Boston Art Commission

Art Barrier: 137.5°

Artist: Benjamin Winters and Vaclav Sipla

Neighborhood: Fort Point & Charlestown



United States
42° 21' 13.896" N, 71° 2' 52.2096" W

Medium: Exterior Grade Acrylic

Time Frame: Friday, April 26, 2013 - Wednesday, April 1, 2020


Mayor Thomas M. Menino and the Boston Art Commission, in collaboration with the City of Boston's Public Works Department, are pleased to announce ArtBarrier, a new program, which will add color and vitality to the often-overlooked concrete Jersey barriers located on public roadways.

The winning design, entitled 137.5°, is by Benjamin Winters and Vaclav Sipla. The artists have engaged in a range of projects throughout the region and brought their combined innovation and creativity to the ArtBarrier program. Benjamin Winters is a designer concerned with the potential for creating identity and space through returning decorative ornaments to the public setting. Vaclav Sipla is a classically trained stone sculptor who cofounded Sipla Newsam Studio, an art studio concerned with site specific public art whose philosophy has been described as urban Zen.

The artists describe their design as “a stylized version of a sunflower, created using mathematics and computer drafting software. The sunflower is a plant native to the area, and is often viewed as a symbol of optimism, as the faces of the mature plant face Eastward towards the rising sun. It also contains a natural expression of the golden ratio, thought by some to be relayed to beauty”.

Winters and Sipla created stencils that were used by volunteers to paint the barriers, as part of the annual Boston Shines volunteer program on Friday April 26th and Saturday April 27th at Northern Avenue and North Washington Street. 

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