SOS (Safety Orange Swimmers) was on view from July 17th until September 16th 2019 in Lake Ontario, Toronto, Canada, as one the first temporary art installations commissioned and sposored by Waterfront Toronto, which is spearheading a multi-billion dollar waterfront development program.
Each figure represents more than one million of the estimated nearly 26 million refugees in the world today. Three figures have been added to the installation since its 2016 debut.
FORT POINT CHANNEL, BOSTON
22 brightly painted figures floated in Boston’s Fort Point Channel for two months in 2016.
SOS (Safety Orange Swimmers) relate Fort Point Channel to the seas crossed by those in search of shelter, freedom, prosperity and safety. They evoke Boston’s long history of welcoming immigrants.
Each figure represents more than 1 million of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees estimated 22.5 million refugees in 2016.
Animated by the environment, SOS (Safety Orange Swimmers) take on a life of their own. Changing weather and different viewpoints give the installation a range of meanings.
Commissioned by Fort Point Arts Community (FPAC).
AWARDS AND HONORS
Forecast Public Art Review 58
In 2019, Forecast Public Art Review featured SOS (Safety Orange Swimmers) in a special anniversary issue showcasing 15 projects from across the world.
Americans for the Arts Public Art Network Year in Review
Americans for the Arts 2017 Public Art Network (PAN) Year in Review program recognized SOS (Safety Orange Swimmers) as an outstanding public art project.
ArtPrize® Nine Featured Public Project
SOS (Safety Orange Swimmers) was a Featured Project at ArtPrize® Nine in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 2017 where it was a Top 20 project in the Public Vote.
ARTPRIZE® NINE, GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN
SOS (Safety Orange Swimmers) Selected Press
SOS (Safety Orange Swimmers) promotion sheet.
U.S. art installation representing plight of refugees now in Toronto harbor. Toronto Star. 7.17.19
TwentyTwentyArts, Interview with Toronto non-profit and blog, July 30, 2019.
Chilling art installation brings refugee crisis to Toronto Harbour. NOW Magazine, 7.19.2019
Art exhibit in Lake Ontario highlights plight of refugees. Digital Journal, 8.1.2019
Public Art Review, Forecast Magazine, 40th Anniversary edition #58, featuring 15 public art projects that embody “Powerful Spaces,” 2019.
Art with a Message, CODA Magazine, July 2018.
Up-voted over 14,000 times on Reddit.
Named by The Artery/WBUR one of the top 15 public art projects in Boston in 2016.
2017 Public Art Network, Americans for the Arts (PAN) Year in Review program outstanding public art project of the year. Chosen by jury from 325 entries, the 49 selected projects represent the most compelling work from across the country.
Top 20 ArtPrize® finalist work pushes talk of global refugee crisis, Noah Fromson, WZZM13, Grand Rapids, October 3, 2017.
The Tide and the River: an interview with SOS (Safety Orange Swimmers) ArtPrize® artist Ann Hirsch, Kevin Buist, Cultured, Grand Rapids, September 18, 2017.
The Boston Globe, Feathered Admirer, Metro Section, p. 2, November 3, 2016.
With Fort Point Exhibit, A Look at the Global Migrant Situation, William Batchelor, BC Heights, November 2, 2016.
What Orange People Clinging To Inner Tubes In Boston Channel Says About Refugee Crisis, Greg Cook, WBUR’s The Artery, October 24, 2016.
The Boston Globe, Plight of the Refugees, front page photo, above the fold, October 13, 2016.
Boston’s newest art installation takes on world refugee crisis, Amanda Jackson, CNN, October 13, 2016.
Artists Aim To Bring Attention To Refugee Crisis With Fort Point Floating Art, CBS Channel 4, October 11, 2016.
Floating Art Turning Heads in Boston’s Fort Point Section, NBC Channel 5, October 11, 2016.
A+J Art+Design is a multidisciplinary collaboration between artists Ann Hirsch and Jeremy Angier. We share a commitment to site-specificity, interactivity and community engagement. We do extensive research and intensively collaborate in the service of the community and the site’s history, current identity, and future aspirations. We believe that public art can provoke and entice while inspiring civic engagement.
SOCIAL MEDIA IMPACT
Traffic to FPAC’s website more than doubled during the days surrounding the project’s installation and promotion.