Mystic River Portals – 2015

Proposal for the NEA/NPS Imagine Your Parks 2015 Grant Round. dry-laid fieldstone and hammered metal.

Mystic River Portals is an experiential sculpture evoking the River. Portals illustrates scientific and orienteering principles, demonstrating the River’s importance to early regional technology and its use by Paul Revere during his 1775 midnight ride along the Mystic to what is now Minute Man National Historical Park in Concord. Made of hollow hammered metal and fieldstone to mark the industrial and farming history of New England and set into a trailside wooded hillside at the entrance to Torbert MacDonald Park in Medford, Massachusetts, the five bright openings and embracing shapes invite neighbors and visitors to explore over, under, and through the sculpture, encouraging them to experience the River’s beauty, wonder, and scientific interest – and to share an experience of connection with cross-river neighborhoods in Somerville and Boston visible through the Portals

Spyglass Portal
Gravity Portal
Sound Portal
Bridge & Gathering Portals

To bring the public’s attention to the beauty and history of the Mystic River Watershed, located in the greater Boston area directly north of Boston, the Mystic River Watershed Association commissioned Cambridge-based artist/architect Art|Fact–re (Marie S.A. Sorensen, AIA) to create the multi-element public sculpture Mystic River Portals for Torbert MacDonald Park in Medford, Massachusetts, an existing public park owned and maintained by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR). With openings looking towards the Winter Hill and Ten Hills neighborhoods of Somerville and to the skyline of downtown Boston beyond, the sculpture will be a visual symbol of connection between the communities that share the watershed.

The portals will be a safe, durable, ecologically-non-disruptive, and family-friendly public artwork permitting exploration over, under, and through the elements of the sculpture. The work will be designed by artist/architect Art | Fact-re. Architectural details of safety will be designed by Sorensen Partners | Architects + Planners, Inc. A structural engineer will consult on foundations and stone-setting details. Stonemasonry details will be designed and stonework will be installed by an experienced stonemason artisan in conjunction with the artist and a team of installers. The interior hammered steel shapes will be produced by a Massachusetts-based metal fabricator to a design created by Art | Fact-re and reviewed by Sorensen Partners, the structural engineer, and the stonemason. 

Copyright © 2015 Marie S.A. Sorensen, All Rights Reserved.