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Public Art Tour | Cambridge Arts Council
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"Sitting Coves"

Hsu, Lillian

Porter Square, Sculpture

70 Rindge Avenue

Cambridge, MA 02139

Location Description: Paul M. Gately Youth Center, behind the Fitzgerald School

Date: 2001

Materials: Wood, paint, glass block

Dimensions: 7' x 20' x 3'; 5' x 16' x3'

The Gately Shelter provides a range of offerings for the entire North Cambridge community, but primarily serves children and teens ages eight to eighteen. When Hsu received this commission, she reflected that "kids like to hang out in hallways, stairwells, corners - places without a designated function." In response, she designed two seating alcoves where young people can "come and go; be part of traffic; observe and be observed." She wanted the design to be bright, welcoming, and clearly for kids. She chose the structure's maple wood for its warm golden tones. The glass tiles reflect and "move" light, while the etched "squiggle" designs on their surface suggest "narrative, pathways, and the human body." The rainbow spectrum is actually acrylic paint on MDO board behind the glass. Hsu dabbed on many layers of contrasting hues to achieve the rich, saturated colors. An installation artist and sculptor, Hsu studied at Wellesley College, Harvard University, and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. She has exhibited extensively around the U.S. Her work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University as well as in private collections. She is a resident of Cambridge, MA.