It’s a been a long time since Boston made any concerted effort for a large scale show of public art, but if you’re near the Christian Science Plaza this holiday weekend, you’ll see The Boston Sculptors Gallery has staged a sprawling show.
This summer and fall the Christian Science Plaza is artfully dotted with some 50 works of art by numerous artists. To name a few, a trailer titled Grotto, upon closer inspection, has its own ecosystem. A shimmering pool called Wave Cloud hovers above the reflecting one. Silhouetted dancers in a work called Arabesque take flight on the brick walk.
“Sculpture makes visible and knowable the ineffable things of the spirit. Sculptures are part of a city’s collective unconscious,” said Murray Dewart, Co-founder of Boston Sculptors. “They are these big, massive forms that are the backdrop that sit, stand, wave, lie down, in our midst, like indispensable family members.”
To celebrate its 20th anniversary as a working group, the Boston Sculptors collective has assembled Convergence—a juried show of public sculpture designed in partnership with the church for the most optimal use of its outdoor space.
“The aim in the convergence is to bring all of our various energies. We’re sculptors that use all very different languages, materials, and we have no particular way of making sculpture, but this was a chance to show what we can do,” said sculptor Murray Dewart.
The works are both imposing and unobtrusive. Three Bronze Trees is eye-catching and jaw-dropping. Edge a little closer to Liminal Bloom and you find this is the antithesis of solid as the petals smooth sway.
Sculptor Donna Dodson hopes to get people excited. “I think especially artists, I feel like this is a breath of hope that you could have this opportunity in Boston,” she said.
Dodson, along with Dewart, is a sculptor with pieces in the show. Made with fellow artist Andy Moerlein, her 30-foot tall bird is poised above the plaza like a sentry standing in serenity. Dodson's Tiger Mothers are based on the controversial book by exacting mom Amy Chua.
“It conceptually was a push for me, to think of two. And I ultimately chose two because the book is kind of about how she’s one type of mom to one kid and one type of mom to another, so it’s two. It’s the same person, but it’s two,” said Dodson.
And located on one corner of the plaza, Dewart’s One Bright Morning serves as a gateway to the show—a welcoming and sacred space he says.
“I think of them as figures, standing figures, and some of them, their arms go like this, some of them go like this, and there’s always this center element,” Dewart said.
According to its organizers, Convergence is the first public art show of this scope and size in more than thirty years. Their hope is that this is the beginning of the new.
“I thought about all the pieces in the show, and every single one, almost every one has this meditation on the natural world,” Dewart said. “Art grows from nature, and also art grows from other artists. So that’s the key piece of why we work in the city, and we work together. We work in the silence of our studios. What makes us artists is that we feel the pressure to take something out of silence.”
That’s accomplished here in Boston’s downtown, where silence has become a symphony, a much needed one.
Greater Boston did a preview of the public art show on June 2: