The Perfect Escape: Wind On Water Exhibit Offers WOW Summer Respite

A summer breeze and social distancing have worked out well in the Navy Yard for the exciting public art exhibit, ‘WOW: Wind on Water,’ put on by the Navy Yard Garden Association – working out as public art that has created new placemaking spaces.

Wind on Water is the second public art entry by the Garden Association, as they had the ‘Big Dog’ exhibit two summers ago. The WOW was supposed to premiere in early May with a big kick-off that had been planned for over a year to coincide with the Mayflower 2020 exhibition. Both events were cancelled, but the artist Lyman Whitaker still had the metal kinetic sculptures installed in eight locations around the Navy Yard, and they’ll be up until next May.

The past week – and really the entire summer – has been a wonderful time to head to the Navy Yard to catch the Wind On Water kinetic sculpture exhibit, a series of eight metal designs that move in the wind and invite folks to stop and enjoy. Created by renowned kinetic sculptor Lyman Whitaker, the creations are mesmerizing and fun. Here, one of the designs in front of DryDock #1 twirls in the wind on Monday.
Meanwhile, Tess the dog found a comfortable spot to enjoy these shiny sculptures in Shipyard Park.

So far this summer, after a few months of twirling in the wind, they’ve been a hit with the public.

“It’s been a wonderful exhibit and has created new public spaces,” said Robin DiGiammarino, of the Association. “People tend to walk to the Charlestown Navy Yard and just walk right through it. Now, we’ve created public spaces where people are stopping and sitting at below the sculptures. I’ve noticed people sunbathing or picnicking around the wind sculptures. It’s been a really special and important aspect for us.”

That was exactly what was happing on Monday morning for Mark Dunnigan and his dog, Tess, who were hanging out just below one of the kinetic sculptures in Shipyard Park – watching the shiny metal twirl in the wind and sun.

“The Navy Yard is vacationland,” he said. “It feels like part of the city, but it’s our own vacationland too. This just adds to it. You sit here and stare at them and relax in the open space, especially on a windy day. It has meant a lot to the community, I know…It’s not one of these things that are overly done. It’s subtle and it really fits here.”

DiGiammarino said they are going to spice things up a bit this month with a photo contest that will begin on Aug. 15. Residents are encouraged to come down, spend time with the kinetic sculptures and take photos of them. The best photos will be chosen. Check the Navy Yard Garden Association’s website for more details. The wind sculptures will be on exhibit throughout the seasons until May 2021.

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