Site Announced for Bill Russell Statue
BOSTON - Mayor Thomas M. Menino today joined members of the Bill Russell Legacy Committee and the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation to announce that City Hall Plaza has been chosen as the site for the Bill Russell Legacy Project and to introduce the three artists chosen as finalists to design a tribute to the Celtics legend. Artists Fern Cunningham, Ann Hirsch, and Antonio Tobias Mendez joined members of the Bill Russell Legacy Project Committee to officially announce that the statue will be located at City Hall and conduct their first official site visit. The artists will present their work to the Committee and Bill Russell in the fall, when the winning design will be chosen.
“Today we mark another critical milestone in Boston’s tribute to Bill Russell, the greatest sports champion of our time and a tremendous advocate for human rights and education,” Mayor Menino said. “I am pleased to announce that the Bill Russell Legacy Committee has chosen City Hall Plaza as the location for the statue, as it is a fitting tribute to his civic commitment, and is easily accessible for residents, fans, and visitors to enjoy.”
“We are proud to play a role in paying tribute to one of the greatest champions the sports world has ever seen,” Boston Celtics Managing Partner/Co-owner and President of the Shamrock Foundation Stephen Pagliuca said. “Bill Russell has continued to excel off the court in delivering support to our young people through mentoring programs. The site that Bill Russell and the Bill Russell Legacy Project selected for Bill’s statue is perfect for all Bostonians to visit and recognize him for all his accomplishments.”
As the artists work on their designs this summer, the Committee will continue with a private fundraising campaign for the project. A public campaign will kickoff in the fall to coincide with the selection of the winning design.
The Committee chose City Hall Plaza as the location for a Bill Russell tribute statue, citing its prominent civic location and proximity to the Freedom Trail, Faneuil Hall, and many of the city’s popular historic sites. The site was approved by the Committee and Bill Russell himself. The three artists have been asked to incorporate this idea into their proposals, which will be submitted in the fall. The City is also planning improvements to this part of City Hall Plaza, which will be coordinated with installation of the statue.
The Committee worked with the Boston Art Commission to evaluate all the submissions, and they ultimately chose these three artists as finalists. The artists have been commissioned to present their designs for review this fall. The Committee will select the winning design, which will be completed for an official unveiling in Spring 2012.
The three artists are:
- Fern Cunningham, creator of the Monument to Harriet Tubman in Boston’s South End and other local public art pieces, www.cunninghamsculpture.com
- Antonio Mendez with Oudens Ello Architects, whose work includes the Players Statue at Fenway Park, http://www.oudensello.com/
- Anne Hirsch, a local artist based in Somerville, www.annhirsch.com/projects/
For more information about the artists and public art in Boston visit www.publicartboston.com.
To learn more about the Bill Russell Legacy Project and to donate to the Legacy Fund, please visit www.billrusselllegacy.org.