Janet Echelman


The Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy is bringing to Boston a monumental sculpture from internationally renowned local artist, Janet Echelman. This incredible installation will create a must-see art experience for visitors from near and far from May – October 2015. The Conservancy is pleased to have a challenge grant from The Richard and Susan Smith Family Foundation.

Janet Echelman is known for her soft, billowing sculptures the scale of buildings that respond to the forces of nature — wind, water and light — and become inviting focal points for civic life. Her lightweight fiber sculptures shift from being objects you look at, to something you can get lost in. Recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship, Echelman was named an Architectural Digest Innovator for “changing the very essence of urban spaces.”

Echelman’s whimsical work, to be titled, will be a monumentally-scaled, knotted-fiber sculpture suspended hundreds of feet over the central section of the Greenway. The enormous size of the installation will assure that the artwork can be seen from many directions, both up close and far away. This ultra-lightweight artwork will visually knit together the fabric of the city with art. In daylight, it will cast shadow drawings on the ground, and at night it will become a beacon with dynamic colored light. The dramatic sculptural piece will change with the wind and lighting conditions during the day and night so it stays fresh and engaging.

The Studio Echelman team includes aeronautical and mechanical engineers, architects, lighting designers, landscape architects, and fabricators. Echelman is from Brookline, and has completed major commissions and installations in Amsterdam, Sydney, Portugal, India, Vancouver, Singapore, and numerous cities across the US.  Her TED talk "Taking Imagination Seriously" has been translated into 34 languages and viewed more than a million times.  This is Echelman’s first major Boston commission, and in addition to the Smith Family Foundation, the installation has received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, New England Fund for the Arts and ArtPlace America.

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