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City Hall Galleries

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

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

Call to artists

Want to exhibit your Artwork in City Hall? The galleries at Boston City Hall promote and exhibit the work of Boston artists.

Current and Upcoming Exhibits

Exhibits

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 will select 18 poems in 2021.

The deadline to submit a poem is April 1, 2021.

Submit a poem

Read the 2020 Poems

  • Location: Scollay Square Gallery, 3rd Floor Boston City Hall
  • Dates: Now through April 2021

Using the power of the internet, "Hello World" is a video documentation of the launch of an internet project where more than 500 artists and arts and cultural institutions from around the world came together in an act of global solidarity to combat the ill effects of COVID-19.  

As soon as the pandemic hit, the Boston-based, artists-run TransCultural Exchange reacted. Calling and emailing every artist they could find, by June, the team had created "Hello World", a virtual travelogue, freely available to anyone, anywhere.  Now, with the mere click of a mouse, stay-at-home voyagers can:

  • collaborate with art projects around the globe
  • listen to sound works from a mix of cultures
  • browse galleries of contemporary artists’ works, and
  • take in movies and dance pieces from artists working in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, the Americas, and Australia.

Learn more about the project

  • Location: The Mayor's Gallery, 5th Floor Boston City Hall
  • Dates: Currently on display

View the artwork list

With its unique concept of collaboration and friendship, "Real F.R.I.E.N.D.S" offers a counterpoint to current events with fun, colorful pieces focused on themes of friendship and love. The intention of this exhibit is two-fold. First, to invite the community to experience interdisciplinary collaborations constructed around Eversley’s artistic avatar Spencer Ward, a bold nerd. Second, "Real F.R.I.E.N.D.S" intends to reinforce the belief that a successful collaborative process strengthens communal bonds and generates dynamic creativity.

Watch the artist talk

Photo of Real F.R.I.E.N.D.S exhibit, courtesy of Greg Caparell of Caparell Photography.

Come and visit the “Nerd in Love” Spencer Ward, as he explores artistic frontiers with the help of a host of fellow artists in a selection of diverse media. Graphic color blocks, iconic portraits, live painting, as well as interactive art (with appropriate hygiene/social distancing regulations in place of course), this is a show that won’t be soon forgotten. This show aims to demonstrate that the best relationships are ones built on trust and understanding — with a touch of humor, playfulness, and flexibility thrown in.

Photo of Jamaal Eversley with Real F.R.I.E.N.D.S exhibit, courtesy of Greg Caparell of Caparell Photography.

We're asking the Boston art community to share their inspiration for the upcoming year with an online exhibition.  Through the eyes of our fellow Bostonians we are hoping to capture the concerns and spirit of our resilient city of Boston.   

Submit artwork

View the virtual exhibit

This exhibit is happening virtually.

Tucked in amongst the many blocks of small storefront businesses on Centre Street in West Roxbury is Elie’s barber shop. A thriving business serving the West Roxbury community for generations. 

From the instant I walked through the door it was clear that Elie’s was much more than “just a place for a haircut”. There was a constant flow of people coming into the shop with most everyone on a first name basis. There was a mother who brought her three boys in for their routine cuts, a young man who traveled in from the suburbs because his father brought him there when he was a boy before they moved away from the neighborhood. There was a mix of people including those that have been coming to the shop for decades and others that were discovering this treasure for the first time. The high pace, diverse people and overall energy of this little shop surprised and inspired me as an artist. I've been a resident of Boston for 75 years, originally from Dorchester I have been living in West Roxbury for over 30 years. Over that time I’ve seen a lot of changes in the city and its many neighborhoods. For the past 3 years I’ve immersed myself in street photography both local and throughout my travels worldwide. 

I began a series in January of 2020 that I’ve been planning to do for a few years. It was to capture the life and spirit of the many small shops/businesses that make up Centre Street in West Roxbury. I felt it important to do this before the passing of time reshaped the face of this Boston community, however with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, it all came to an abrupt halt. Fortunately, I had started this project with a couple of stores one of them being Elie’s Barber Shop. I’m pleased to share this with you now and I am eager to get back to Centre Street and the many stores and their special stories as soon as possible to finish capturing this moment in a community’s history.     

-Rob MacIntosh

View the virtual exhibit 

"The History of Right Now" is about the changing way we view our future, our present, and our past now. In a world that has been dominated by storytelling through the white gaze, what does our history look like when told from Black people to Black people? OJ Slaughter's intention is to let Black and Brown people imagine a future where they have agency over their own stories. These are their photographs. This is the history of right now.

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.

  • Happening virtually, future exhibit in Scollay Square Gallery at Boston City Hall to be announced at a later date.

We asked creative-minded Bostonians to share their messages of care, including physical distancing, washing your hands, staying home, and checking in on seniors, to name a few. The messages can take the form of art, quotes, poems, collages, or any medium that you can transfer to your computer and send to us electronically to honor our frontline heroes, doctors, nurses, EMTs, police, fire, grocery store workers, custodians, transportation, food delivery and postal workers, teachers, loved ones, and more. Submissions were displayed online.

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Gallery locations

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.

Watch: Jamaal Eversley's Artist Talk in the Mayor's Gallery