Update: The deadline for the 2023 PaintBox program has now passed.
The PaintBox program aims to beautify Boston's neighborhoods, introduce residents to the artists that live among them, and provide an opportunity for artists looking to enter the field of public art. Selected artists will paint the utility boxes with their original designs.
About the Program
the theme: Placekeeping
We are looking for designs that reflect the people, ideas, histories, and futures of Boston, engage communities, and directly respond to, enrich, and enliven the urban environment. Please, do not feel pressured to respond to this theme literally. We encourage you to find creative ways to represent your neighborhood!
The goal of the PaintBox program, first launched in 2008, is to beautify Boston's neighborhoods, introduce residents to the artists that live among them, and provide an opportunity for artists looking to enter the field of public art.
As the City continues to make big investments in public art, PaintBox contributes to the vitality of Boston's public art landscape in a small but impactful way and reflects the diverse people, ideas, histories, and futures of everyday Bostonians.
Artists will receive a $500 stipend for their project. They will receive $200 upon approval of their application to cover the cost of supplies. Artists will then receive $300 upon completion of the box.
Artists are required to register as a vendor with the City of Boston (or provide an existing vendor ID number). They will also be asked to pick up an official PaintBox badge after receiving their acceptance letter via email.
To receive the final payment, artists must submit the following:
- A photo of the electric utility meter number (if visible)
- Photos of the completed PaintBox
- A payment request form for the remaining amount of $300
How to Apply
What You Need
- Paintbox Design: Artists may use the PaintBox template. Artists must agree that the Paintbox can be painted over at any time by the City of Boston.
Statement of Interest and Initial Project Concept (500 words or less): This statement should include the initial artistic concept for this site as well as why you are interested in this opportunity. Include your connection to the site and/or neighborhood, and any specific or unique processes you might use for the project.
- Artist Description: A few sentences that describe your artistic style, including the themes and materials that you explore in your artwork. You may also add your bio, resume, CV, or other documents that describe your background and experience.
- Relevant Work Samples: Up to ten images of completed past work that you feel is relevant to this site. One image per file; jpg, tiff, or MP4 file types; limit videos to two minutes or less.
- Work Sample Descriptions: An Annotated image list with title, media, dimensions, location, date, brief description, your role in the project (lead, assistant, etc.) and any other information that might be relevant.
- We want submissions from artists that have a strong, original, artistic vision
- You have to live, work, or organize in Boston
- You have to be at least 18 years of age
- You can only submit one design
- You should show consideration of the neighborhood, site, and theme.
- Designs should discreetly incorporate the artist's signature and the text "City of Boston”
- Designs should cover the entire utility box, except for hinges and locks
- Your design should align with the City of Boston's Curatorial Vision.
- We cannot approve PaintBox projects for historic districts.
- The City will not approve any design that includes logos or advertisements. We will also not approve any imagery that may be confused for directional signage.
- Designs may not incorporate text.
- We may reject submissions that contain images of other artists’ works without credit or identification of their role.