Public Meetings and the Boston Art Commission
The Boston Art Commission (BAC) is an independent board of volunteers that approves and commissions innovative and transformative public artworks around the City in partnership with the Office of Arts and Culture.
Housed in the Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture, the BAC also holds contracts with artists, approves artwork on City land, and conserves the City of Boston’s collection of art and historical artifacts.Curatorial vision
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.
Artworks proposed for City of Boston property are reviewed at public meetings held by the Boston Art Commission (BAC). Meetings are generally held the second Tuesday of each month. We review current public art projects sited on or proposed for City of Boston property.
We will be holding our next BAC meeting on Tuesday, June 13 from 4:30 - 6:30 p.m. Meeting agendas are posted in the public notices section of the City's website.
This meeting will be held virtually. You can participate by going to our Zoom meeting 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. 453 796 7678 #.
You can submit public testimony to the Boston Art Commission through our online form.
The Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture has received many questions 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 meeting materials. We want to make sure that there is adequate, alternative access to the Commission’s deliberations.
If you have questions about submitting public comments or attending a meeting, please send us an email at BAC@boston.gov.
Once you complete the public art and design application, the public art team will review it and follow up with you if more information is needed. If you are proposing a project for City property and need the BAC to review it by a certain date, please see the table below with the deadlines for submitting the Public Art and Design Application each month. If there are issues with your application, you may be asked to postpone and present at a later meeting.
Who we are
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
- a representative nominated by the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston
- the Chief of the Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture, ex officio
- the Head of Boston Planning & Development Agency, ex officio, and
- one candidate who has demonstrated distinguished service to the arts, appointed at the discretion of the Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture.
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
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.
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 visitors. 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.
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.
Boston Art Commission MembersMembers