More than a year ago, three artists adorned all sides and surfaces of three different pumphouses on the Esplanade. I had meant to connect and celebrate these accomplishments at that time. Now at the start of a new year, I can do that with additional appreciation of their presence. Though pumphouses along the Charles River have always been essential in regulating water drainage, their cement block structures were neglected and defaced until funds from the Esplanade Association allowed artists to transform their appearances in 2019.
Here, along with my iPhone photos, are quotes and links ( in red) with evocative information about the artists, their murals and locations on the Esplanade.
SOPHY TUTTLE “Habitation highlights several species which share with us the land we call Boston, including the belted kingfisher, red maple, double-breasted cormorant, and monarch butterfly. Sophy Tuttle chose to showcase local flora and fauna because they breathe life into the park – both literally and emotionally. The colorful circles symbolize how our lives overlap in this special place and visualize the interconnectedness of all forms of life along the Esplanade.” (excerpts quoted from Public Art on the Esplanade, Habitation)
SOLEI “The main design element featured in Rain River is the Face Chain, a recurring motif in Solei’s work. ..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. With Rain River, Solei has merged this message with the Esplanade’s natural harmony of earth, river, and sky.“(excerpts quoted from Public Art on the Esplanade, Rain River)
ANN LEWIS “This work evokes an interconnected abstract dialog of our increasingly complex relationship to water and explores the natural flow and aquamarine hues of this life-giving resource.”(excerpts quoted from Public Art on the Esplanade, “Untitled”)
Ann Lewis’s website offers her portfolio of Public Art, including the pumphouse mural “Untitled” and several other projects that give context and perspective for this mural’s design. See Art Outdoors post from 2017 about “See Her”, an earlier mural in Boston.
Access a map locating the three pumphouse murals and Silvia Chavez’s mural “Patterned Behavior”, created in 2017. See also
Curbed Boston article by April Gardner: Charles River Esplanade’s newest public art features transformed pumphouses