Janet Echelman, 2015

Janet Echelman's Aerial Sculpture over the Rose Kennedy Greenway

The Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy brought to Boston a monumental sculpture, As If It Were Already Here, from internationally renowned local artist, Janet Echelman. This incredible installation created a must-see art experience for visitors from near and far from May 3 to October 25, 2015.

Read the facts about the sculpture.

Artist's statement.

Watch a Time-Lapse Video of the installation.

Read the press coverage on the sculpture.

Local designers Dave Chiu and Kevin Wolfson have created an interactive website that maps Instagram photographs of the Echelman sculpture. Using one of three hashtags including #GreenwayArt, users can examine the sculpture online from multiple vantage points. Get out there and snap some photos to be part of this innovative visual conversation. 

Installation was completed on Sunday, May 3rd. 

Presented by:

The Richard and Susan Smith Family Foundation

(Richard and Susan Smith, John and Amy S. Berylson and James Berylson, Jonathan Block and Jennifer Berylson Block, Robert Katz and Elizabeth Berylson Katz, Robert and Dana Smith, Debra S. Knez, Jessica Knez and Andrew Knez)

Major Support by:

Lynch Foundation, Autodesk, Anonymous, and ArtPlace America

Additional support by:

The National Endowment for the Arts; Goulston & Storrs; The Fund for the Arts, a public art program of the New England Foundation for the Arts; Robert and Doris Gordon; KHJ Brand Activationlumenpulse; Berkeley Investments; Above Summit; Kevin and Julie Callaghan; Massachusetts Convention Center AuthorityEaton Vance; Robert Beal; Bank of America; Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau; Fort Point Operations Channel Operations Board, including Executive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs, John S. and Cynthia L. Reed Foundation; The Evans Family Foundation; the Massachusetts Cultural Council; the Boston Cultural Council; Julian Tryba Photography.

Media Sponsors:

Boston Globe; CBS WBZ-TV; Improper Bostonian; WBUR; Art New England.

Hotel & Hospitality Sponsor:

InterContinental Boston

Partners & Collaborators:

Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the City of Boston; Massachusetts Department of Transportation; MassPort; MBTA; Chiofaro Company; Tishman Speyer; Celebrity Series of Boston; Studio Echelman; ARUP; Shawmut Design & Construction; Daniel Marr & Son Co

About the Project

Janet Echelman is known for her soft, billowing sculptures the scale of buildings that respond to the forces of nature — wind, water and light — and become inviting focal points for civic life. Her lightweight fiber sculptures shift from being objects you look at, to something you can get lost in. Recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship, Echelman was named an Architectural Digest Innovator for “changing the very essence of urban spaces.”

Echelman’s whimsical work, to be titled, will be a monumentally-scaled, knotted-fiber sculpture suspended hundreds of feet over the central section of the Greenway. The enormous size of the installation will assure that the artwork can be seen from many directions, both up close and far away. This ultra-lightweight artwork will visually knit together the fabric of the city with art. In daylight, it will cast shadow drawings on the ground, and at night it will become a beacon with dynamic colored light. The dramatic sculptural piece will change with the wind and lighting conditions during the day and night so it stays fresh and engaging.

The Studio Echelman team includes aeronautical and mechanical engineers, architects, lighting designers, landscape architects, and fabricators. Echelman is from Brookline, and has completed major commissions and installations in Amsterdam, Sydney, Portugal, India, Vancouver, Singapore, and numerous cities across the US.  Her TED talk "Taking Imagination Seriously" has been translated into 34 languages and viewed more than a million times.  This is Echelman’s first major Boston commission, and in addition to the Smith Family Foundation, the installation has received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, New England Fund for the Arts and ArtPlace America.

Public Art Presentations

Wharf District Community Meeting Public Art Presentation

The Conservancy gratefully acknowledges the following funders for support of our Public Art programs:


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