Color Crossing Makes Winter Street a More Colorful Part of DTX

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Posted September 27, 2014 by Lindsey Daniels in Theater & Arts
Color Crossing

Downtown Boston is about to become a lot more colorful, thanks to a new mural project by the Downtown Boston Business Improvement District (BID). One mural, called Color Crossing, is already up right by the Corner Mall, on 17 Winter Street. Perhaps DTX is taking a cue from the Greenway, which has long been a supporter of public art through its mural program. All told, this new program will bring color and fun to more than 25 alleyways in the Downtown Crossing area. Color Crossing is a harbinger of what you can expect in the months to come.

Color Crossing

With both a sound and image component, Color Crossing was developed to give pedestrians a place to pause and reflect in an area of Winter Street known as Music Hall Place. Artist Kate Gilbert finished the piece on September 11, and it is set to remain in place through October 1, 2014. See it during the very short time period that it remains up, as it’s a very unique piece.

Color Crossing was developed to tell the story of the different types of people passing through the Downtown Crossing area — the folks who live there, those who work there, and the students and tourists passing through the area on a more temporary basis. Color Crossing makes a statement about the simpler times that are past, the diversity of the Boston area, and the unknown future that awaits us all.

DTX Color Crossing

Artist Kate Gilbert finished the piece on September 11. Photo Credit: Kate Gilbert

Over 100 people were interviewed during the creation of this piece, asked by Gilbert whether they would prefer to travel to the past or the future in a time machine. Of those interviewed, nearly two-thirds expressed a longing to return to the past. Gilbert uses bold colors — pinks, turquoises, purples, and yellows — to bring the DTX landscape to life and create an illusion of space. Selected quotes from the sound portion are painted on the floors and walls of the alley. Speaking to Boston Magazine about the experience, Gilbert said that she felt DTX was so special because it gave people from different backgrounds and classes a place within Boston to come together organically.

Sound artist Halsey Burgund collated a soundscape to accompany the Color Crossing mural and bring the voices of downtown Boston residents and passersby to life. Mixing original music, interviews with locals, and so-called field recordings, the soundscape puts music in Music Hall Place and serves as an oral history of downtown Boston. The audio plays on a loop from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

What’s Next for BID

The public art program, known as Pause, hopes to enliven the downtown Boston area. While there are set to be 24 more murals altogether, the BID has not yet made their locations or subjects public. Perhaps they will spring up around Downtown Boston like surprises, or be heralded in the press. Either way, we can’t wait to see what comes next, and we think Color Crossing is such a wonderful way to start bringing more color and life to the DTX area through art!


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