Group asks artists to float ideas for Fort Point Channel

Floating art in the Fort Point Channel consists of floating palms.
Floating art in the Fort Point Channel consists of floating palms. John Tlumacki/Globe Staff/Globe Staff

Artists looking to break loose from the confines of conventional gallery space — and literally make a splash — are being encouraged to submit their proposals to a Fort Point arts group by the end of this month.

The Fort Point Arts Community wants to place a distinctive and visually compelling piece of art in the middle of the Fort Point Channel between Congress and Summer streets in October.

According to a request for proposals, the nonprofit group is seeking a prominent display that connects the neighborhood’s arts community with residents and visitors. The invitation to artists also specifies that the work should have an educational component.


Submissions are due by July 26. The winning artist, who will be selected by a panel of six judges, will be awarded $8,000 to realize his or her watery vision.

The contest is being sponsored by the arts group with support from the Friends of Fort Point Channel and the Fort Point Operations Board. The temporary installation will appear in conjunction with the arts community’s annual fall Open Studios event. It will be taken down in November.

“It’s always a surprise when we receive submissions,” said Emily O’Neil, executive director of the organization. “We have had so many wonderful ones in the past.”

The tricky thing with the harbor is that the art installation has to be able to withstand saltwater and the weather, she said.

The winning entrant will have to be somebody who has some sort of mechanical understanding of how to make a project work in that environment.

“It’s a very unique offering that we have put together,” she said.

Prior art installations in the channel have included “Tropical Fort Point,” a series of floating palm trees that brought an island-like feel to the otherwise gray-green ocean waters.


A 10-foot-tall polystyrene pyramid also appeared in the space, but has since been moved to a location nearby.

O’Neil said she couldn’t pick which floating installation has been her favorite.

“I feel like they’re all my children,” she said.“But there have certainly been some interesting [additions] to the harbor.”

Steve Annear can be reached at steve.annear@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @steveannear.