Boston Art Commission

Thermopylae (1966)
Dimitri Hadzi
JFK Federal Building, at Cambridge St. and New Sudbury St.
Friday, July 24, 2015 Emerge: Boston's Arts Festival


BOSTON - Thursday, July 23, 2015 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced that the annual Boston Arts (Ahts) Festival will be re-imagined as Emerge, a one-day celebration of local arts and culture. The Festival will highlight Boston's ever-changing and emerging identity as a vibrant city with a thriving local art scene. The name Emerge was suggested by Chris Lindgren , who was selected as the winner of the 2015 Arts Festival naming competition. In addition to presenting work by emerging and established artists from both the local and national art scene, this new event will explore the civic role of art and design by positioning City Hall as a place that actively fosters cultural events and community dialogue. Emerge is free and open to the public and will be held at City Hall on September 10 from 5:00pm to 10:30pm.

"Boston is the home of many artists who represent our unique and diverse culture," said Mayor Walsh. "I encourage residents and visitors to enjoy this new, fun, family-friendly event and support the creative efforts of local Boston artists.

The newly relaunched festival will feature several visual arts showcases, including the Fay Chandler Emerging Artist Award and Exhibition, art vendors and several installations. There will also be dancing, DJs and live performances. Architecture tours of City Hall will be given by Mark Pasnik, a member of the Boston Art Commission and one of the authors of the forthcoming book Heroic: Concrete Architecture and the New Boston. The festival will also include a presentation on creating cohesive communities through grassroots art projects and urban interventions co-sponsored by Now and There, a non-profit organization dedicated to creating impactful public art projects in Greater Boston.

The Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture fosters community engagement in Boston's cultural landscape and throughout the City's many neighborhoods by organizing and supporting events that highlight local talent. The Office of Arts and Culture is committed to developing opportunities for artists at all stages of their careers.

For more information, please call 617.635.4235, check out @ArtsinBoston and @PublicArtBoston on Twitter. City Hall is accessible by MBTA via Haymarket (Orange and Green) and State Street (Orange and Blue).


Apply to the Fay Chandler Emerging Artist Exhibition here.

Apply to the call for installations and interventions here.



Monday, July 6, 2015 Pop-Up: Franklin Park Art Grove

Pop-Up: Franklin Park Art Grove!

The Mayor’s Office of Arts + Culture is proud to announce that the opening weekend for the second iteration of the Boston Art Commission’s ongoing pop-up art series is set for August 8-9 in Franklin Park! Come enjoy a weekend of artwork, food trucks, performing arts, workshops, and music in the crown jewel of the Emerald Necklace. All events are free and open to the public. Families and youth are encouraged to attend.

Pop-Up: Franklin Park Art Grove will feature a series of outdoor temporary art installations and performances in the Franklin Park Wilderness Picnic Grove. The month-long pop up exhibition will also include a number of youth workshops led by artist L’Merchie Frazier, as well as a series of panel discussions led by Barbara Lewis, Director of the William Monroe Trotter Institute for the Study of Black History and Culture. The organizing theme of the Art Grove is ‘endurance.’

The following artists were selected through a juried process to participate in Franklin Park Art Grove:

Loreto Paz Ansaldo

Blanca Bonilla

Jonathan Chamberlain

Ian Deleón

Kathleen Driscoll

Dave Foley

Rachel Frank

Ifé Franklin

Kara Fili

Pamela Goncalves

Heather Kapplow

Lisa Link


Hakim Raquib

Alicenne Reid

Anthony Richards

Kerri Schmidt

"Dey" Hernandez Vazquez 

Tara Weaver

Barbara Zeles

Pop-Up: Franklin Park Art Grove is a collaboration between the Boston Art Commission, Franklin Park Coalition, the William Monroe Trotter Institute, and the Boston Parks and Recreation Department. All related events were sponsored in part by the Boston Art Commission, the New England Foundation for the Arts, The Boston Cultural Council, and the Trotter Institute for African American Studies.

To learn more about Franklin Park Art Grove, click here.



WHEN: July 6th at 6PM

WHERE: District Hall 75 Northern Ave, Boston 

WHAT: A public presentation by the three finalists for Pier 4 Civic Cultural Space

WHO: The three finalists are--

Celebrity Series of Boston
Steinway Society of Massachusetts
The Society of Arts and Crafts



UDR, Incorporated, the owner of 100 Pier 4 Boulevard in South Boston in conjunction with the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) is pleased to announce three finalists in the solicitation for qualified civic and cultural users to occupy and program interior and exterior space located at 100 Pier 4 Boulevard. The City of Boston’s long-standing planning objectives for the South Boston Waterfront District include a broad mix of uses tied together with an inviting pedestrian scale including continuous public access along the waterfront on the Harborwalk system. The mix of uses include commercial, residential, hotel, retail, open space and civic development. The waterfront and Harborwalk are to be enriched by parks, overlooks, civic uses and cultural facilities.


The call for civic and cultural facilities was underscored through the approval of the South Boston Waterfront Municipal Harbor Plan. Pursuant to that plan, 127,000 sf of new civic uses along the South Boston waterfront were authorized to balance the scale of new private development along the water’s edge. The assemblage of open space and new civic and cultural facilities are the kind of special public destinations that will help transform the South Boston waterfront into a vibrant and popular year-round  public destination. The South Boston waterfront is evolving into a strong civic and cultural district with facilities located both along the water’s edge and within the neighborhood. These destinations include the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, Artists for Humanity, Midway Studios, Fort Point Artists community, Boston Children’s Museum, Boston Tea Party Museum, Moakley Federal Courthouse and the Institute for Contemporary Art.


This past April UDR, Inc. in conjunction with the BRA advertised a Request for Interest for 20,000 square feet of interior and exterior civic cultural space located at 100 Pier 4 Boulevard.  100 Pier 4 Boulevard is a recently completed residential building with388 apartment homes and ground floor retail space in a 21-story tower. The location of the civic and cultural space is well suited as an addition to the network of civic and cultural facilities in the area. The Pier 4 civic and cultural space is on the Harborwalk along the cove between Pier 4 and the World Trade Center, and also on the intersections of East Service Road, Seaport Boulevard and Northern Avenue, three roadways that play an important role in access to the waterfront. The objective of this process was to attract letters of interest from Boston-based qualified civic and cultural operators to lease the designated civic and cultural space.  Activation of the subject civic and cultural space will depend upon the identification of an appropriate civic and cultural space user acceptable to the UDR, Inc., BRA and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP).


For more details please contact Richard McGuinness, Deputy Director for Waterfront Planning, Boston 

Redevelopment Authority,


Friday, April 17, 2015 Mather School Request for Qualifications


The Mayor’s Office of Arts + Culture is pleased to announce a new Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to create a permanent public art installation inclusive of landscape improvements on the grounds of the historic Mather School in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood. This project is a collaborative effort between the City of Boston's Edward Ingersoll Browne Trust (BF), the Boston Art Commission (BAC), the Boston Public School Department, the Mather School Parent Council, and the Art Selection Committee of the Green Space Improvement Project. Artists, designers or teams comprised of an artist and a landscape architect are invited to forward qualifications for this exciting public art and improvement project. As this is a historic site with many uses, collaborative teams of artists and landscape architects or a landscape architect with expertise in public art are particularly encouraged to apply.

The permanent project will be located at the Church Street entrance of the building, a location generally used as a waiting area where parents pick up their children. The area is highly visible, very active and serves as an important bridge between the school and the surrounding neighborhood. The aim of the project is to transform the existing greenspace and its surroundings into a more welcoming, comfortable public site and functional school entrance.
Deadline: Friday, May 22, 2015 at 11:59pm EST
All qualifications must be submitted via email to:

Applicants must submit the following:
o CV/ Résumé with current contact information.
o Up to 10 .jpg images of relevant past work-- max. file size 1MB per image
o A corresponding, numbered, annotated image list with title, media, dimensions, location, brief description, date of             the work, project budget, and project partners (if applicable)
o Three references (include at least one from a project where the artists also served as project manager/        construction administrator).
o Optional: Additional support material, including press clippings or other relevant information on past projects (1 .pdf file maximum)
The full Request for Qualifications can be seen here
Friday, April 3, 2015 Design Biennial Boston Winners

BOSTON - April 3, 2015 - Today Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced the winners of the fourth Design Biennial Boston, a program sponsored by the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics and the Boston Art Commission in collaboration with pinkcomma gallery, BSA Space and the Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy. Following an open call for entries, a distinguished jury selected four firms whose work provides ample evidence of Boston’s rich design talent.   

The 2015 Biennial will feature Cristina Parreño Alonso of Cristina Parreño Architecture, Cynthia Gunadi and Joel Lamere of GLD, Dan and Marie Law Adams of Landing Studio, and Michael Murphy and Alan Ricks of MASS Design Group. Mariana Ibañez and Simon Kim of IK Studio and Daniel Ibañez and Rodrigo Rubio of Margen-Lab received honorable mention awards this year for their contributions. 

Photo: Cristina Parreño Alonso of Cristina Parreño Architecture, National Library, Ljubljana, Slovenia, 2012 

"Boston has a deep creative talent pool, and these four selections for the 2015 Design Biennial reflect that," said Mayor Walsh. "I want Boston to be a municipal arts leader, and putting this type of exciting and thoughtful work into the public realm is what gets us closer to that goal. Thank you to our enthusiastic partners, and congratulations to these inspired designers."  

"This fourth installment of the Biennial highlights emerging designers who reflect the diversity and vitality of Boston’s academic and professional architectural scenes," explained Chris Grimley of pinkcomma and over,under, one of the exhibition's curators.

“At a time when the mayor has brought forth much-needed questions about the quality of buildings being produced in the city, the Biennial demonstrates how Boston’s new design talent can be drawn on for its innovative thinking and ability to respond to the challenges we will face in the future.”  

The winning designers’ projects range from speculative visions to constructed interventions, including a monumental library in Slovenia, an installation in a stairway at MIT, the transformation of an industrial tank farm into a shared salt dock and public park in Chelsea, and a cholera treatment center with a wastewater purification facility in Port-au-Prince.   

“We were impressed by the inventiveness of this year’s submissions, which indicate the strength of the region’s upcoming generation,” explained juror Eden Dutcher of GroundView, a Biennial winner from the 2012/13 cycle. “Boston is a city with a growing talent pool of designers who should be given more opportunities to build in their hometown.”  

In addition to a display of their prior work at BSA Space, the four selected design teams will construct site-specific installations on the Rose Kennedy Greenway adjacent to a 250-foot-high suspended art piece by Janet Echelman.   

“We are excited to host the 2015 Biennial on the Greenway,” said Lucas Cowan, curator of public art for the Greenway Conservancy. “With the Biennial installations and Janet Echelman’s piece so close to one another, the Greenway will be home to a wonderful confluence of architecture and public art this summer, showcasing innovative thinkers who make Greater Boston their home.”  

"The Design Biennial Boston, with work exhibited at BSA Space, has provided emerging designers with an invaluable chance to engage the wider public in their imaginative work," commented juror Tim Love AIA, 2015 president of the BSA and a Biennial participant in 2008. "Boston's future is in good hands if these brilliant minds are given more opportunities to shape our city."  

The jury for the 2015 Biennial included curators Chris Grimley, Michael Kubo, and Mark Pasnik (pinkcomma gallery) along with Lucas Cowan (Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy), Eden Dutcher (GroundView), Michael Evans (Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics), Mary Fichtner (BSA Space), Karin Goodfellow (Boston Art Commission), Dan Hisel (Dan Hisel Architect/Wentworth Institute), Eric Höweler (Höweler + Yoon/Harvard University), Tim Love AIA (Utile/Northeastern University/2015 BSA President), and Ana Mijlacki (Project_/MIT).   The public installations will be on view from late June through mid-September.



JURY COMMENTS   Cristina Parreño Alonso of Cristina Parreño Architecture “The designer’s strong aesthetic and imaginative qualities span several architectural scales, with an attention to craft and detail as well as a deep commitment to an enriched sense of spatial engagement.”  

Cynthia Gunadi and Joel Lamere of GLD “This body of experimentation deserves commendation for foregrounding a delicate balance of form and beauty, highly crafted fabrication techniques, interactivity with people, and a thoughtful relationship between the human form and larger spaces.”  

Dan and Marie Law Adams of Landing Studio “This team’s coherent proposal for a series of diverse interventions is remarkable because it was completed while engaging a variety of stakeholders in the transformation of an industrial site to a vibrant urban playground.”  

Michael Murphy and Alan Ricks of MASS Design Group  “A firm known for its beautiful humanitarian medical facilities abroad will now be given a chance to do its first installation in the practice’s home city, which we expect will display the same lightness, grace, economy, and public engagement characterizing the earlier work.”


About the Design Biennial Boston The Biennial showcases the most significant leaders among early-career, independent design talent in Massachusetts through a juried exhibition and site-specific, outdoor installation. The mission is to create a more vibrant design community that will contribute to Boston’s evolving culture, shape, and economic health. The first iteration of the Biennial—known as the Young Architects Boston Group—was held at pinkcomma gallery in 2008. In 2010, the event was renamed the Design Biennial Boston, and in 2012/13 it moved to BSA Space. Past participants include nineteen designers: Ground, Höweler + Yoon Architecture, LinOldhamOffice, Merge Architects, MOS, over,under, SsD, Studio Luz Architects, UNI, and Utile in 2008; C&MP, Dan Hisel Architect, Schneider Studio, Touloukian Touloukian, and William O’Brien Jr. in 2010; and GroundView, Kiel Moe, Matter Design, Project_ in 2012/13. 

About BSA Space BSA Space (290 Congress Street, Boston)—Boston’s leading cultural institution on architecture and design—is home to the Boston Society of Architects and BSA Space Foundation. Admission is free and open to the public.  

About pinkcomma gallery Founded in 2007, pinkcomma gallery strives to make design more pivotal in the city’s political and cultural discourses—and across disciplines of architecture, landscape, graphics, urbanism, interiors, and industrial design.   

About the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics The Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics in Boston serves as the City's innovation incubator, building partnerships between internal agencies and outside entrepreneurs to pilot projects that address resident needs. The Mechanics strive to engage the community in developing projects that will reshape city government and improve the services it provides.  

About the Boston Art Commission The Boston Art Commission, first assembled in 1890, advocates for creative place-making through the integration of public art into Boston’s civic spaces. From siting and funding temporary art on City property to reviewing and approving proposals for permanent public art, the Art Commission actively fosters community engagement in Boston’s cultural landscape. With a board of nine dedicated, Boston-based arts professionals appointed by the Mayor, the Art Commission also has custody of all permanent artworks sited on public property.

About the Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy The Conservancy is the designated steward of the Rose Kennedy Greenway, a mile-and-a-half of contemporary parks in the heart of Boston that connect people and the city with beauty and fun. The non-profit Conservancy maintains, programs, and improves the Greenway on behalf of the public and in partnership with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.


Tuesday, March 31, 2015 Pop-Up: Franklin Park Art Grove

Pop-Up: Franklin Park Art Grove 

Request for Proposals

The Mayor’s Office of Arts + Culture is proud to announce a new call to artists. The Boston Art Commission, in collaboration with the Franklin Park Coalition, the William Monroe Trotter Institute, and the Boston Parks and Recreation Department, invite artists and artist collectives to submit proposals for temporary, site-related work as part of Pop-Up: Franklin Park Art Grove. This will be a three-tiered program that will include a selection of outdoor art interventions, public talks, and artist-led youth workshops. Pop-Up: Franklin Park Art Grove will be sited in Franklin Park’s Wilderness Picnic Grove during the month of August 2015. Selected proposals will receive up to $1,500 in funding.


Info Session: Thursday, April 23, 2015 from 5-7pm at the Franklin Park Clubhouse

Deadline: Monday, May 4, 2015 at 11:59pm


Theme: Endurance

The theme of Pop-Up: Franklin Park Art Grove is endurance. This theme can be broadly interpreted, from the literal endurance of nature as it renews itself every year to the endurance of cities and cultures over time.


Priority will be given to interactive proposals that are rooted in this theme, fostering connections between the local community, the natural resources of the area, and the cultural context of Franklin Park. Artists working in any medium are welcome to apply. Accepted media may include sculpture, fashion design, installation, music, painting, drawing, performance, or dance. Collaborations between artists working in different media are encouraged.


Proposal Details

  • Proposals are due by Monday, May 4, 2015 at 11:59pm.
  • The theme of Franklin Park Art Grove is endurance. Successful proposals will address this theme in some way.
  • Proposals must be sited in Franklin Park’s Wilderness Picnic Grove.
  • Artists/collectives must submit a budget detailing all artist fees and project expenses. Selected proposals will receive up to $1,500.
  • All proposals must be able to withstand extended public interaction and exposure to the elements.
  • Works will be exhibited outdoors for the duration of the event (August 8-31).
  • Please see the online application for installation restrictions and requirements.
  • Franklin Park Art Grove opening weekend will be August 8-9. Artists must attend the opening weekend to interact with the public. Artists are encouraged to present a public workshop or performance during this time.
  • An information session for interested applicants will be held at the Franklin Park Clubhouse on April 23 from 5-7pm. Any updates will be added here, to the News section of


Submission Details

  • All proposals must be submitted through the online form, available here.
  • Please consult the online application for the submission checklist and terms of agreement.
  • Selected artists will be announced mid to late May 2015.
  • For additional information, please contact


Wednesday, March 25, 2015 The Boston (ähts) Festival is ready for a new name!

The Mayor's Office of Arts + Culture is running a competition to rename the Boston Arts Festival. This annual festival is a celebration of Boston's visual and performing arts. The festival is held over two days on September 5 + 6 in Columbus Waterfront Park and features a juried exhibition of work by emerging artists, art making demonstrations, live music, and craft and food vendors.

The new name should reflect the dynamic arts scene in the City of Boston, and the diverse set of offerings at the festival.

Submit up to three suggestions here for consideration before midnight on April 5, 2015.

The winning name will be selected by staff in the Mayors Office of Arts + Culture and will be awarded a $250 gift certificate to Blick Art Materials! If more than one person has submitted the same selected winning name, the prize winner will be drawn at random from those names.

Due to the anticipated volume of responses, we will not be able to accept submissions via emails or telephone. Please submit your suggestions online through this link.



Thursday, February 12, 2015 South Station Finalists Present Designs

Celebrating Women in Transportation: South Station Public Art Project Finalist Presentations 


In October, two finalists were selected for the opportunity to develop a public art piece in Boston’s South Station showcasing women’s contributions to the transportation industry. The finalists, handpicked from a pool of 195 artists, are Beth Galston of Massachusetts, and Shane Allbritton and Norman Lee of Texas.


The artists’ concepts will be revealed to the public for the first time on Tuesday February 24 in meeting held at the Green Line Extension project office in Boston. Don’t miss this opportunity to see the designs first and support your fellow WTS members in advancing the WTS mission.


Join us for the Presentation of Artist’s Design Concepts for the WTS-Boston Public Art Project in South Station   



Feb. 24, 2015 

6:00 – 9:00 PM 


MBTA Green Line Extension Conference Room

100 Summer St., 2ndFl.

Boston, MA 02110



Free and Open to the Public


After the concepts are presented, there will be the opportunity for additional public review and input on-line. A WTS-led selection committee will make the final determination in the coming months.


Get to know the artists…

Beth Galston:

Shane Allbritton and Norman Lee:


For more information, visit

Follow us on Twitter



Please feel free to contact our project manager, Jean Mineo ( or WTS Public Art Co-Chairs, Lisa Brothers ( or Hyun-a Park ( with any questions.



Sunday, January 18, 2015 State of the City Poem 2015: Praisesong for Boston

Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s State of the City speech on January 13,

featured a poem crafted by City of Boston Poet Laureate Danielle Legros Georges

Praisesong for Boston 

Begin with the Massachusett, setting nets in the harbor
Of Boston, before it was Boston harbor—Quonehassit,
Place of clear water, and arrive at my door.  I, immigrant

Like so many settlers nestled in your arms, write this poem
To you Boston.  If I write Trimount it is for your hills,
Some still standing, others razed, the land changed, as lands are,

As time passes, and yet history is yours, Boston, the good and bad of it,
The inarticulated and the often-stated:  A Puritan’s beacon, Wheatley’s
Pen, Winthrop’s city upon a hill, Walker’s Appeal to the Coloured

Citizens of the world, the vision and grandeur that are Gardner’s,
The words lost to the grey and blue Atlantic.  If I place an emerald
Necklace at your feet, it is to match the medallions of your ever-turning

Wheels:  bicycles and school-buses, the railroads and helms of trade
And fate, of fire and grit, of determination’s grip, of cod and beans,
And the great house of science, and the great house of knowledge,

And the great house of art.  International since the day you were born,
If cities are born.  And if you are grown, then out of everything you
Have grown:  a revolution’s spark, the arc of a wide bridge,

Cable-stayed, lit electric, wharves and new waves,
And the complicated notions of freedom and forward,
And the ease of summer days and sturdy neighbors:

Chris, young terror of Sumner Street; Alana eating a pear,
Already in third grade; John, but call him Mac; Santiago
Who yells louder than God; and Wendy who yells louder;

And Wayne, uncle to all, from his big yellow house greeting
Each newcomer to the neighborhood.

Danielle Legros Georges


Thursday, January 8, 2015 ONEin3 Council Accepting Applications!
Mayor Walsh’s ONEin3 Council is pleased to announce they are now accepting applications!

BOSTON – Today, Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced a call for applications for the 2015 ONEin3 Council. The ONEin3 Council is an action-oriented group charged with brainstorming, creating, and carrying out projects that directly impact the lives of Boston’s 20-34 year olds. 

“We’re proud to have the highest percent of young adults out of any major city in the country,” said Mayor Walsh. “The ONEin3 Council gives us an opportunity to challenge young adults to think big and become neighborhood leaders. This population is diverse, well-educated, and full of ideas that will help us grow the city in a sustainable and positive way.”  

The Council will spend the year using its talent and innovation to identify ways in which Boston can grow as an inviting, connected, culturally rich and sustainable place for young adults. Projects may include work on housing policy, economic development, public art and neighborhood engagement. Throughout the ONEin3 Council Term, members also hear from key members of the Mayor’s staff as well as leaders from within City Hall.         

Last year’s ONEin3 Council was comprised of 31 Boston residents, including 16 women and 15 men, who live in 17 different neighborhoods across Boston and worked in 22 unique industries. Last year, the ONEin3 program received more than 300 applications for the Council, showing a robust interest for involvement and engagement. 

Applications for the Council can be found here. For more information on the ONEin3 Program, please visit  
ONEin3 is supported by staff and resources from the Boston Redevelopment Authority.