Fitchburg Museum Helps Launch Art to Take Stern View of Climate Change

October 17, 2018 GMT

Sentinel & Enterprise Staff

BOSTON -- The Fort Point Arts Community’s 39th Fall Open Studios launched its newest public floating art project in Boston Harbor Sunday named “Create Coral Reef,” which was conceived by Fitchburg artist Jerry Beck, the Revolving Museum founder.

The project, said Beck, involved the participation of over 50 artists, youth and community members to create a floating public artwork by transforming a 20-foot-long boat into a coral reef-like paradise made from plastics collected from neighborhoods, businesses, and the state’s shoreline.

“The Create Coral Reef project was conceived to increase public awareness, build support, and promote individual and government action to save the coral reefs worldwide,” said Beck.

A 10-foot high octopus sits at the top the reef, symbolizing the invertebrate’s ability to successfully adapt to its environment and 10 protest poems played a role in the project both on the boat and bridges surrounding it.

Additionally, said Beck, a series of solar powered LED lights animate the entire project for night time viewing.

“Today we need artists, scientists, youth and community members to join forces to build support towards a creative and green revolution. Public art has the power to promote eco-activism and environmental education towards making positive and radical changes for a more sustainable world,” said Beck.

FPAC’s interim Executive Director Emily O’Neil notes: “FPAC artists have long-used the Floating Art Basin as a location to create and share public art with a purposeful message (like) highlighting the growing crisis of climate change and its effect to our local community as well as the global impact. FPAC is pleased to host Create Coral Reef in the basin and create the opportunity for public dialog about this important topic. FPAC is also pleased to be partnering with the Revolving Museum on this project.”

One of the Revolving Museum’s advisory board members who worked to build out the art project on the former sailboat, donated by Fitchburg resident Cliff Clark, said its construction was delightful.

“It is not only a beautiful work of public art but because we were building it on one of the busiest intersections in the Fitchburg, we had so many people honking, giving their thumbs up, asking what it was, and people pulling over to check it out. We also had about a dozen or so local kids come by and help us make it,” said Avel Jose Gonzalez.

“If we are to make progress on climate change, and help keep ocean life and coral reefs healthy, young people need to be educated on the topic. An immersive art project like the Coral Reef Project involves kids in creating and understanding the issues in a fun and inspiring way,” said Revolving Museum Artist-In-Residence Lisa Reindorf.

The Create Coral Reef project will remain moored in the Boston Harbor basin until Dec. 15.