By Beth Treffeisen
A trio of French horns filled the Symphony Community Park in Fenway with music as a large crowd, some sporting light blue t-shirts with the park name tinseled on, came together on a gorgeous sunny afternoon this past Thursday, August 18, to welcome a large new sculpture into its new home.
"It really is a new day for public art in the city of Boston," said Kelly Brilliant from the Fenway Alliance. "Public art tells a story of the public community and we are so happy to be here and give a sit to ‘First Chair.'"
The new sculpture by artist Jacob Kulin was commissioned by the Friends of Symphony Park through the eight-year comprehensive restoration of the space located next to the Morville House and behind Whole Foods market.
"First Chair" that is 16 feet high is made of granite, Corten steel, bronze, and stainless steel. Musical forms and instruments inspired the design.
"This is an example on how we're going to make Boston beautiful with the arts," said Julie Burros the chief of Arts and Culture at the city of Boston. "I want to acknowledge that creating of a public park takes a village, a team, it takes everyone."
For Mayor Marty Walsh who first visited during the park opening said that it now looks a lot a different.
"This is a place of a lot of activity and a lot of people take part," said Mayor Marty Walsh. "It is nice to see a neighborhood helping each other out and you certainly see that here."
He added, in last year's budget they made sure to include $47 million to go towards parks and recreation within the city.
"Arts helps people connect to public spaces," continued Mayor Walsh. "As I walk through the park talking to you I see what this city is all about."
Walsh continued by this is a diverse city and you can see what can happen when everyone comes together to work on a project. This space is for everyone he continued, both local residents and visitors to enjoy.
For the neighbors, the new open design they hope will defer any unwanted activity that spurred the neighborhood to work together to update the park years ago.
"It took a lot of time to get here," said Trudy Cox a resident of the area. "But they did it."
Cox added that she enjoys the welcoming open space that was once closed off by a fence and laughed at how she thought the sculpture was going to be much taller.
"Now I look at it and it's just right," said Cox. For Abria Smith who works with Berklee College of Music to get live performances in the park she said, "What I love about it is that it is wide open and welcoming."
She hopes to hold more concerts in the park in the future.
Marie Fukuda of Friends of Symphony Park who has been envisioning this park for years said, "None of us are millionaires but we all pitched in. We did it and we should be proud of our work!"