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Finland Building Call for Artists | Deadline 5.9

City of Boston • Mayor’s Office of Recovery Services • Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture • Boston Public Health Commission

Finland Building | Call for Artists

The Boston Public Health Commission, Mayor’s Office of Recovery Services, Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture, and Boston Art Commission invite Boston artists to submit conceptual designs for consideration for a temporary public artwork on the Finland Building at 774 Albany Street Boston, MA 02118.


Call released: Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Deadline: 12:00 pm (noon) Tuesday, May 9, 2017


Application: Click here to apply online.



This RFP is open to all professional artists, artisans, or teams (hereinafter, referred to as “artists”), with experience in public art, site responsive design, and project management.


Project Background

This call for artists is part of a broader City of Boston effort to improve the neighborhood around the intersection of Melnea Cass Boulevard and Massachusetts Avenue, an area of the city with a large concentration of services for homeless individuals and individuals recovering from addiction. One of the primary goals of this neighborhood improvement initiative is to beautify this neighborhood with public art.

To that end, the Mayor’s Office of Recovery Services (ORS) is seeking an artist to create a large-scale work of art for the corner of the Finland building (774 Albany Street, Boston, MA, 02118).

The Finland building houses a number of the Boston Public Health Commission’s addiction recovery services programs. Clients come to the Finland building for a broad range of services, including harm reduction services and as an entry point to detox and other treatment programs. The building is adjacent to Boston Healthcare for the Homeless and across from Boston Medical Center, the city’s safety-net hospital.

ORS is seeking to commission artwork for the Finland building that embodies the values of resiliency and hope of those in recovery. ORS and the Boston Public Health Commission accept anyone and everyone in need of service into their programs.

Beautifying the area with meaningful art is a form of encouragement and support for those who utilize recovery services. ORS asks artists to consider that each recovery story is unique and that recovery is a multidimensional process. ORS requests the art reflects the vast variety of experiences of people who come to the Mass/Albany intersection, as well as the shared values of hope and resiliency. The art should be informed by the spirit of this neighborhood, the multiple service providers in the area, and the clients who access these services.


Project Details
The initial amount budgeted for this project is $8,000, which includes artist fee, materials, and installation.

The artist will be selected by the Artist Selection Committee, which is comprised of representatives from the Mayor’s Office of Recovery Services and the Boston Public Health Commission as well as two local artists. The final artwork design will be approved by the Boston Art Commission. Artist selection is pending departmental approval of installation plan and proof of insurance. For insurance requirements, please see Appendix B.


The Site

The space available for artwork is the northwest facing wall next to the entrance of the Finland Building. This entire wall is available and measures 70’ x 20’. It is up to the artist to propose how much of the space to use for their artwork. The perpendicular southwest facing wall is also available as a secondary space. Artists may propose an artwork that spans both walls, taking into consideration that the wall facing the street has the highest visibility. Please see Appendix A for a diagram of the space.

Potential artworks could include but are not limited to:

  • Murals on one or both of the brick walls

  • A graphic design adhered to or hanging from the facade, such as a printed banner

Installation of the artwork is the responsibility of the artist. The selection committee will evaluate the ability of the artist to successfully install the work based on the artist’s installation experience and clarity of an installation plan.

Murals are considered temporary art, and as such the City of Boston does not plan for maintenance of murals in the way we do for permanent installations. The City of Boston expects this project’s lifespan to be at least 18 months in good condition. Please keep this in mind when making fabrication and material recommendations, particularly preparing/priming the wall and paint/material selection. The City of Boston will not be liable for degradation of the artwork caused by normal wear and tear and weathering.