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New Temporary Public Art Installations on the Greenway

The Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy has shared the following information on its next round of public art installs, including the piece that will be on the Tunnel Administration Building lawn at North Street.

High Tide by Carolina Aragón to be installed on Cross Street in the North End

The Greenway Conservancy is announcing the artists behind three commissions for new temporary artworks to be installed this month on The Greenway. Continuing a 12-year rotating exhibit based on the Chinese Zodiac will be an 11-foot tall monkey by Don Kennell, of Sante Fe, NM. Joining Kennell’s piece will site-specific works by Carolina Aragón and Gianna Stewart. Both Aragón and Stewart were selected to create temporary installations on The Greenway from “The Local,” a RFP open only to Massachusetts-based artists.

Fire Monkey by Don Kennnell to be installed in Chinatown
Fire Monkey by Don Kennnell to be installed in Chinatown

Kennell’s “Monkey See” was commissioned by the Conservancy and is set to be installed at The Greenway’s Chinatown Park. Kennell explores the relationships that humans have with animals and is perhaps best known as the metal sculpture artist behind multiple popular sculptures at the Coachella Music Festival. For The Greenway, he has created Monkey See out of layered metal, glass and automobile parts. The 750-pound monkey will stand and watch over passersby in a “civic yet quizzical; contemplative yet silly” pose according to Kennell.  Kennell’s piece is supported with funding from Radian, the new residential building nearby; in 2015, Radian supported the Kyu Seok Oh’s Wandering Sheep in Chinatown Park for the Year of the Sheep.

“I want works on The Greenway to have a visual impact on the many visitors to the park… and Don’s work stops people in their tracks,” said Lucas Cowan, Public Art Curator for the Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy. “I think Monkey See will become an instant – and Instagram – favorite in Chinatown Park during the Chinese Zodiac’s Year of the Monkey.”

“It’s been fun to watch our partnership with the Greenway Conservancy add another layer of interest to this dynamic intersection,” said Noam Ron of Hudson Group. “It feels like the dots are beginning to connect between Radian and Townsman on this edge of Chinatown Park and the activity up toward Dewey Square and beyond.”

The Local is an effort by the Conservancy to identify and commission Massachusetts-based artists to create works for The Greenway. Following the success of last year’s commission of Brookline-based artist Janet Echelman, the Conservancy will again feature work the work of two female artists from Massachusetts – Aragón and Stewart.

Midden, by Stewart, will be installed along Surface Road in a Greenway park area between Dewey Square and Chinatown Park, and is supported with funding from Oxford Properties, owners of the adjacent 125 Summer Street building. Midden’s 12 oysters in 5 groupings, each several feet in diameter, will be lit at night and symbolize the shells unearthed during construction of the Big Dig. The oysters will demonstrate beauty during the day and will pulse with colored light at night.

High Tide, by Aragón, will be installed along Cross Street in a lawn area adjacent to The Greenway’s North End Parks, and is funded with support from the H. Kirsch Family Foundation. Aragón’s installation will consist over roughly 500 six to eight-foot-tall fiberglass rods embedded in the lawn which will simulate reeds in an abstracted marsh landscape of the type that have existed for hundreds of years along Boston’s natural and manmade shoreline.

“Both Carolina’s and Gianna’s pieces evoke Boston’s status as a coastal city, including the issues of climate change and the evolution of our waterfront,” offered Jesse Brackenbury, Greenway Conservancy Executive Director. “We’re proud to have commissioned both artists and are pleased they have developed pieces for areas of The Greenway where we have never before provided public art or programming.”

All three works are slated for installation in May prior to the Conservancy’s first-ever Public Art Season Kickoff Celebration, being held throughout The Greenway on Thursday, May 19, 2016 from 5-8pm. The Kickoff Celebration will be free and open to the public with live music and performances and a chance to meet Kennell, Aragón, and Stewart – in addition to Matthew Hoffman, whose MAY THIS NEVER END is currently on view on The Greenway. The Kickoff Celebration will stretch The Greenway and include Ai Weiwei’s Circle of Animals / Zodiac Heads.

The Greenway’s public art efforts are also supported by Anonymous; The Barr Foundation; WBZ-TV (Presenting Media Sponsor); ArtPlace America; KHJ Brand Activation; Radian; Oxford; H. Kirsch Family Foundation; Boston Cultural Council; BSA Foundation; Polyfab; Boston Globe; Improper Bostonian; WBUR; and Art New England.

About the Artists

Carolina Aragón is a public artist and an Assistant Professor in the Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her artwork seeks to connect communities to their local landscapes by creating interactive installations that act as environmental sensors, reacting to changing atmospheric conditions of light and wind. Her work seeks to appeal to the visceral and the intellectual, sharpening our senses and heightening our understanding of the world around us.

Don Kennell and his wife, Lisa Adler, have been working together for more than 20 years as a design team. DKLA Design, fabricates and delivers monumental sculpture in public and private settings. Don Kennell has been earning public art commissions for over 25 years. He studied art formally earning an MFA from the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. Lisa Adler also has an advanced degree from Rutgers in a social science discipline. She has worked as an administrator for 20 years. Together, Don and Lisa design, fabricate and install public art that people connect to and that reflect the places that they serve.

Gianna Stewart is a Boston-based artist with a strong interest in public art. She has exhibited sculpture locally in group shows and in a two person show at the FPAC Artists Gallery. As Studio Manager for Harries / Héder CollaborativeInc. she has gained ample experience in the public art field, and is eager to bring her own practice into the public realm with simple gestures that play with the everyday.