The ICA Watershed is a seasonal exhibition space located in a formerly condemned copper pipe factory that is transformed every summer with a new exhibition. The 2024 season will feature Hew Locke: The Procession, an ambitious installation first commissioned by Tate Britain, UK, making its North American debut. Hew Locke: The Procession will be on view May 23 to September 2, 2024.

Water Shuttle tickets are now available. Water Shuttle tickets include admission to the Museum in Seaport. Get tickets for June

Plan your visit

  • A ticket is not required to visit the Watershed – admission is always free! Last entry is at 4:40 PM.
  • Tickets to use the ICA Water Shuttle service between the Watershed in East Boston and the ICA in the Seaport can be reserved online or at either location (free for members!) and include general museum admission to the ICA. Advance reservations for the Water Shuttle are strongly recommended, as we cannot guarantee ticket availability day-of. View our calendar and select Water Shuttle + General Museum Admission to reserve your spot on the boats.
  • Bicycles are not permitted on the ICA Water Shuttles or inside the museum.
  • There is no public parking available at the Watershed or in the East Boston Shipyard & Marina, aside from two accessible parking spots. See “Additional transportation options” for more information.
  • Food and drink are not permitted inside the building.
  • Public restrooms are available.
  • Rolling luggage, scooters, skateboards, rollerblades, and bicycles are not permitted inside the building.
  • Self-serve visitor lockers are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Noncommercial photography and video recording is permitted; flash photography and professional photography equipment is not permitted.

 

Please see our Visit page for more information on ticketing and Visitor Policies.

Riding the Water Shuttle

Tickets to use the ICA Water Shuttle service between the ICA and the ICA Watershed include general museum admission to the ICA. Advance reservations are strongly encouraged. Onsite reservations are not guaranteed.

Boats run every 15 minutes from 11 AM – 5 PM, with the exception of 12:45 + 3:45 PM. Boats between 4 – 5 PM are reserved for East Boston ticket holders who began their visit at the Watershed.

Water Shuttle service is provided through Red Top Boats. 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. Note that the Water Shuttle docks are reached by ramps with rungs and can be steep, depending on the tide.

If you’re starting from the ICA in the Seaport:

  • Select an available boat departure time when you purchase your ticket.
  • Check in with your ticket at the ICA Dock at least 10 minutes prior to the time you’ve selected. If you miss your reserved departure time, we cannot guarantee a spot on the boats.
  • Spots on the boats returning to the ICA are first-come, first-served and included with your ticket. Please note: Wait times may vary based on visitor attendance.

If you’re starting from the ICA Watershed in East Boston:

  • Select the East Boston option.
  • Timed boat reservation is not required. Spots on the boats leaving from the Watershed are first-come, first-served.
  • Spots on the boats returning to East Boston are included with your ticket. Please note: Wait times may vary based on visitor attendance.

Visiting with kids?

Youth 18 and under are always admitted free to the ICA – but be sure to reserve a Water Shuttle ticket for each passenger. Children 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult when using the Water Shuttle.

Note: Admission + Water Shuttle reservations are final sale and cannot be refunded or exchanged. Special offers may not include Water Shuttle service to the ICA Watershed.

What if the Water Shuttle is sold out? Prefer not to take the Water Shuttle?

Alternative Transportation options to East Boston include the MBTA Blue Line, ferry service, biking, and more. See details below.

Members get first dibs!

Join as an ICA member for access to member presales, discounts, and more!

Additional transportation options

The Watershed is located within the Boston Harbor Shipyard and Marina in East Boston at 256 Marginal Street. Accessible parking is available at the Watershed. Limited metered street parking is available nearby.

Seaport Ferry
This ferry runs between the Seaport to East Boston Monday through Friday and costs just $5. Learn more

Public Transportation
Visitors can also reach the Watershed by public transportation – the building is 0.5 miles from Maverick Station on the Blue Line.

Bicycles
Bike racks and a Blue Bike station are available on Marginal Street at nearby Piers Park.

Season schedule + hours

A seasonal space, the Watershed is open from late May through Labor Day each year. It opens for the 2024 season on May 23.

Hours are 11 AM–5 PM Tuesday through Sunday.

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.

The Watershed presents one exhibition each summer. Past projects include Diana Thater, a light and moving-image installation, in 2018; John Akomfrah: Purple, an immersive, six-channel video installation, in 2019; a monumental sculpture by Firelei Báez in 2021; and Revival: Materials and Monumental Forms, an exhibition of large-scale installations by six international artists who reclaim and reuse industrial and everyday materials, in 2022; and in 2023, Guadalupe Maravilla: Mariposa Relámpago, centered around a large-scale sculpture and healing vibrational instrument created from a repurposed school bus, the artist’s largest work to date, commissioned for the space.

During the pandemic, the Watershed was 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 were delivered to East Boston families weekly since spring of 2020.

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, a project exploring the history of indigo by Stephen Hamilton in 2021, and a celebration of healing practices in East Boston in 2023.

The Watershed represents an exciting and creative mode of growth for the museum. With this project, the ICA has made 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 strategic plan, A Radical Welcome, designed to deepen the vibrant intersection of contemporary art and civic life in Boston.

Accessibility

  • The Watershed is fully wheelchair and stroller accessible. Visitors who use wheelchairs may park or be dropped off directly in front of the building. Wheelchairs and portable gallery stools are available are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Various seating options are available throughout the building.
  • Two accessible parking spaces are available on a first-come, first-served basis directly in front of the building.
  • Water Shuttle service is provided through Red Top Boats. 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. Note that the Water Shuttle docks are reached by ramps with rungs and can be steep, depending on the tide.
  • 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.

Anything we missed? Please contact the ICA at visitorservices@icaboston.org or 617-478-3100 with any additional accessibility-related inquiries.

 

Partners

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 MarinaDonald McKay K-8 School, East Boston Artists Group, East Boston High SchoolEast Boston Neighborhood Health CenterEast Boston Social CentersEastie Farm, the Massachusetts Port AuthorityMaverick Landing Community ServicesPiers Park Sailing Center Samuel Adams Elementary SchoolVeronica Robles Cultural Center, and ZUMIX.

Nearby dining

East Boston has lots of restaurants to explore. Check out our neighbors in East Boston!

Carmella’s Market – Deli + Sandwiches
86 Cottage Street (0.4 miles)

Santa Fe Burrito Grill – Burritos + Tacos
303 Sumner St (0.4 miles)

El Rinconcito Empanadas, Pastries, and Grilled Chicken
226 Sumner St (0.5 miles)

Cafe Iterum Coffee shop + Sandwiches
11 Father Jacobbe Rd (0.5 miles)

Hong Kong Harbor – Chinese
5 Maverick Square (0.5 miles)

Taco Mex Restaurant – Mexican
65 Maverick Square (0.6 miles)

D’Parma Italian Cuisine – Italian
182 Sumner Street (0.6 miles)

Toasted Flats – Sandwiches
53 Chelsea Street (0.7 miles)

Eagle Hill Café – Coffee shop
65 Meridian Street (0.8 miles)

La Hacienda – Mexican + Salvadorian
150 Meridian Street (0.9 miles)

The Pizza Shuttle – Pizza
239 Meridian Street (1.1 miles)

 

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.

Zumix
Radio, youth programs, and free Sunday evening concerts in Piers Park.

Generous support for the ICA Water Shuttle is provided by MassMutual.