events that will highlight and create further dialogue and participation with both of these artworks, such as the ReadBoston partnership, StoryWalk in Chinatown Park in the Fall of 2015.

“Instead of looking at an object and moving on, these messages become something we internalize and continue to apply to our state of being. The artwork becomes a personal internal reflection opposed to an object that is meant to exist solely in space,” said Cowan.

The Parcel 12 exhibition will be up until November 2016.