Fort Point Arts Community Gallery

While many Bostonians who are interested in the city's modern art scene are also familiar with the Institute of Contemporary Art, the Fort Point Arts Community Gallery is a gem that often goes overlooked despite its close proximity to the large museum. Located a fifteen minute walk away from the ICA at 300 Summer Street, the gallery on the lower level of the building showcases just some of the work of the countless artists who live in the studios in the floors above.

Similar to the purpose behind the ICA and Whitney Museum in New York City, the architecture of the building that hosts the gallery is a work of art in itself; steel fixtures form a canopy that hangs from the ceiling, and steel, industrial-looking rails line the stairway to the main exhibition room. These pieces further accentuate the gallery's unique place in Boston, and how the artists of Fort Point have modified the physical space throughout the region to shape its distinct atmosphere.

The FPAC is an artist membership organization which is known for its public art projects. In addition to providing artists with work-live spaces and opportunities to exhibit and sell their work, the organization is equally dedicated to making all of its work easily accessible, and sharing it with as many Bostonians as possible. The organization is based in Boston's Fort Point district, whose historical significance as a hub of artistic activity is not always appreciated as a result of the influx of office and company buildings that have more recently developed in the area. There are currently five different projects in and around Fort Point which have been designed to promote the Fort Point neighborhood and historically established arts community and keep Boston's artistic interest in the vibrant, unique, and historic neighborhood from being buried or forgotten. Aside from their other public projects, The Fort Point Arts Community Gallery presents new shows nine times a season, to which non-member or non-resident artists are welcome to apply. For more information about the organization's current projects, becoming a member, or submitting artwork, visit

Members of the Fort Point Arts Community are always present at the gallery and eager to answer questions. I would like to extend a warm thanks to the organization and the artist with whom I spoke for her helpfulness and enthusiasm- she was overflowing with meaningful information and insights about the community and current exhibition, and truly exemplified the community's warmhearted and genuine interest in sharing the work of Fort Point artists with all of Boston.

Currently on display in the gallery until July 2nd is the "drawing and sparring" exhibit, which was inspired by "The Club by George Foreman III", a boxing gym in the seaport district near one of FPAC's live-work spaces. When the gym first opened, it replaced a theater that had once occupied the space. Understandably, man of the artists in Fort Point had been worried about the effect that this significant change would have on the community's already threatened arts culture. Despite this initial apprehension, however, the artists of Fort Point found diversified inspiration in this unusual attraction, and the gym became a hub for Fort Point's photographers, videographers, and painters who documented their own perspectives on its unique activities and atmosphere. 

After all, boxing is about the art of self defense, as opposed to the act of throwing punches, and the artists featured in this exhibit showcase their understanding of this concept on complex levels. The "drawing and sparring" exhibit displays the countless different lenses through which the artists have looked at the same subject: their interpretations are presented through portraits, action photographs, conceptual videos, sharp sketches, soft-toned impressionist-like oil paintings, and even Legos. The exhibit as a whole uses a plethora of materials as well as color and its absence to portray the elegance and geometry of the human form, its role in facilitating the power of motion, and so much more. The exhibition shows the city of Boston that there is art to be recognized in everything if approached with an open mind.  

In fact, if one were to view the exhibition and be inspired by the artist's interpretation of the gym, The Club itself is located at 15 Channel Center Street, a mere ten minute walk away from the gallery, and offers a variety of classes including yoga and pilates as well as typical gym equipment. The Club offers free tours to visitors, at the end of which a coupon is presented for three free classes- more information can be found online at

Visiting both the Fort Point Arts Community Gallery and The Club are truly immersive and enriching experiences that one should not pass up if they live in the Boston area- it is a way to truly understand and further appreciate the rich deposit of hidden culture that Boston has to offer.

By Katherine Borkov 
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