Last Year’s Library Art Installation up for an Award

Last April, the community joined together at the East Boston Branch Library to unveil an art installation outside the library on the East Boston Greenway that brings attention to sea-level rise and climate change.

Science has told us that Boston expected to experience damaging flood level due to climate change by the end of the century.

With Eastie being particularly vulnerable to the impact of sea level rise the Friends of the Greenway, the library, and community members partnered with Carolina Aragón, public artist and assistant professor of Landscape Architecture and Narges Mahyar, assistant professor of Computer Science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst to bring RisingEMOTIONS: East Boston to the neighborhood.

Using colorful ribbons to signify just how high flood levels could be along the Greenway RisingEMOTIONS was constructed in collaboration with community groups and was on display along the Greenway in the front area of the library last summer.

The bands were carried across the library’s patio and upward against the building windows. The height of the frames and the lines on the building represented the height for the projected 1 percent annual chance flood for Eastie in 2070, about 3.7 feet.

Now the public art installation is up for the internationally acclaimed CODAaward and Eastie residents have been voting online all last week in hopes that Eastie’s powerful art installation gets picked.

The annual CODAawards celebrates the projects that most successfully integrate commissioned art into interior, architectural, or public spaces. The CODAawards program honors the individuals and the teams whose collective imaginations create the public and private spaces that inspire us every day.

The CODAawards jury voted to select the Top 100 most successful design projects and RisingEMOTIONS and voting for the “People’s Choice” category opened on June 18 and closed on Tuesday.

The final winners will be announced on August 30.

All the colorful ribbons used in RisingEMOTIONS included writing from local students who express their concerns over climate change.

Some of these writings were very striking and there were a lot of concerns about sea level rise in Eastie.

Professor Mahyar said the RisingEMOTIONS project also piloted the implementation of digital technologies to gather data on public’s emotions related to flooding due to sea level rise as part of the overall art installation. The goal was to increase the public’s engagement with climate issues and connect participants to ongoing governmental and grassroots efforts.

Rising EMOTIONS was funded by the Friends of the East Boston Greenway and was supported by the Boston Society of Landscape Architects with scientific data provided by Sustainable Solutions.

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