Three new art murals have been installed on pump-houses along the Esplanade, brightening these often-vandalized utility structures for the benefit of park visitors. Each consisting of vibrant colors and intricate details, these murals have transformed the structures into brilliant, temporary works of art.
The Esplanade Association (esplanade.org), a nonprofit partner to the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (mass.gov/dcr), working to revitalize, enhance, program and maintain the park, curated three talented artists for the pieces:
Solei, an artist, muralist, and curator living in the Boston area, designed the westernmost mural into a sea of greens and blues that showcases the Esplanade’s natural harmony of earth, river, and sky for her piece, Rain River. The main design motif in her mural – the “Face Chain” – is a visual representation of the interconnectedness of our human identities, reminding us that we all use each other to create who we are. The artist found her BU-adjacent canvas on the Esplanade particularly meaningful as Solei is a graduate of the nearby Boston University College of Fine Arts.
Sophy Tuttle highlighted several species found on the Esplanade for the mural Habitation, including the belted kingfisher, red maple, double-breasted cormorant, and monarch butterfly. Sophy currently resides in Medford, MA and often portrays environmental themes within her murals and studio work through bright colors and dynamic illustrations. As Creative Director at Brain Arts Organization, Gallery Director at Dorchester Art Project, and curator at 1369 Coffeehouse, Solei empowers emerging artists and facilitates community building arts experiences.
Ann Lewis, a multidisciplinary activist artist based in Detroit, Mich., transformed the Fairfield Street pump-house into a mesmerizing pattern of multicolored lines that immediately engage those who pass by in her Untitled mural. The piece invites visitors to contemplate our planet’s most abundant – and most precious – resource, and the systems put in place to coordinate access to it. She has created three public works in Boston including See Her commissioned by Now + There, and A Post-colorblind America for HubWeek.
“We’re really pleased to have selected three great artists to create these thoughtful and park-inspired murals in different locations along the Esplanade,” said Michael Nichols, executive director of the Esplanade Association. “The Esplanade Association is committed to enhancement projects which not only complement the park’s natural beauty, but also encourage our visitors to slow down, think creatively, and take a fresh look at their riverfront surroundings.”
The Esplanade Association received a Partnership Matching Fund Grant from the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) to restore the pump-houses to their original condition, while the organization also received substantial support from individual donors interested in supporting the Esplanade Association’s arts and culture efforts.
Those who are interested in contributing to the Esplanade Association’s Public Art Fund to help support future projects to bring art to the park are encouraged to visitEsplanade.org.