What is the ICA Watershed? 

Located in the East Boston Shipyard and Marina, 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.

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 Guadalupe Maravilla: Mariposa Relampago, 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.


  • 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 gallery stools are available upon request.
  • 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, and are not wheelchair accessible.
  • 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 617-478-3103 with any additional accessibility-related inquiries.


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 SchoolEast 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!

Sea Biscuit
256 Marginal Street, Building 16
Hand pies, American, and weekend brunch

Tawakal Halal Cafe
389 Maverick Street
Somali food

Carmella’s Market
86 Cottage Street

Hong Kong Harbor
5 Maverick Square

Taco Mex Restaurant
65 Maverick Square

Maverick House Tavern
154 Maverick Street
Pub fare, Gastropub

La Sultana Bakery
40 Maverick Square
Colombian, pastries, desserts

Mexicali Sushi Bar
199 Sumner Street
Sushi, quick bites

D’Parma Italian Cuisine
182 Sumner Street

Toasted Flats
53 Chelsea Street

Eagle Hill Café
65 Meridian Street
Coffee shop

La Hacienda 
150 Meridian Street

Pazza on Porter
107 Porter Street

Pollo Campero 
188 Border Street

The Pizza Shuttle
239 Meridian Street

Kelley Square Pub
84 Bennington Street
Pub fare, sandwiches, pizza 

Canton Eatery
339 Meridian Street

Oliveria’s Restaurant
297 Chelsea Street
Latin American, BBQ 

Mario’s Restaurant
347 Chelsea Street

Rincon Limeno
Day Square, 409 Chelsea Street

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.