World Class Art Comes to The Fenway

The intersection of Boylston Street and Brookline Avenue is now home to a striking new piece of art, visually signaling the importance of the location as a gateway to The Fenway neighborhood. 

Plaza (Arcade) by Brazilian artist Alexandre da Cunha was unveiled earlier today, making its home on the plaza in front of the soon-to-be-completed Pierce Boston.  Comprised of three distinctive concrete discs, each with a different size aperture, Plaza (Arcade) invite both engagement and observation. The distinctive frames and arches formed by the individual openings create fresh views onto the newly restored Muddy River.

 “Alexandre da Cunha’s permanent work in the Fenway will not only contribute to Boston’s world-class public art program, but will also inspire, initiate, and create conversation for those that pass by,” said Steve Samuels, Chairman. Samuels & Associates, in partnership with Landsea and in association with Weiner Ventures, commissioned the art, which is the artist’s first site-specific, permanent public project in the United States.

Home to several of the city’s most noteworthy cultural institutions, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the greater Fenway neighborhood will be further grounded and identified as a cultural destination with da Cunha’s Plaza (Arcade). The Pierce plaza, open to the public, will be fully integrated into the renewed Emerald Necklace, thereby connecting to existing green space along the Fens and the forthcoming 401 Park (formerly known as Landmark Center).

“Anchoring the Fenway Cultural district, this sculpture is an important new part of the Fenway,” said Julie Burros, Chief of Arts and Culture for the City of Boston at the unveiling.  “We need to think about public art as infrastructure as important as the streets and sidewalk.  This piece does that.”

“This sculpture is about placemaking.  It appeals to our hearts, minds and souls, not just our economic needs,” said Brian Golden, Director of the Boston Planning and Development Agency.

The artist thanked the Boston community for their warm welcome, noting that “A huge part of my work is telling people stories.  Thank you for giving me the opportunity to tell my story here,” da Cunha said.

Born in Rio de Janeiro in 1969, da Cunha currently lives and works in London.  He has  exhibited widely throughout the Americas and Europe, and his work is included in major private and institutional collections around the world, including the Tate (UK) and Inhotim (BR).

Pictured (from left to right, in front of one of the three spheres making up the sculpture) at today’s unveiling are:  Julie Burros, Chief of Arts & Culture for the City of Boston, Steve Samuels, Chairman of Samuels & Associates, who funded the permanent installation, Brian Golden, Director of the Boston Planning and Development Agency, and artist Alexandre da Cunha.

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