Fort Point Wants You to Design Its Next Floating Artwork

Can you top floating sheep and floating pyramids?
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Artist Don Eyles installed “PYR 2014” two years ago on the Fort Point Channel. / Photo via FPAC by Denise Bosco

Hoping to follow up a series of greatest hits among Boston’s ongoing string of popular public art installations, an arts group has opened the invitation for creations that can float in the Fort Point Channel.

The Fort Point Arts Community and Friends of Fort Point Channel this week announced a request-for-proposals open to all artists, who are asked to come up with a durable and buoyant work of art to be installed between the Congress and Summer street bridges.

Floating artwork has been appearing on the channel in one form or another since as far back as the ’90s, says FPAC executive director Emily O’Neil.

“The nature and history of Fort Point is very connected to the water, and the artists who moved to Fort Point in the early ’80s really built a community and they embraced all aspects of the landscape,” says O’Neil. “This was a creative way for them to use what was in the neighborhood, but it’s definitely become a really signature project that Fort Point artists take significant pride in. It is really reflective of the community and the urban landscape we’re in.”

You can read the RFP and apply for consideration on the FPAC website.

Last fall, FPAC was responsible for a 12-foot-tall, multi-colored sheep sculpture called “Who Wears Wool.” In 2014, it let float a 10-foot-tall polystyrene pyramid called “PYR 2014,” the latest of several pyramid-shaped things to grace the watery showcase.

The winning submission this year gets a $10,000 award, which is supported by both the Friends of Fort Point Channel and grant money from a Chapter 91 license for the Atlantic Wharf skyscraper.

The artwork will debut in time for Fort Point’s open studios event in October and stay there for at least a month. The deadline for submissions is Sunday, August 21. Those interested can check out a Q+A session at the FPAC Gallery on Wednesday, August 3.

Fort Point, in addition to being the future home of General Electric, houses one of the city’s most vibrant artists’ enclaves—one with a habit of bestowing whimsical artwork on the city, like the array of rainbow rectangles of Plexiglas currently spanning the channel.

A few ideas to get your artistic juices flowing, used with permission from the FPAC archives:

House of Cards, Lisa Greenfield (2008)

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Tidal Flowers, Tim Murdoch (2010)

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Buckys on the Channel, by Carol Bugarin (2012)

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Walking on Water, Lisa Greenfield (2007)

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Remodeling Project, by Heidi Kayser (2011)

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Tropical Fort Point, by Peter Agoos (2014)

Photo by Sylvia Stagg-Giuliano

Art in Fort Point Channel. Peter Agoos' installation Tropical Fort Point from water.

Who Wears Wool, by Hilary Zelson (2015)

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Spencer Buell Staff Writer at Boston Magazine sbuell@bostonmagazine.com