About Us

Mission

HarborArts works with the East Boston community and the Boston Harbor Shipyard to create a stage for dialogue through public art. We are a 14-acre rotating art collection in an open-air industrial setting, representing local and international artists, located on the Boston HarborWalk and open year-round to the public free of charge.

Works are on view at HarborArts on a rotating basis, usually for a minimum of one year. Many works are temporary in nature due to the outdoor location and natural weathering that occurs here. The gritty textures of the working Shipyard and its buildings, and our stunning views of the harbor and Boston skyline, are part of the visitor’s experience of this unique place.

We are excited about enlivening the Boston waterfront with a vital destination for arts. We consider ourselves very lucky to be able to host all this great talent here.” –Stephen Israel, HarborArts Founder

History

HarborArts was born in 2009 with a monumental sculpture by marina resident Steve Israel. He founded a grassroots volunteer arts organization with the help of Dan Noonan, Christina Lanzl, and Randi Hopkins, and transformed the 14-acre Boston Harbor Shipyard & Marina into an outdoor gallery that to this day represents local and international artists.

With the support of the community and the Shipyard, HarborArts has brought thousands of visitors to East Boston to explore the intersection of industry, community, and artistic expression at pop-up exhibitions, community events, and to experience our revolving outdoor collection. In 2014, director Matthew Pollock and the HarborArts crew implemented the 4th annual HarborArts Festival that saw over 5,000 visitors to the pier in celebration of public art.

Present and Future

In 2018 we are proud to continue this permanent outdoor gallery in the Shipyard, welcoming our new neighbors, the Institute of Contemporary Art, to our beloved home of East Boston. We look forward to sharing the growth of East Boston as an arts destination with new audiences, and to new opportunities for dialogue through art and placemaking.

About the Shipyard

The HarborArts Gallery is hosted by Boston Harbor Shipyard. A historic working shipyard, it represents the essence of Boston’s maritime tradition. During the 19th century, some of the world’s fastest clipper ships were built here. Today, the marine industry is still very much alive at Boston Harbor Shipyard, from modern-day boatbuilding to marine support services and an active marina.

 

Press

One Gallery I Bet You Didn’t Even Know Existed In Boston, The Evolving Critic, October 24, 2011, 

HarborArts Large-Scale Artwork Celebration Berkshire Fine Arts, April 23, 2010, by Mark Favermann.

19 Ways to see contemporary art in Boston and beyond Wheretraveler, by Cheryl Fenton & Leigh Harrington on August 11, 2016, updated January 24, 2017.

Fuse Visual Arts: HarborArts ‘OccupyING the Present’ Brings Boston Harbor to Life ArtsFuse, by Margaret Weigel, August 19, 2013.

Globe photos of the month, March 2016” Boston Globe, March 30, 2016, by Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff. “The Boston skyline is framed by “Gates of Transcendence,” at the Boston Harbor Shipyard Marina in East Boston. The sculpture, by Michael Alfano, is part of the HarborArts Outdoor Gallery along the Boston HarborWalk.”

“Artist’s Dock Tattoo Connects Boston To Its History As An International Trade Port”
Amy Gorel, WBUR ARTery, October 14, 2016 (interview)

“Artist’s ‘tattoo’ project will cover pier” Alexa Mills, Boston Globe, September 20, 2014

20 Reasons We Loved Boston in 2014
Lindsay Tucker, Boston Magazine, December 2014
“Poignant” … “Like any long-term relationship, Boston’s love affair with the sea has been occasionally stormy, but ultimately rewarding. To memorialize that indelible bond, graphic artist Liz LaManche treated the Boston Harbor Shipyard pier, in East Boston, as a sailor’s chest, tracing our city’s nautical connection to the rest of the world much in the way that a mariner of yore would have commemorated his salty travels.”

East Boston Pier Is Getting Public Art ‘Tattoos’
The Dock Tattoo Project is a 1,000-foot string of tattoo-like designs on the floor of the main pier at HarborArts.
Yiqing Shao, Arts & Entertainment, Boston Magazine, August 12, 2014

The East Boston Shipyard Has Become the City’s Next Big Artist Enclave Thanks to HarborArts and the annual HarborArts Festival BostInno, August 7, 2014, by Nick DeLuca.