Good Bye WOW: Wind On Water
Letter to the editor by Robin DiGiammarino, NYGA President
This month our Charlestown community will say goodbye to the successful Wind On Water (WOW) public art exhibit, closing a sixteen month exhibit that highlighted our extraordinary corner of the city in the Charlestown Navy Yard.
The sculptures, created by nationally recognized sculptor Lyman Whitaker, will be dismantled after Columbus Day weekend. The thirty-two wind sculptures, of diverse heights and design, beautifully showcased our windy microclimate while delighting thousands of visitors, neighbors and friends who strolled along the Harbor Walk from Shipyard Park to Thomas Menino Park.
Installed in the spring of 2020 during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, this outdoor family -friendly exhibit provided a welcome opportunity to enjoy public art with built-in social distancing during a period of time when so many Boston venues were closed.
Donor support was vital to the success of this public art project. We thank the many friends, neighbors, community organizations and businesses for their financial support as well as approval by the Boston Art Commission and the BPDA. We appreciate the ongoing support of the City of Boston and the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture for awarding an Opportunity Fund grant for this public art project.
We also thank our many sponsors: Boston Harbor Cruises, Boston Autoport, Charlestown Marina, Cut-Splice, Diversified Automotive, Friends of the Charlestown Navy Yard, Harborview at the Navy Yard, John Hancock, Legal Seafoods, Lundgren Management, MGH Institute of Health Professions, Residence Inn by Marriott, Spaulding Rehabilitation Network, Thayer & Associates, and The Anchor at Charlestown Navy Yard.
As we look ahead to 2022, we are inspired to continue our effort to enhance Shipyard Park and the Charlestown Navy Yard.
Robin DiGiammarino, President
Navy Yard Garden Association, Inc.
In June 2020, the Navy Yard Garden Association launched the free public art exhibit WOW: Wind on Water by nationally recognized metal sculptor Lyman Whitaker, whose work is held in private collections and displayed at public sites across the U.S. and internationally. The sculptures were on view throughout the seasons until October 11, 2021.
Whitaker’s family friendly exhibit showcased the Navy Yard’s windy microclimate with 31 Wind Sculptures™ of elegant designs and varying heights from approximately six to eighteen feet, spinning and delighting visitors who view the sculptures along the Harbor Walk from Shipyard Park to Menino Park.
This special outdoor exhibit was made possible by support from the Boston Planning & Development Agency and a grant from the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture and by the City of Boston. In addition, sponsors include corporations, friends and neighbors who have generously lent their support for the first-ever Navy Yard installation of Whitaker’s work in this unique corner of the city.
WOW: WIND ON
The Navy Yard Garden Association has launched the free public art exhibit WOW: Wind on Water by nationally recognized metal sculptor Lyman Whitaker, whose work is held in private collections and displayed at public sites across the U.S. and internationally. The sculptures will be on view throughout the seasons until October 11, 2021.
Whitaker’s family friendly exhibit showcases the Navy Yard’s windy microclimate with 31 Wind Sculptures™ of elegant designs and varying heights from approximately six to eighteen feet, spinning and delighting visitors who view the sculptures along the Harbor Walk from Shipyard Park to Menino Park.
This special outdoor exhibit is made possible by support from the Boston Planning & Development Agency and a grant from the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture and by the City of Boston. In addition, sponsors include corporations, friends and neighbors who have generously lent their support for the first-ever Navy Yard installation of Whitaker’s work in this unique corner of the city.
Come for a “gallery” stroll soon and enjoy a safe, healthy event alongside the city‘s historic harbor!
Photo by James Lee
My sister from New York and I just went to " WOW" today. We had a great time! Thank you for your info. We were so impressed with the navy yard. It was so clean and welcoming to visitors. I have never seen so many benches and chairs. We enjoyed our lunch on one of the lawn chairs in the shade overlooking the water. Thank you for an enjoyable and pleasant day. Thanks to everyone who maintains it. No litter seen anywhere!I
Video by M. Gyra
WOW:Wind On Water
WBZ interview with Robin DiGiammarino, NYGA President
The WBZ radio interview with Robin DiGiammarino about the WOW exhibit was featured on the program "WBZ New England". The WOW segment aired on November 14, 2020. Click on the link below to listen.
The past week- and really the entire summer - has been a wonderful time to head to the Navy Yard and catch the Wind On Water kinetic sculpture exhibit, a series of eight metal designs that move in the wind and invite folks to stop and enjoy. Created by renowned kinetic sculptor Lynman Whitaker, the creations are mesmerizing and fun. Here, one of the designs in front of DryDock #1 twirls in the wind on Monday. Meanwhile, Tess the dog found a comfortable spot to enjoy these shiny sculptures in Shipyard Park.
Click here to read full article.
Exhibit Signs Poppin’ Up ‘round Town!
Eye catching posters and signs for the WOW:Wind on Water sculpture exhibit are now on view at various bus shelters, public restroom stations, and on the side of buses throughout Boston.
This exhibit is free and for public enjoyment throughout the coming year. It’s a safe, wonderful activity for the whole family during this time of pandemic regulations for mask wearing and social distancing.
Come give WOW:Wind on Water a whirl!
Read What Neighbors Say About WOW: Wind on Water
RK: "They look great!! Congrats on getting them installed!"
IK: "WOW! That’s great! We have one of the spinners they have displayed in our place in New Hampshire."
MP: "They look great!"
DP: "You and your team have done a wonderful job as usual. Thank you. The WOW Wind on Water sculptures are spectacular."
PM: "The sculptures look great!"
DT:- "Truly love the sculptures!!!"
AL - "Looks great! Thank you and your team for this exhibit."
PG : "The Wind on Water sculptures are absolutely fantastic! I walk through the Navy Yard every day and admire them. They blend in so well with the environment and you get a different experience depending on the weather. I'm so inspired by them and can't wait to see them in all seasons. We are hoping these can be a permanent exhibition. Thank you for making the Navy Yard the best spot in Boston!"
KT : "So happy to see the beautiful addition to the Harborwalk. This will remind me to take a nice walk on my lunch break!!"
LR : "I just want to thank for the beautiful wind sculptures by Lyman Whitaker. The first time I saw his work was in Santa Fe, NM and have loved it ever since. I walk the Harbor Walk everyday and really appreciate the flowers and plantings as well."
NR: "This is such a work of art that came to the Navy Yard when we all needed something else to talk about. Everyone loves them. I am looking forward to viewing “Chronicle”. A big thank you to the Navy Yard Garden Association."
BR: "Congratulations and a big thank you to the NYGA and all involved!"
LS: "So exciting and just so beautiful!"
MP: "Awesome! Thanks for all your organization does for the community."
DL: "Thank you so much for the WOW Wind on Water exhibit in the Charlestown Navy Yard. I enjoy looking at the structures as I walk along our water's edge. What a nice addition to our neighborhood, to cheer us up, especially during the COVID restrictions."
BM: "Congratulations on the beautiful kinetic sculptures!"
JTK: "Walked by these down by the Yard yesterday. They're awesome to sit and experience. It's like magic.....I could barely feel the breeze... And, yet, they turned. Fantastic installation.”
TB: "Not only are the sculptures beautiful and fun to watch, they decide if I need a hat when I go for a walk. Thank you for bringing it to us."
Charlestown Chamber of Commerce: "Mesmerizing to watch the wind sculptures against that gorgeous sky!"
Kim Sell Boston: "Just beautiful!"
LH: "Need to add this to the list for our visit whenever it happens. I love these wind sculptures."
KS: "So pretty."
EB: "Lyman Whitaker's Wind on Water Sculpture is just magnificent. Thank you so much for all of your hard work to make this installation possible. Well done to all members of the Navy Yard Garden Association!"
HOW MANY BULBS? 600!
Saturday November 7, 2020 was a gorgeous day with sunny blue skies and mild temperatures, a perfect day for Fall gardening.
Robin DiGiammarino, president of the Navy Yard Garden Association (NYGA), reported that NYGA volunteers “successfully planted 600 daffodil bulbs, including 200 new bulbs in the National Park Service planters and garden area by the West Gate.” Volunteers also dug 400 holes and filled them with daffodil bulbs near the Shipyard Park amphitheater where visitors enjoy relaxing in the popular white Adirondack chairs.
All the bulbs were donated by Boston Blooms with Daffodils, a city initiative that, according to its website, “distributes approximately 15,000 daffodil bulbs every year to volunteers who plant them in public spaces across the city”. Further information about the program is available at https://www.boston.gov/departments/parks-and-recreation/boston-blooms-daffodils
See you in Springtime!
Many hands make light work!
Video by M. Gyra
Volunteer gardeners plant 600 bulbs.
Just 599 more to go...
Garden Refreshed at the Massachusetts Korean War Memorial
Michael Manning, President of the Friends of the Boston Harborwalk
In mid June volunteers from the Navy Yard Garden Association, Inc joined Michael Manning, president of the Friends of the Boston Harborwalk, to plant a selection of new annuals and perennials at the Massachusetts Korean War Memorial in Shipyard Park.
The stunning memorial was commissioned in 1993 by the Massachusetts Korean War Veterans Committee. It features a dramatic bronze sculpture of a soldier on a granite base. The memorial was surveyed by the Smithsonian Institution's "Save Outdoor Sculpture!" program in 1997.
The handsome memorial pays tribute to participants in the Korean War (1950-1953) or, as it is sometimes referred to, the "Forgotten War". An estimated three to four million people died in the three year war. Seventy per cent of the fatalities are believed to have been civilians.
The monument’s central figure is a soldier on sentry duty, fighting off the cold while looking straight ahead. He is surrounded on five sides by six columns which bear the names of the fallen engraved on bronze plaques. Above the columns are the names of the battles that occurred during the Korean War. A number of quiet benches, where visitors can rest and contemplate, circle the memorial. Dedicated donor bricks planted in the ground completely surround the central monument.
As you step into the memorial you activate an audio playback system which allows visitors to listen to oral history excerpts of some of the veterans’ wartime experiences.
Sources of this historical information include Wikipedia, www.waymarking.com and the New York Times.
Friday June 5, 2020 the Navy Yard Garden Association, Inc. honored one of its founders, former board member Barbara Brenner, with a bronze plaque attached to a bench located in a charming corner of the Yard near the Charlestown-Long Wharf ferry landing. The plaque reads, “In Honor of Barbara Brenner Whose Beautiful Idea Blossomed into The Navy Yard Garden Association”.
Barbara has enjoyed lifelong gardening, devoted to maintaining her home gardens on Cape Cod and dedicated to enriching public gardens in the Navy Yard where she also has resided for many years.
The Navy Yard Garden Association, Inc. (NYGA) is a 501©3 volunteer organization. It was formed in February 2017 with the purpose of restoring waterfront gardens in the Navy Yard. In March 2018 the board adopted the following mission statement to “help the Boston Planning and Development Agency revitalize and enhance its public open spaces within the Charlestown Navy Yard including Shipyard Park through planning, design, programming, and implementation for the benefit of residents and visitors alike.”
In addition to its seasonal gardening efforts, in its first four years NYGA has sponsored two large public outdoor sculpture exhibits, The Big Dog Show (2018) and WOW: Wind on Water (2020-2021), and an Annual Holiday Sing & Stroll.
All in a June Day
Cheerful NYGA volunteers planted annuals this month in the rectangular garden near the Charlestown-Long Wharf ferry landing and also in the circular garden at the end of 8th Street. Participants were careful to try to maintain social distancing.
A recent Saturday morning in May brought out NYGA volunteers to help rejuvenate window boxes at the Commandant’s House in the Navy Yard. The group cleaned out plant debris and old soil from the large boxes. They refilled them with heathy soil and added a new self-watering system. This year’s plantings include red geraniums, variegated vinca and white bacopa blossoms.
“Today was a moment of joy--enjoying time (at a social distance) with a wonderful group of women on a beautiful, sunny day and bringing a little life back to the Commandant's House and to the Navy Yard with newly planted window boxes.” - Ruth Raphael,
Program Director for Landscape Architecture & Design, National Parks of Boston
Photo by Amy Engelhardt
Daffodils Delight During Covid19
Among the most anticipated signs of Spring in New England is the bright bloom of brilliant yellow daffodils basking in the season’s early warmth. Another popular rite of springtime here is the Boston Marathon.
Mid-April every year in Boston and its western suburbs, stretching nearly thirty miles to Hopkinton, the Massachusetts holiday known as Patriots Day is celebrated with the internationally acclaimed Boston Marathon, the world’s longest running marathon that attracts thousands of world class and amateur runners to the city. On April 15, 2013 during the Boston marathon two bombs exploded near the finish line, killing three victims and injuring several hundred others, including 16 who lost limbs.
This year the global coronavirus pandemic, Covid19, canceled the city’s annual marathon. However, a profusion of daffodils will still bloom in the Charlestown Navy Yard.
Diane Valle of Charlestown is the founder of Marathon Daffodils, a mammoth volunteer project during the last several years to plant thousands of daffodil bulbs and pots of the flowers along the marathon’s 26.2 miles (42.195 kilometers).
“The pots of daffodils usually line the marathon path. Since there is no marathon this year (organizers) delivered them to neighborhoods,” explains Nancy Krepelka, treasurer of the Navy Yard Garden Association, Inc. (NYGA).
On Thursday April 16, 2020, reports Robin DiGiammarino, president of NYGA, “we placed 88 pots around the three anchors at the top of Dry Dock 2.” It is a cheerful welcome to all who walk, bike or drive by the First Street entrance to the Navy Yard.
The daffodils represent “a subliminal message that we care. There’s something to look forward to and Spring will come again,” explains Diane Valle in the film trailer for Path of the Daff: A Story of Hope and Inspiration. More information about the Marathon Daffodil project is available at www.pathofthedaff.com
May all passersby enjoy this bright and hopeful sign of life at this difficult time in our history.