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The Shape of Play: A Public Art Installation

Do you feel free to play?

The Shape of Play, a new public art installation by artist Sari Carel, commissioned by the Jewish Arts Collaborative (JArts) and curated and produced by Now + There, invites us to reflect on the connections between play and the universal search for freedom. An engaging multi-media work debuting in Boston’s Waterfront Park in the North End, The Shape of Play invites people from across Boston to come, play, question, and explore what freedom means now and what it may look like in the future. Conceived in the pre-pandemic world, the project has taken on new importance in a city full of padlocked play spaces and calls on us to break down the barriers to freedom our society has built. Combining sculpture and sound to create an engaging multi-sensory experience, The Shape of Play will spark new connections, foster tolerance, and inspire reflection on individual and collective freedoms.

Community Dialogue

The project will be augmented by a series of panels, featuring artist Sari Carel, project producers from JArts and Now+There, and activists, artists, academics, and community leaders from the Greater Boston area.

This project plants questions around the meaning of play. By asking “do you feel free to play,” the art installation becomes a conversational jumping off point for dialogue about play and its relationship to and implications for freedom. To do this, JArts is reaching out to community partner organizations across the city to curate a series of four Zoom dialogue sessions/conversations that will approach these questions from a variety of perspectives, centered around 4 core questions:

WHAT makes you feel free to play?
WHEN do you feel free to play?
WHERE do you feel free to play?
WHY are freedom and play connected?

Register to attend a dialogue focusing on public art installations and civic spaces, from leaders in the field.

Watch the panel held on September 9th, with artist Sari Carel, JArts Executive Director Laura Mandel, and Now+There Assistant Curator Leah Triplett Harrington.

View program book here:


About the Artist 

Sari  Carel  is a multi-disciplinary artist and activist based in New York. She works at the intersection of art, science, history, and community. Her work has been exhibited and screened internationally in venues such as New York’s Artists Space; Dumbo Arts Festival; Los Angeles’s LAX Art and Young Projects; and Israel’s Tel Aviv University Gallery and Haifa Museum of Art. She has been awarded numerous fellowships and residencies, including AIR Vienna; the Socrates Sculpture Park Artist Fellowship and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Residency on Governors Island, New York. Recent exhibitions include Out of Thin Air, a public sound installation with community-driven workshops at City Hall Park in Manhattan and The A.I.R Gallery Biennial in Brooklyn.

~ Hear artist Sari Carel speak about her 2018 New York sound installation, “Out of Thin Air.” ~

About Now+There:

Now+There is a public art curator driven to deliver thought-provoking, public art projects that advance new definitions of public art, acculturate Boston to the cultural, social and economic benefits of art, and help define Boston’s essential public art identity.
Learn more about Now+There: nowandthere.org, and read their take on ‘The Shape of Play’: http://www.nowandthere.org/blog/2020/8/17/the-shape-of-play-by-sari-carel-debuts-september-4


Read thoughts on freedom and play from the JArts team and Now+There, here:


In partnership with:

playsounds  #shapeofplay  #saricarel  @now_and_there 


Event information

September 4th, 2020



Waterfront Park, Boston