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Boston Art Commission

First created in 1890, the commission advocates for public art in Boston’s civic spaces.

We work under the Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture.

Curatorial Mission

We commission and approve innovative and transformative artworks that: 

  • engage communities
  • enrich and enliven the urban environment
  • are driven by a clear artistic vision
  • enhance the diversity of the existing collection
  • respond directly to a specific environment, and 
  • possess durability appropriate to the lifespan of the work.

Have questions? Contact us:

Share your input on a piece in our collection:

Commission meetings during COVID-19

We will be holding our next meeting of the Boston Art Commission on Tuesday, August 11, at 4 p.m.

This meeting will be held virtually. You can participate by going to this Zoom link and using your computer's audio and microphone. If you are unable to connect to audio, or you do not have Internet, you can call into the meeting by dialing 301-715-8592 and entering Meeting I.D. 829-9103-0808 #. The agenda for the meeting can be found here.

You can submit public testimony to the Boston Art Commission here.

Access to our meetings

The Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture has received many questions from artists and arts and culture organizations regarding current schedules and timeframes in response to COVID-19. We are actively exploring new ways to move public art projects forward under the current circumstances. In accordance with Governor Baker’s March 12 Executive Order, which modified certain provisions of the Open Meeting Law, we will ensure that the public has access to any materials and that there is adequate, alternative access to the Commission’s deliberations. 

If you have questions about submitting public comments or attending Tuesday’s meeting, please send us an email at BAC@boston.gov.

Who We Are

COMMISSION MEMBERS

We are an independent board of nine commissioners. All of our members are residents of the City and appointed by the Mayor. The commission includes:

  • a representative nominated by the Boston Society of Architects
  • a representative nominated by the Museum of Fine Arts
  • a representative nominated by the Trustees of the Public Library of the City of Boston
  • a representative nominated by the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
  • a representative nominated by the Massachusetts College of Art and Design
  • Chief of the Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture, ex officio
  • Head of Boston Planning & Development Agency, ex officio
  • two candidates who have demonstrated distinguished service to the arts. The Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture appointed these members.
TERM LIMITS

Members of the commission serve for a term of five years. If invited by the Mayor, commissioners may serve for an additional five years.

What We Do

What We Do
RESPONSIBILITIES

We are responsible for the art collection owned by the City of Boston. This includes:

  • keeping a record of the art
  • commissioning art for the City, and
  • maintaining the City’s art, while keeping it safe.
ART FOR EVERYONE

We want everyone to have access to this art in the City. The goal is to enrich the lives of Boston’s diverse citizens and visitor. In our work, we:

  • collect and research
  • interpret and exhibit, and
  • preserve and care for the City's art.

This includes fine art, decorative art, and significant historical artifacts, according to museum standards.

We also examine equity and representation in the City's collection through public dialogue. Learn more here.

WHO WE WORK WITH

We advise, support, and consult with artists and communities, City departments, and others. We make sure that proposed projects on City property meet our standards.

Image for map of public art locations

Map of public art locations

View a map of public art locations in the City of Boston.
Show Map

Commission Info

Department:
Arts Commissioner
Authority:
City
Term:
5 years
Stipend:
No
Total Seats:
9