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City Hall Galleries

The galleries at Boston City Hall promote and exhibit the work of Boston area artists.

You can find information about the galleries, as well as what's currently showing, on this page.

Current and upcoming exhibits

Exhibits

Location: Scollay Square Gallery, 3rd floor Boston City Hall

Dates: January 12 - February 24, 2023, reception on January 12, 2023 from 4:30 -5:30 p.m.

HAAM artwork

This year’s 2023 Haitian Artists Assembly of Massachusetts (HAAM) art exhibition features the beautiful artworks of Hatian artists highlighting the richness, creativity, culture, and history of their native land, as they negotiate their existence as immigrants living abroad.

This year's exhibition, Color of Resilience, also embraces themes beyond New England as HAAM is supporting young artists from three different towns of Haiti in Limonade, La Gonâve and Île-à-Vache to ensure that they preserve the originality and the value of their culture and connect with their diaspora counterparts.

The public is invited to partake in this resilient, artistic tradition that has been taking place at Boston City Hall since the devastating Haiti earthquake of 2010, thanks to a partnership between the Mayor’s Office, HAAM, and its partners.  

  • Location: The Emerging Gallery, 8th Floor Boston City Hall
  • Dates: January 7 - February 21, 2023, opening reception January 13, 2023, from 4:30 - 5:30 p.m.
Mike Mei photograph
Artist Mike Mei
Artist statement

Rhythm is the core of the art, as what we know. Branches of the tree are always staggered, especially the elder tree. The vine is the same. They are interlaced with each other, to make a relationship, to kiss, to rely. The branch is small and big, short and long, curved and straight, inside and outside, on the top or under, they are covered by the sun, by the rain, then they have shadows, show up different colors. Those are creating so much rhythms, so much lovely rhythms. The mother nature is so poetic. As a artist, I love that situation. That’s the reason I made up this show. Show up how we can get back to the nature.

About Mike Mei

Mr. Mei is the founder of The Chinese American Fine Arts Society which has been in Chinatown for 25 years. He has also been its president for over 20 years as well. This nonprofit organization has done so much for the community including middle fall festival, Chinese New Year, etc.

He has presented more than 25 solo shows including at Harvard University, New York, Chicago, and Beijing, among other cities. His artworks “Dragon”, “The Blue Waves are Ripping”, “Quiet to See All”, and others are in the collections of the Worcester Art Museum and Peabody Essex Museum. Mr. Mei has delivered courses and lectures at the Museum of Fine Art, Boston, Harvard, Wellesley, MIT, and other universities throughout New England. His publications include calendars and books of calligraphy and poems.

To celebrate the Millennium 2000, Boston Mayor Raymond Flynn invited Mr. Mei to write a tablet of calligraphy to be displayed at the gateway of Chinatown and a big public work consisting of 2000 different styles of the Chinese character for “longevity” in the Garden of China.

  • Location: Mayor's Neighborhood Gallery, 2nd Floor Boston City Hall
  • Dates: January 18 - February 26, 2023

Black Miracles exhibit

Muqeedah Publishing aims to integrate African Americans studies into communities in the Boston Area. Utilizing the "BLACK MIRACLES" series through artwork and lectures, Muqeedah Publishing has successfully presented several addresses using the series as a teaching tool. In addition, with the support of the Boston Public Libraries, Muqeedah Publishing has been displaying this artwork as a visual aide to the lectures highlighting the contribution of African American scientists and inventors.

Statement

The purpose of Muqeedah Publishing is to inspire the community through art and lectures to expose the African American contributions using art to get this information into the hands of a diverse community. Our commitment to inspiring the community is to present a positive image of African Americans using art as a learning tool.

  • Location: The Mayor's Gallery, 5th Floor Boston City Hall
  • Dates: January 7 - February 28, 2022

Vanessa Leroy (b. 1996) is a freelance photographer and photo editor based in Boston. She holds a BFA in Photography from Massachusetts College of Art and Design. She remains on the hunt for new ways of seeing, remembering, and altering the world through photography. She is drawn to image-making because of the power it holds to create nuanced representations for marginalized people and uplift their stories. She sees photography as a tool for social justice, and with it, she hopes to create worlds that people feel as though they can enter and draw from, as well as provide a look into an experience that they may not personally recognize. Her photojournalism work has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, NPR, STAT News, Bloomberg, The Guardian, HuffPost and exhibited at Vermont Center for Photography and Gallery Kayafas in Boston, MA — where she is represented.

Vanessa Leroy headshot
Vanessa Leroy headshot, courtesy of the artist.

Artist Statement

Within this book of cloth cyanotypes, I’ve created a dreamlike map of my experience of black girlhood, and these pages serve as a bridge to my present experience. You’ll find journal entries from the 5th grade, family scrapbook photographs, passing thoughts, music lyrics, and images I’ve taken between 2014 and 2019. I wanted to re-contextualize these artifacts by exposing them to light, creating diptychs, inserting text and illustrations, and binding the timeline with thread.

The Mayor's Poetry Program is an annual program in which Boston residents are invited to submit poems to be displayed throughout City Hall and in an online gallery for one year. Our Poet Laureate Porsha Olayiwola selected 15 poems in 2022.

Read the 2022 Poems

Poem Locations
First Floor South Elevators
  • "Banshee of Woodbourne" by Michael Robert Ball
  • "Time-Jumpin' " by Emma Lagno
Second Floor South Elevators
  • "Moroccan Statue" by Alia Hamada Forrest
  • "Miracles and Angels" by Senora T. Epps
Third Floor South Elevators
  • "What If..." by Henrietta Hodge
  • "Kid Mountain" by Gail Bello
Fifth Floor South Elevators
  • "My Mama's Back" by Cynthia Yee
Sixth Floor South Elevators
  • "2020: Where You Have Lived" by Carla Schwartz
  • "A Lovely Swarm on Wheels" by Whitney Burge
Seventh Floor South Elevators
  • "Odds" by Whitney Burdge
  • "Grandpa Prays" by Timothy Hall
Eighth Floor South Elevators
  • "Certain and Impossible" by Harry Yu
  • "Rebel Round Delay" by Sarah Awan
Ninth Floor South Elevators
  • "Ivy Hanged" by Alia Hamada Forrest
  • "The Weight of Light" by Sarah Deckro

Artist Sophia Ainslie brightened up the eighth floor of City Hall with a new mural this past summer. As an extension of her project, she documented the reactions of City employees who walked by, and took photos of them with the mural.

Photo from Sophia Ainslie's mural exhibit

Gallery locations

Mayor's Art Gallery

The Mayor's Gallery exhibits work by Boston area artists who have received recognition for their artwork through grants, awards and other types of public display.

Directions: It's located on the 5th floor of City Hall. From City Hall Plaza or Congress St. entrances, take South Elevators to the 5th floor, follow signs to Mayor's Office: signage marks the gallery entrance. If you are planning to attend an opening you must enter from Congress Street.

Mayor’s Neighborhood Gallery

Directions: Located on the 2nd floor near the South Elevators. From City Hall Plaza or Congress St. entrances, take South Elevators to the 2nd floor.

Scollay Square Gallery

The Scollay Square Gallery showcases the many arts organizations and artists community groups that support local artists throughout the City.

Directions: It's located on the 3rd floor/main lobby of City Hall. When entering from Congress St, take elevators to 3rd floor, proceed through lobby, passing the information desk on your right. The gallery is ahead of you. When entering from City Hall Plaza, proceed through lobby, passing the information desk on your right. The gallery is ahead of you. Signage marks the gallery entrance. If you are planning to attend an opening you must enter from Congress Street.

The Emerging Gallery

This is the newest of City Hall's galleries. It showcases Boston's up and coming artists.

Directions: It is located on the 8th floor of City Hall. When entering from Congress Street or Cambridge Street, take the elevators to the 8th floor. The gallery is in the hallway to the left of Room 801, which is perpendicular to the elevators. 

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