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Public art piece relocated from Greenway to Allston

November 28, 2017

Arts and Culture

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Arts and Culture

The public art piece, "May This Never End," has found a new home in Allston.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture, in collaboration with the Boston Planning & Development Agency and The Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy, today announced the 319-foot-long outdoor public art piece “May This Never End” has been relocated to Allston.

Created by Chicago-based artist Matthew Hoffman, the piece was commissioned for The Greenway and installed on a fence between North and Clinton Streets in 2016. While The Greenway typically houses temporary art, the piece received an extended run of nine months. The artwork was recognized as among the best artworks in the country for 2016 by Americans for the Arts’ Public Art Network Year in Review. The Conservancy originally commissioned the artwork with private funds from ArtPlace America.

“This piece was a great addition to the Greenway last year, and it has become such a widely recognized piece of public art in the City of Boston,” said Mayor Walsh. I’m eager to see how it sparks new conversations and helps shape the cultural identity of its new home in Allston.”

The piece is comprised of seven phrases, and together the message reads: “Nothing’s for keeps. Except that we must keep going. You’ll spend your entire life searching, ok? We all want to belong. So let’s all get along. Make the most, and hope. May this never end.”

Photo of May This Never End artwork in its new location on Lincoln St.

“Instead of looking at an object and moving on, Hoffman’s message becomes something we internalize and continue to apply to our state of being,” said Lucas Cowan, the Public Art Curator for The Greenway. “The artwork becomes a personal internal reflection as opposed to an object that is meant to exist solely in space.”

Hoffman wrote each word in Sharpie, and then scanned, enlarged and cut oversized letters out of bright yellow plastic using a CNC mill.

“May This Never End” was un-installed from The Greenway and placed in storage in May 2017. The City of Boston was able to relocate the artwork with a grant from the Harvard Allston Public Realm Flexible Fund, which is overseen by the BPDA.

“The Flexible Fund Executive Committee has explored ways to support public art installations, and enthusiastically embraced the opportunity to enhance a neighborhood gateway utilized by hundreds of pedestrians and cyclists daily, with an existing piece of artwork that could be installed at very low cost,” said Gerald Autler, Senior Project Manager/Planner of the Boston Planning & Development Agency.

Hoffman worked with staff members from the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture to reinstall the piece. The installation took two days to complete.

“As noted in Boston Creates, the City of Boston hopes to address cultural disparities and promote cross-cultural exchange through art,” said Julie Burros, Chief of Arts and Culture. “We’ve started important programs to support local artists, such as the Opportunity Fund with its newly doubled budget, and we are excited that we can also find ways to foster artistic exchange by creating new homes for site-specific works like this one.”

The piece is now located on Lincoln Street in Allston, between Franklin Street and Eric Road.

“I love the placement of this piece, and it's the same reason I love public art so much. You'll be going through your day, and suddenly be met by this piece. Hopefully it changes your mindset to a positive one in that moment,” said Matthew Hoffman. “We received so much positive feedback as we were putting the piece up, I'm really excited to hear the response as it lives with the community.”

About the Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture (MOAC)

The Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture's mission is to support artists, the cultural sector, and to promote access to the arts for all. The office houses the Boston Cultural Council, the Boston Art Commission, and the Poet Laureate program. Responsibilities include implementing the City's cultural plan, Boston Creates; commissioning public art, managing the Boston Artist-in-Residence program; curating exhibitions in City Hall; and operating the historic Strand Theater in Dorchester. For more information, visit here

About the Boston Planning & Development Agency

The Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) plans and guides inclusive growth in our city – creating opportunities for everyone to live, work and connect. Through our future-focused, city-wide lens, we engage communities, implement new solutions, partner for greater impact and track progress. Our vision and mission are the core components of our organizational strategy. Our vision sets our direction as an organization and our mission defines what we do. Learn more here, and follow them on Twitter.

About the Harvard Allston Public Realm Flex Fund

The Harvard Allston Public Realm Flexible Fund supports projects that enhance the public realm and for which public sources of financing may be unavailable or inadequate. Projects may include improvements in public parks and open space, neighborhood beautification, streetscape improvements, public safety projects, and public art, including functional art such as benches or bike racks. For more information, visit here.

About the Greenway and the Conservancy

The Rose Kennedy Greenway, a roof garden atop a highway tunnel, is a contemporary public park in the heart of Boston. The non-profit Greenway Conservancy maintains, programs, finances, and improves the 1.5-mile Greenway on behalf of the public. The Greenway welcomed a record 1.38 million visitors in 2016 for The Greenway Carousel, events, Wi-Fi, and Mobile Eats food trucks, plus millions more visitors who enjoyed the fountains, plazas, and gardens. The Conservancy has won numerous awards, including for our organic landscape care and park programming and most recently for Public Art. Learn more here.