To help raise awareness of women’s contributions to the transportation industry, WTS-Boston today unveiled a 650-square-foot, hand-made, glass mosaic art installation, designed by renowned artist Ellen Harvey. The piece, titled NETWORK, is the result of 12 years of hard work by WTS-Boston and their Public Arts Committee, which is co-chaired by Lisa A. Brothers, PE, ENV SP, LEED AP BD+C, Chairman & CEO of Nitsch Engineering, and Hyun-A Park, President of Spy Pond Partners.
NETWORK – located in the headhouse entrance to Boston’s South Station, at the northeast corner of Summer Street and Atlantic Avenue – highlights the transportation network that WTS members have helped build. The mosaic map includes a gold dot to represent South Station, with various shades of grey used to show roads (light grey), railroads (medium grey), and subways (dark grey). Blue and green tiles show waterways and the ocean, recognizing the natural water transportation network. Three mermaids are hidden in the ocean, working together to survey the land across from them, while representing the often-hidden ways in which women have historically contributed to the transportation industry.
“When WTS-Boston had the idea in 2007 to commission a piece of public art to celebrate women in transportation, I was excited to participate in a unique public-private partnership between MassDOT, the MBTA, and WTS-Boston, that would have a positive impact on such a wide group of people,” said Lisa Brothers. “As co-chair of the Public Art Committee since the beginning, I’ve had the opportunity to work with an amazing team of volunteers to secure funding, create the 501(c)3 WTS-Boston Charitable Fund, issue a call for artists that received 195 entries, and work with Ellen Harvey to bring our vision to life. I’m proud to have been a part of this amazing project, and look forward to (hopefully) bringing my future grandchildren to South Station, to show them what a team of dedicated and thoughtful volunteers can achieve.”
NETWORK was made possible by the generous donations of the Edward Ingersoll Browne Trust, Massachusetts Port Authority, and WTS Boston Chapter; the in-kind support of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) and Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA); and corporate donations from Nitsch Engineering, VHB, Stantec, HNTB Corporation, WSP USA Inc., SPS New England, Spy Pond Partners, City Point Partners, Skanska USA, and Keville Enterprises. Individual donors included Lisa Brothers; Nitsch Engineering’s founding principal, Judy Nitsch, PE, LEED AP BD+C; Ileen Gladstone; Elizabeth Levin; Hyun-A Park; and Dorri Raposa. Jean Mineo served as the public art consultant. NETWORK was fabricated and installed by Miotto Mosaic Art Studio in collaboration with Travisanutto Giovanni SRL, structural engineering assessment was provided by Stantec, and general contracting was provided by SPS New England.
More information on the history of NETWORK, artist Ellen Harvey, and WTS-Boston can be found at wtsbostonpublicart.com.
Images within post courtesy of Ellen Harvey Studio, with the exception of the photo of the speakers from the unveiling ceremony.
The Boston Chapter of WTS International is the successor organization of the Greater Boston Women’s Transportation Group which was formed in 1980; since 1981 it has been a part of WTS International (originally Women’s Transportation Seminar) which was founded in 1977 by a group of pioneering women in transportation. After more than 40 years of growth and development, WTS is an international organization with more than 6,500 members (including women and men) and 79 chapters, connected to a network of 40,000 transportation professionals. Through its professional activities, networking opportunities, and unparalleled access to industry and government leaders, WTS is turning the glass ceiling into a career portal.
About Ellen Harvey
Ellen Harvey is a British-born artist living and working in Brooklyn. She is a 2016 recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship in the Visual Arts and a graduate of the Whitney Independent Study Program and Harvard College. She has exhibited extensively in the U.S. and internationally and was included in the 2008 Whitney Biennial. She has completed permanent public works for New York Percent for Art, New York Arts in Transit, the Chicago Transit Authority, the Philadelphia International Airport, the Federal Art in Architecture program, Miami Beach Art in Public Places and the Flemish National Architect, winning the Belgian Wivina Demeester Prize for Commissioned Public Art in 2016.