Brookline Artist’s Sculpture To Be Displayed At Rose Kennedy Greenway

By David Wade, WBZ-TV

BOSTON (CBS) – In a few weeks, a large and colorful sculpture will be on display at the Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy.

Sculptor Janet Echelman’s story begins at Harvard University.

“I thought I would major in government and my dream was to become a Supreme Court justice,” she said, adding that she wanted to be the first woman justice on the bench.

“That’s how long ago it was.”

When she graduated though, she suddenly had a change of heart and wanted to become an artist.

“(My parents) were not very pleased,” she recalled.

“I applied to several art schools and I was rejected by all seven of them,” she says.

At that point, Echelman packed up her paints and traveled the world, including a stop in India. However, along the way her paints went missing.

“…I was stuck with no materials but I was in a fishing village,” she said.

So, she learned the ancient techniques of tying fishing nets and began making rope sculptures. And each one became bigger and bigger, floating in the wind like an illuminated jellyfish above major international cities.

The star artist from Brookline will be using the greenway as her canvas. Her latest creation will stretch an half-acre and connect to skyscrapers.

The sculpture, made of 100 miles of rope, will be on display 390 feet in the air.

The rope’s fibers are 15 times stronger than steel, she told WBZ.

Models of twine hang in her studio, but she designs her sculptures using a computer, and large machines make the rope.

“It’s my first project where my kids can see it and their friends will see it,” she said. “The school wants to take a field trip. Many people are worried about art critics (but) I’m worried about the seventh grade.”

Donations helped make the project happen.

The sculpture will be on display from May through October.

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