Lyman Whitaker Wind Sculptures: Boston Harbor Exhibit Promises to Be Mesmerizing

Charlestown Patriot-Bridge

Charleston, Boston, MA Newspaper

Lyman Whitaker Wind Sculptures: Boston Harbor Exhibit promises to Be Mesmerizing

by Seth Daniel • August 30, 2019 

An upcoming kinetic art installation has the entire Navy Yard buzzing this summer in anticipation of the spring 2020 exhibit that will coincide with the Mayflower 2020 festivities.

The Navy Yard Garden Association has received approval from the Boston Arts Commission and the Boston Planning Agency to place the kinetic art by Lyman Whitaker in Shipyard Park and along the Harbor next spring.

An installation of Lyman Whitaker’s kinetic art in the Dallas Arboretum. An installation will come to the Navy Yard in the spring of 2020.

An installation of Lyman Whitaker’s kinetic art in the Dallas Arboretum. An installation will come to the Navy Yard in the spring of 2020.

“We’ve been working on this for a while,” said Robin DiGiammarino. “These pieces are really cool, and when we asked the community for support, it was heartwarming to see the patients and caregivers so excited to see Whitaker Wind Sculptures in the Navy Yard. We knew it was going to be fun for residents and visitors, but to get support from the Spaulding, Mass General and Ronald McDonald House was fantastic.”

The opening for the installation will be in the spring of 2020 and will coincide with the Mayflower festivities. The exhibit by world-famous artist Lyman Whitaker will be up at least three months. There will be fifty sculptures at nine locations, some of them as tall as 14 feet, and all of them feature movement in the wind.

“We heard loud and clear it’s wanted,” DiGiammarino said. “We decided that if we wanted to do this, we wanted to do it right, and are fortunate that we’re lining up with the Mayflower event.”

Paul Dorrell, of Leopold Gallery in Kansas City, represents Whitaker, and he said the 70-year-old artist is based in Utah near Zion National Park – and is as surprised by his success as anyone.

“He was living in a teepee near Zion National Park years ago, and wasn’t expecting a lot out of life,” said Dorrell. “Like any artist, he hoped to make it big, but didn’t expect it. He built his first Wind Sculpture in 1987 and that was a big success, so much so that he had to hire skilled assistants, get a studio and find a manager. It freaked him out at first.”

Dorrell said the sculptures will be on the waterfront for the first time publicly in the Navy Yard show. While they are in private collections on the water, there’s never been a public show on the water. That, he said, will contribute to their mesmerizing nature.

“They’ve been displayed at botanical gardens in Dallas, Philadelphia, Kansas City and Pittsburgh, and the level of fascination was great,” he said. “It will be the same level of fascination in Boston. The pieces are soothing, mesmerizing pieces, and kind of trippy.”

Mesmerizing and soothing is what Lyman had in mind when he started in the `80s.”

From what we can gather, the City of Boston is very much looking forward to this exhibit, and to working with Lyman Whitaker and Leopold Gallery. As Dorrell said, it will no doubt be “mesmerizing and trippy,” fascinating viewers throughout 2020.

View our previous exhibitions here.

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