Despite the fact that there were no New Year’s fireworks this year, Boston Harbor Now was quick to host the annual New Year’s Eve on the Waterfront Sculpture Stroll, in Boston, featuring seventeen artists ice sculptures.
On display from twelve noon to dusk, on December 31st, were many creative and intricately constructed sculptures, carved in different locations around the harbor. All with quintessential Boston backdrops and city skylines. Some sculptures were clustered and in walking distance of each other, while others were a bit further away.
Due to the warmer than usual weather, a few of the sculptures were melting quite quickly! It actually made some of the figures difficult to decipher, and of course, their transparent nature didn’t help. Most of the time, you could see the ice melting into water on the ground. Other times, there were clear visible chunks of ice missing from the carved figures.
Figures that the annual sculpture walk took place on the single balmy-weathered day that we had the whole week. The weather, I believe, actually drew more guests than usual outside to view the works of art. Which in normal times, would of been best case scenario for many of these artists and sculptors, to have their work on display, graced by many eyes. However, due to the current pandemic situation, the crowds made viewing the artists’ works a bit challenging.
Encouraging patrons to stroll safely, Boston Now asked that folks wear masks, social distance, and travel with household members, with no more than six to a party. They also asked that guests leave and come back at a later time if there were more than twenty-five people in line waiting to take a photo.
Still, I found that even though people were generally wearing masks. Few where actually social distancing or traveling with groups of six or less. There were also quite a large number of people waiting in line to take photos at most of the sculptures. I was honestly lucky to capture the photos that I did, given the crowds and the delicate nature of the sculptures already. What a year to have an ice sculpture stroll!
Last year the temperatures by the harbor were very cold, which kept the ice sculptures in pristine condition most of the night. I don’t even think I thought twice about how many guests where waiting in line to view them, if anyone was wearing a mask, or if guests where distancing themselves. Then again, why would I? I suppose it is just odd to think back to a time when my mind wasn’t fixated on any sort of social or hygienic guidelines.
Overall, I found it surprising that during a pandemic, Boston Now still decided to host their annual Ice Sculpture Stroll. Nevertheless, I appreciate their attempt to try and normalize this greatly anticipated event during a truly abnormal time.
Furthermore, it felt almost refreshing, to take a stroll, crack a smile and view these transitory sculptures of art. It was enough to make me feel almost normal again, just for a short while.
Here is to hoping this year will be a vast improvement from the last!