Upham's Corner Online

Upham's Corner Artist - Dedication of his "Sleeping Moon" in Peabody Square

Posted: Thursday, October 21, 2010
Nancy J Conrad

Join us for the Dedication of Sleeping Moon.

"Sleeping Moon" is a monumental bronze sculpture by Upham's Corner artist, Joseph Wheelwright.  It will be dedicated in a City Celebration at 4pm, Tuesday, October 26, 2010.  
Sleeping Moon
Special guests will include: Mayor Thomas M. Menino MBTA General Manager Richard A. Davey and there will be a performance by the Boston City Singers.  

The celebration will be held at the Ashmont Station Plaza - corner of Dorchester Avenue and Ashmont Street

Click image to enlarge.

View Dorchester Arts Collaborative announcement.

Who Sculptor, Joseph Wheelwright
Mayor Thomas M. Menino
MBTA General Manager Richard A. Davey
Boston City Singers
Dorchester Arts Collaborative
St Mark's Area Main Street
UrbanArts Institute at the Mass College of Art and Design
What Celebration of Public Art in Peabody Square, Dorchester
Where Ashmont Station Plaza - corner of Dorchester Avenue and Ashmont Street
When Tuesday, October 26, 4 p.m.  (Rain date:   October 28, 4 p.m.)
Why Dedication of Sleeping Moon  -  bronze sculpture by Joseph Wheelwright
The five year process of identifying and commissioning the art began with a  planning process initiated by local residents, led by the Dorchester Arts Collaborative and St. Marks Main Street.  It was also carried out as a joint endeavor with the Boston Art Commission.  To help out with the selection of the artist, they contracted with the UrbanArts Institute at the Mass College of Art and Design.  

The group became known as the Peabody Square Public Art Group.  The Edward Ingersoll Browne Trust of the City of Boston provided a significant grant to initiate the planning process. The Group received additional financial support from Trinity Financial, New England Foundation for the Arts, and local residents.  Their goal was to install public art in the soon-to-be revitalized Ashmont Station area of Peabody Square in Dorchester.  The commission offered a rare opportunity because the art would be an integral part of the major renovation.

Dan Larner, Director of SMAMS, was involved from the beginning of the effort:

"It was a pleasure to work with all the groups and individuals including the many volunteers and funders who made Sleeping Moon a reality.  It has been a long process with a huge fundraising challenge, but the group never gave up.  Sleeping Moon is a testament to their commitment to our community."

The DAC is committed to the development of art as a meaningful form of expression in Dorchester:

"The Dorchester Arts Collaborative was founded in 2002 to develop and facilitate arts programming in Dorchester and to cultivate the social, cultural, and economic enrichment of Boston's largest and most diverse neighborhood."

Joyce Linehan, neighborhood resident and former DAC chair was one of the driving forces behind the project. The final review covered 20 proposals and included a community viewing period.  

"I am very proud of the inclusive process that got us to this moment, and grateful for the scores of neighbors who worked so diligently to get this done.  And it warms my heart that we looked all over the region for an artist, and ended up engaging someone from the neighborhood."

The Peabody Square Public Art Group selected "Sleeping Moon" by nationally renowned sculptor and resident of the Peabody Square neighborhood, Joseph Wheelwright.  The Arts Collaborative with the help of other community groups, raised the $150,000 required for fabrication and installation of Wheelwright's work.

Wheelwright explains his work,

"The moon, the original timepiece, seemed a good companion to the much-loved iron clock in Peabody Square. "Sleeping Moon" 'floats' close to the ground atop a mirrored post, as if waiting to assume the heavens. Its light green patina surface with black and gold details is alive with craters, mountains, and rivers, inviting viewers to examine the details on all sides.

I'm honored to have a major public sculpture in the Dorchester neighborhood my family has enjoyed for almost 30 years."
Ashmont Station has been under renovation for several years.  What used to be a final stop for the Ashmont Red Line and a large open area where buses could drop off their final riders and start over again on the next run, has now been converted to an attractive transportation hub including a multi-story commercial-residential complex.

Recently the City began rebuilding the intersection immediately adjacent to Ashmont Station where Dorchester Ave, Talbot Ave and Ashmont Street converge.  The new layout more effectively routes vehicular traffic and makes it safer for pedestrians as well.

And now, best of all, the presence of a monumental bronze work of art adds pre-eminent stature to that station.  
Upham's Corner couldn't be prouder!  

Sculptor Joseph Wheelwright was instrumental in converting 11 Humphreys Street in Upham's Corner into an artistic home for dozens of area artists including himself.

Mr. Wheelwright is a quiet man, deeply dedicated to his art.  He had a vision - a home for artists and the creation of an artistic community.  He joined forces with several others and over time, the Humpheys Street Studios were born.

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