Jan 12, 2024 - Culture

The clowns are just the beginning: Winteractive aims to thrill, delight in downtown Boston

"End Game," an art installation featuring two massive floating clown heads, hovers between the Modern Theatre and the building nextdoor in downtown Boston. It's part of an art series called "Winteractive" led by the Boston Business Improvement District.

Photo: Courtesy of Downtown Boston BID

The massive inflatable clown heads hovering between two buildings in downtown Boston brought confusion, delight and, for some with an oddly common phobia, a twinge of fear.

Yes, but: Max Streicher’s clown art is just one of 16 installations that will make you stop, take a breath and maybe dance a little.

Why it matters: At a time when rent increases, heftier grocery bills and public transit mishaps have a chokehold on Bostonians, we could all use some joy in our lives.

Catch up fast: The Downtown Boston Business Improvement District and three art curators from Québec are launching the Winteractive exhibit Wednesday on the streets of Boston.

  • They'll be on display through April 14, Boston Marathon weekend.

State of play: “Endgame,” the clown art, and “Echoes,” a steel whale sculpture by British artist Mathias Gmachl, are already up for the public to see.

  • The other artwork going up ranges from delightful to bizarre.
Two people in Singapore pedal on the Light Lane bicycle installation, producing images and music with the energy from their pedaling
LeMonde's Light Lane bicycle installation in Singapore. Photo: Courtesy of LeMonde Studio

“Light Lane” bikes

LeMonde Studio projects images and music across the Summer Street plaza — but only when you take part.

  • Hop on the stationary bike and start pedaling to keep the lights and sounds going.

LeMonde will have four other pieces on display: “Bird House,” “Music Box,” the “Interactive Photo frame” and the massive “Guitar Slide.”

“Island of Warmth”

ATOMIC3's electric urban bonfire, complete with 220 light bulbs, has lit up crowds in Canada, China and other parts of the world.

  • Jenkins' sculptures aren't up yet in Boston, but Toronto residents captured the installation when it debuted in Yonge-Dundas Square in 2022.
  • Protip: The lights come to life as people move. Don’t be afraid to sway, wiggle and move to the right, the right, the right.
A sculpture of a unicorn sits inside a frosted glass case outside the old State House.
Photo: Steph Solis/Axios

“Myth and Evidence”

Matheiu Valade built a frosted glass encasing a unicorn sculpture.

One person on a ladder and another on the ground set up and seal pieces of a colorful mural that says "winteractive" and shows two deer kissing
Crews set up Kenza Dalz's "Blissful Rendevous" mural outside Macy's. Photo: Steph Solis/Axios

"Blissful Rendevous"

Kezna Dalz's mural went up outside Macy's Friday afternoon, bringing a pop of color to the street.

  • Dalz has designed bright and colorful murals, album covers and beer cans across the world.
A person in a hoodie takes a smartphone photo of a sculpture of a faceless woman on a swing hangs over Winter Street near the Park Street T station in Boston.
One of Mark Jenkins' faceless sculptures at Tremont and Winter streets. Photo: Courtesy of Downtown Boston BID

“Untitled”

Mark Jenkins, known for his bizarre, faceless sculptures, fishing out of a window, walking upside down and more, will display five sculptures across the Ladder Blocks, including a faceless fisherman.

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