Photo by Florian Holzherr
The ICA Watershed opens for the 2021 season with a monumental commission by acclaimed artist Firelei Báez on July 3. In her largest installation to date, Báez reimagines the Watershed’s gallery space as the site of an ancient ruin, as though the sea had receded from the floor to reveal the archeology of human history in the Caribbean. An art project by artist Stephen Hamilton exploring traditional uses of indigo will occupy the Harbor Room.
During the pandemic, the Watershed has been used as a food distribution site to address a direct need within the East Boston community. In partnership with community organizations in East Boston and the museum’s caterer, The Catered Affair, boxes of much-needed fresh produce and dairy have been delivered to East Boston families weekly since spring of 2020.
Season schedule + hours
A seasonal space, the Watershed is open July 3 through September 6, 2021.
Hours are 11 AM to 5 PM, Tuesday through Sunday.
ICA members are invited to special preview days June 30 – July 2.
Don’t miss a special community day on Labor Day, when admission will be free at the ICA as well.
Admission to the Watershed is free for all, always
Purchase an ICA admission ticket, or become an ICA member, and enjoy complimentary Water Shuttle service to and from the Seaport. Space on the Water Shuttle is limited and available on a first-come first-served basis. Museum admission can be reserved online in advance. Advance reservations are recommended; day-of tickets are not guaranteed.
Visiting with kids?
Youth 18 and under are always admitted free to the ICA – but be sure to reserve an admission ticket for each visitor. Children 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult when using the Water Shuttle.
Starting in East Boston?
ICA admission is required to board the Water Shuttle. Museum admission can be reserved online or at the Watershed.
Note: Admission reservations are final sale and cannot be refunded or exchanged.
The Watershed is located within the Boston Harbor Shipyard and Marina in East Boston at 256 Marginal Street, 0.2 miles from the Water Shuttle dock in Piers Park.
ICA Water Shuttle Service
Transportation between the ICA and the Watershed is available by Water Shuttle. (Space is limited; availability is first come, first served. See “Admission and Water Shuttle Reservations” above for more information). Water Shuttle service is provided through Boston Harbor Cruises. Note: Boston Harbor Cruises boats are not wheelchair accessible; a step on and three steps down are required to board. Wheelchairs and strollers may be brought on board if they are collapsible and light enough for crew to handle. Boston Harbor Cruises crew is available for assistance. The Watershed is 0.2 miles (about 4 blocks) from the Water Shuttle dock in Piers Park; wheelchairs and assistance are available on request. See additional accessibility information below.
Private Water Taxi
Call Boston Harbor Cruises to book a private water taxi at 617-227-4320. The closest stop to the ICA is Stop 9 at Fan Pier; the closest stop to the Watershed is Stop 68 at the Shipyard.
Visitors can also reach the Watershed by public transportation – the building is 0.5 miles from Maverick Station on the Blue Line.
Wheelchair-accessible parking is available at the Watershed; there is no public parking.
ICA to the ICA Watershed
Board at Fan Pier, just outside the ICA. Please arrive at least 5 minutes before departure.
|TUE – FRI||SAT – SUN|
|11 AM||11 AM|
|12 PM||12 PM|
|1 PM||1 PM|
|2 PM||2 PM|
|5 PM*||5 PM*|
* One way: reserved for visitors returning to East Boston only
Please note: The ICA Watershed closes at 5 PM.
ICA Watershed to the ICA
Board at Piers Park Sailing Center
Note that the dock is 0.2 miles from the Watershed. See additional accessibility information below.
|TUE – FRI||SAT – SUN|
|11:30 AM||11:30 AM|
|12:30 PM||12:30 PM|
|1:30 PM||1:30 PM|
|4:30 PM*||4:30 PM*|
|5:30 PM*||5:30 PM*|
* One way only
Please note: the ICA closes at 5 PM Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday, and at 9 PM on Thursday and Friday.
- The ICA Watershed itself is fully wheelchair and stroller accessible. Visitors who use wheelchairs may park or be dropped off directly in front of the building. Wheelchairs and gallery stools are also available upon request.
- The Water Shuttle is operated by Boston Harbor Cruises and is not wheelchair accessible: a step on and three steps down are required to board. Wheelchairs and strollers may be brought on board if they are collapsible and light enough for crew to handle; Boston Harbor Cruises crew is available for assistance. The Piers Park dock is 0.2 miles (about 4 blocks) from the ICA Watershed. Wheelchairs and assistance are available on request.
- Service animals are welcome.
- Large-format texts are available; please ask a staff member for assistance.
- Self-serve visitor lockers are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Please contact the ICA at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-478-3100 with any additional accessibility-related inquiries.
East Boston has lots of wonderful restaurants to explore. Check out our neighbors in East Boston!
Email email@example.com for group visit inquiries.
About the Watershed
Located in the Boston Harbor Shipyard and Marina in East Boston, the ICA Watershed transforms a 15,000-square-foot, formerly condemned space into a new civic and cultural asset. Award-winning firm Anmahian Winton Architects designed the renovation of the derelict former copper pipe facility, conserving its industrial feel while restoring the building for new use.
Each summer, the ICA invites one artist to create a site-specific work or installation. Past projects include Diana Thater, an light and moving-image installation, in 2018 and John Akomfrah: Purple, an immersive, six-channel video installation, in 2019.
The Watershed also houses an orientation gallery introducing visitors to the historic shipyard, a waterside gathering place with stunning harbor views, and a flexible space for exhibitions, programming, and workshops. Past offerings in this space include exhibitions of photography by ICA Teens such as A Community in Focus: East Boston, as well as participatory projects such as Aquí y Allá, a series of programs and activities on food, home, and community co-hosted by artist Evelyn Rydz and Eastie Farm’s Kannan Thiruvengadam in 2019.
The Watershed represents an exciting and creative mode of growth for the museum. With this project, the ICA will make a cross-harbor connection that is central to our vision of art, civic life, and urban vitality. It takes art beyond our walls, building upon a decade-long history of public art projects that bring together landscape, history, and contemporary art. The new facility is a central component of the ICA’s recently completed five-year strategic plan, A Radical Welcome, designed to deepen the vibrant intersection of contemporary art and civic life in Boston.
The ICA wishes to extend its enormous gratitude to the organizations that have partnered with us to codevelop unique art experiences that respond to community needs and interests: the Boston Harbor Shipyard and Marina, Donald McKay K-8 School, East Boston High School, East Boston Neighborhood Health Center, East Boston Social Centers, the Massachusetts Port Authority, Maverick Landing Community Services, Piers Park Sailing Center Samuel Adams Elementary School, and Zumix.
Explore East Boston arts
There’s lots of art to see in East Boston! Check out these local organizations:
Atlantic Works Gallery
Catch new exhibitions monthly at this warehouse gallery space less than a mile from the Watershed, open Friday and Saturday afternoons or for Third Thursday receptions from 6 to 9 PM.
East Boston Artists Group
Artists working in a range of media; stop by their biannual open studios near Maverick Square.
Harbor Arts + the Shipyard Gallery
The art you see around the Shipyard is the doing of the community nonprofit HarborArts.
Radio, youth programs, and free Sunday evening concerts in Piers Park.
Free admission to the ICA Watershed is made possible by the generosity of Alan and Vivien Hassenfeld and the Hassenfeld Family Foundation.
The Boston Foundation welcomes you to the ICA Watershed.
The ICA Watershed is supported by Fund for the Arts, a public art program of the New England Foundation for the Arts and Vertex.