Matthew Hinçman—the Boston sculptor behind the iconic Jamaica Pond Bench (pictured above) and a guerrilla memorial to Trayvon Martin at the corner of Eliot and Centre streets in Jamaica Plain’s Monument Square—has been selected to create a new public artwork for the recently renovated Jamaica Plain Branch of the Boston Public Library.

Matthew Henchman. (Courtesy photo)
Matthew Henchman. (Courtesy photo)

Hinçman, a sculpture professor at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design and chair of the Boston school’s Fine Arts 3D Program, is expected to complete the $200,000 project next year.

The Jamaica Plain-based artist is best known around these parts for a guerrilla art caper he pulled in 2006. Without permission, he installed a park bench on the path around Jamaica Pond. It resembled all the other benches already there—metal legs and wooden seats—except that it had two backs facing each other to form a U.

Matthew Hincman's 2014 Trayvon Martin memorial "Still." (Greg Cook)
Matthew Hincman’s 2014 Trayvon Martin memorial “Still.” (Greg Cook)

Then to remember Trayvon Martin, the unarmed African-American teenager who was gunned down in 2012, Hincman created “Still” in 2014. Another guerrilla piece, he affixed the cast metal relief— depicting a hoodie sweatshirt cast to the ground—atop the stump of a lamppost on a busy Jamaica Plain corner.

“It’s great to see someone who has such a strong understanding of Jamaica Plain’s cultural identity and a proven connection to the larger community take on the project,” Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said in a prepared statement.

Hincman said in his own prepared statement, “I embrace the idea of being ‘local’, and focus much of my energies here in my neighborhood. To have been considered and ultimately awarded this commission is very humbling. I love making work for public spaces that disrupt the order of the everyday, and it is an honor to be working right here in my own backyard.”

Categories: Public Art