Shifting balance.

Growth Rings by Oscar Tuazon creates a grounding space for contemplation and respite on Boston’s waterfront at Central Wharf Park. Produced by Now + There and guest curated for this site by Pedro Alonzo, Growth Rings recognizes our interconnectivity with trees, celebrates the cycles of life, and seeks to foster harmony in our contemporary urban landscape.


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Growth Rings is on view to the public at Central Wharf Park across from the New England Aquarium at 250 Atlantic Ave.

The closest MBTA Stop is the Aquarium stop on the Blue Line.

 
 

Trees shape our lives and environments in innumerable, often invisible ways. They create the oxygen we breathe, help build the infrastructure of our city, and perpetuate our ecosystem. Growth Rings, a new art installation for Central Wharf Park by Oscar Tuazon, draws attention to this symbiotic relationship — inviting us to take pause, find refuge in nature, and nurture an environment that sustains us.

Growth Rings is a site-specific artwork responding to the most prominent feature of Central Wharf Park, its 24 notable oak trees. The installation features three standing vertical circles (with diameters measuring 18’, 16’8”, and 15’5”’) suspended between the trunks of living trees, creating a series of portals that provide a defined corridor and sight-line through the park to the historic Boston Harbor. Fabricated by bending and gluing long pieces of wood, the techniques used to build this work hearken back to traditional boat-building, creating a dialogue between the park, the trees, and the long legacy of Boston’s nearby waterfront. Made with wood that is the same thickness as the tree trunks, the rings are meant to be touched by the public, encouraging an active, tactile experience of its majestic inhabitants, the oaks. Sunken into the ground, the rings suggest natural cycles of life and create a tangible and visible connection from deep underground roots to the treetops above.

Over time the exploitation of tree resources and cycles of use have adapted and changed in response to larger ecosystemic changes. As our consciousness of climate change and the need for sustainability grows so too does our awareness of our inextricable connection to nature and the earth. Growth Rings seeks to help us illuminate our interconnectivity and find balance between the natural world and our developed urban landscapes. In the context of a busy city center, a community of 24 oak trees and an artwork create a space to honor our interconnectedness, and seek harmony within ourselves and our city, to be in community with the trees.

The public is invited to contribute photos and stories about trees that they revere in their urban environment.

 
 
Oscar Tuazon | Photo by Syliva Stagg-Giuliano

Oscar Tuazon | Photo by Syliva Stagg-Giuliano

Sculptor Oscar Tuazon (American, b. 1975) uses industrial materials, such as concrete, wood, steel and glass, to create immersive spatial interventions and free-standing forms that mimic domestic and architectural structures. As part of a new wave of Conceptualism and Minimalism, Tuazon renders familiar components of habitable spaces in unfamiliar settings in an effort to invite the public to reconsider their practical function and facilitate a new awareness of ecology as a source of inspiration.

Recent solo shows include a large-scale installation in the Place Vendôme, Paris (2017), the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles (2016) and Le Consortium in Dijon, France (2015). The artist is currently the subject of a solo show at MSU Broad, “Oscar Tuazon: Water School” (on view through August 2019), and his work is in the permanent collections of the Kunsthaus Zurich; Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Saatchi Gallery, London; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, among others. Tuazon lives and works in Los Angeles, where he co-founded the artist collective-run gallery castillo/corrales (2007-15) and currently organizes LAWS (Los Angeles Water School) near his downtown studio.

 
 

Growth Rings marks Now + There’s first collaboration with a guest curator. Pedro Alonzo is a Boston-based independent curator, who is currently an Adjunct Curator at Dallas Contemporary. He specializes in producing exhibitions that transcend the boundaries of the museum walls and spill out onto the landscape. Pedro works with artists to develop ambitious artworks in public space. He is committed to providing opportunities for artists to engage broader audiences by presenting contemporary art in the public realm and by developing projects, which stimulate participation as an integral component of the artwork.

“Oscar’s practice embodies the intersection of human-made and nature. His work is ideally suited for the Central Wharf Park. Tuazon has experience creating large-scale, bold and immersive installations that bring people together to reimagine and reinterpret their surroundings.“

Pedro has curated numerous museum exhibitions for the ICA Boston, MCA San Diego, and Dallas Contemporary, among others. He has also developed several public art installations and programs in partnership with the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, that included ambitious public works by artists Sam Durant, Jonathan Monk, Odili Odita, Michelle Angela-Ortiz, Shinique Smith and Swoon;  The Trustees, Massachusetts’ largest conservation and preservation nonprofit, to launch and curate the organization’s first Art and the Landscape Initiative, resulting in site-specific projects for its most iconic sites throughout New England, and most recently Alonzo worked with the artist JR to place a gigantic image of a Mexican child named Kikito, overlooking the US/México border wall in Tecate.