City Hall Galleries
You can find information about the galleries, as well as what's currently showing, on this page.
Current and Upcoming ExhibitsExhibits
- Location: The Scollay Square Gallery, 3rd Floor Boston City Hall
- Dates: August 27 - October 15, 2021
The City of Boston will host the Annual Hyde Park Art Association Group Exhibition in the Scollay Square Gallery. The exhibition will feature a broad range of art including photography, watercolor, oil painting, and sculpture. This show was originally scheduled for April 2021, but was postponed due to COVID-19. The Hyde Park Art Association is a nonprofit organization that believes that art is a necessary part of human life. The association conducts programs that make art readily available in the neighborhood. Through education, its intent is to:
- foster an understanding and appreciation of the arts
- improve technical skills, and
- increase exposure of the work done by local artists.
- Location: The Mayor's Gallery, 5th Floor Boston City Hall
- Dates: September 1 - October 15, 2021
Born in Hadley, N.Y., Sarah Meyers Brent received her BFA from Skidmore College, her Post Baccalaureate in Studio Art from Brandeis University, and her MFA in painting from the University of New Hampshire. The artist maintains a studio at Waltham Mills Artist Association in Waltham. Brent was featured as a 2016 Best of Boston artist by The Improper Bostonian and received the Fay Chandler Emerging Artist Award that same year. Twice resident at the Vermont Studio Center, Brent has also been a recipient of an Artist Resource Trust Grant from the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, who designated her a 25 at 25 Fellow. She was also featured in Volume 16 of New American Painting Northeast edition. Represented by Chase Young Gallery in SoWa Boston, Brent has exhibited widely. Her solo exhibition "Seep, Spill, Grow" appeared at Danforth Art Museum along with her recent exhibit "Beautiful Mess" at Kelley Stelling Contemporary. Reviews of her numerous exhibitions have appeared in Artscope Magazine, Art New England, the Boston Globe, Sculpture Magazine and other publications. Her work is in the permanent collections of Danforth Art Museum/ School, Liquitex Corporation, and in numerous private collections.
Sarah Meyers Brent’s paintings, sculptures, and installations incorporate the craziness of motherhood and environmental destruction to create something beautiful. In her large paintings, she is drawn to the wilt and decay of dried flowers and is constantly amazed at how they are able to maintain such beauty. The twisted, gnarled mass of floral vegetation mimics what Brent thinks about while painting. Smaller works, that she created directly from the landscape during the pandemic, record the unsettled beauty during this time. Her paintings represent gardens that are strong and layered, able to grow, come apart, and then come together again during the process. She is drawn to the physicality of paint. She works to preserve the rawness of the canvas and her original drawing by combining areas of thick and thin. In some pieces, paint washes fluidly explode out from the center of the canvas with globs of “paint flowers” growing on top. In others, it appears as if the painting itself is dripping and falling down. In all her works the compositions are simultaneously blooming and breaking apart. Although she records her observations of dried flowers, Brent also leaves a lot to chance. At times she places paintings on the floor, allowing the paint to be thin and fluid. Other times Brent works on them upside down, seeking out abstract forms. She goes back and forth between her desire to make the floral imagery more life-like and the urge to deconstruct it. Brent wants the work to feel alive: simultaneously growing and decaying.
- Location: Mayor's Neighborhood Gallery, 2nd Floor Boston City Hall
- Dates: September 1-30, 2021, reception on September 23 from 11 a.m. - 12 p.m. outside City Hall
This project is a tribute to the unheard voices of the Hispanic community that, with “mucho sudor (a lot of sweat)”, paved the way for the next generations.
This exhibition is part of a larger project that consists of a series of documentaries and a magazine featuring the stories of eight pioneers and their migration journeys. These stories are guided by Miren Uriarte, a Boston-based sociologist whose teaching and research focuses on different aspects of the intersection of race and ethnicity and social policy. The goal of this project is to celebrate the contributions made by these leaders. The project was written and produced by Blanca Bonilla, with graphic design and photos by Lisa Link, and editing, in part, by Margaret Blood, Casandra Arevalo, and Colleen Locke.
- Location: The Strand Theatre Gallery, 543 Columbia Road
- Dates: September 7 - October 31, 2021, reception on September 24, 2021 from 5-8 p.m.
This temporary art installation will include approximately eight pairs of jeans and pants and 2 hooded sweatshirts that, once hardened with fabric stiffener or draping liquid, will become 3-dimensional sculptural canvases. These 3D canvases or interactive sculptures, designed with paint and multimedia, will allow the audience to open small windows and doors (built into each piece) to look inside someone’s inner experience and world, viewing what is behind the exterior or façade of the fabric.
Each canvas sculpture or pair of jeans will represent a different social determinant (for example, gentrification, poverty, and substance use disorder) that impacts communities of color in Boston. Each youth participant will focus on their position and where they stand on this issue. Each art piece will stand freely in the space and multimedia and visual elements will be used to turn these clothing items into a vehicle for expression, bringing awareness to these important issues and promoting conversation. Each piece will also have a visible QR code that will bring the audience to short documentary video about each topic or theme and the making of each piece, also incorporating photos and voices of those in our community in order to weave together shared experiences and personal narratives. The exhibit will be designed for the audience to move throughout a space, to look at all sides and the inside of each creation.
HealBoston is a grassroots community and youth empowerment program founded by Officer Emmanuel Dambreville of the Boston Police Department, Area C-11. Youth and leaders of HealBoston are working together this summer with local artist and art therapist, Heather Harris, to create an art installation focused on social and environmental issues that negatively impact communities of color in Boston.
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 18 poems in 2021.
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.
- Location: The Emerging Gallery, 8th Floor Boston City Hall
- Dates: September 1 - October 17, 2021
Venezuelan artist Franklin Marval, most known for this “more love is ok” message, will exhibit his signature brand of painting at City Hall’s new 8th floor gallery through September. Entitled Street Heart, the exhibition features his bright, colorful, hopeful themes of community, inclusion, and joy. According to Marval, “with these paintings, I hope that one day, we will all be walking without fear to show our hearts in all their splendor.”
Born in San Tome, Venezuela, Marval is a graphic designer, muralist, sign-maker, and community activist and works as both a fine artist and a commercial artist, depending on the project. He started creating his signature hearts designs after the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013 as a way to process the tragedy and to heal. “I always include hearts in my paintings, public art, and community workshops,” he explains, “with an implicit call for unity and understanding. I encourage building community, celebrating diversity, and positivity.”
His work may also be seen throughout Greater Boston including Dudley Café in Boston’s Roxbury neighborhood, and on many transformed utility boxes in West Roxbury, Newton, Marlborough, Plymouth, and Medfield. Marval also owns and operates his Cyanta Studios, which crates commercial graphics including signs, vehicle wraps, banners, and more, out of Humphreys Street Studios in Dorchester’s Upham's Corner. He has taught art to high school students at Boston Day and Evening Academy in Roxbury, is bilingual, and enjoys dual citizenship. He lives in Framingham with his family.
Mayor's Art Gallery
The Mayor's Gallery exhibits work by Boston 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 Boston 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.