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Bill Russell Legacy Project


Ann Hirsch


City Hall Plaza  


City Hall Plaza
United States






2013 | 2015


Bronze brick granite


City of Boston


The Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation


"The Bill Russell Legacy Project celebrates the legacy of the great Boston Celtics champion, human rights activist and mentorship leader Bill Russell. It was commissioned by the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation for the City of Boston at the behest of the late Mayor Thomas Menino and of President Obama's call for Boston to build a statue "not only to Bill Russell the player, but Bill Russell the man."  Through physical exploration of the space, visitors learn about Bill Russell's vision as they consider how each child, when given an equal chance to succeed based on his or her own merits, can become a champion too.

The project incorporates two approaches: a bronze figurative sculpture and an arena of encounter with text, granite and brick elements. The installation, built in partnership with Bill Pressley, FASLA, LEED, AP, and award-winning Boston-based Pressley Associates, is at once fully site-specific, interactive and narrative-driven. While the bronze sculpture is tied to Boston's history of commemorative monuments, its context within a site-specific architectural space that highlights the construction of Boston City Hall and opens a clear space for the viewer within the piece looks more towards current approaches to monument design and public art practice.

The second phase of the project relied on a collaborative process with groups of local young people; Ekua Holmes, Community Coordinator MassArt's Center for Art and Community Partnerships, Nicole Nkalu Flint, Project R.I.G.H.T.'s S.E.L.F. program coordinator at the Grove Hall Center, Susan Lovett of the Lilla G. Frederick Middle School's A.S.P.I.R.E. program and Kyanna Lungelow and Masika Gadson of the Streetworkers Program of the B.C.Y.F.

Ann Hirsch is a Somerville-based public artist who has completed large-scale sculpture projects across the country and has extensive experience collaborating with community and city agencies and project teams. Her public art practice often employs the human form to engage the public in narratives that are accessible, interactive and inclusive.  She teaches at the Rhode Island School of Design is a graduate in Art History from Barnard College, Columbia University and the New York Academy of Art where she completed her training"

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