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Last updated: 4/2/19

Percent for Art Program

You can respond to open Requests for Proposals (RFPs) for permanent public art commissioned by the City of Boston.

We regularly release RFPs for permanent public art on City property as part of the Percent for Art Program. The Boston Art Commission advocates for the creation of innovative and transformative art. We want to enrich the lives of Boston’s citizens through public art.

If you’re a local artist, please consider responding to one of the open RFPs below.

Still have questions? Contact:
Arts and Culture
1 City Hall Square
Room 802
Boston, MA 02201-2029
United States
Questions about RFPs?

Contact Sarah Rodrigo at sarah.rodrigo@boston.gov

About the Percent for Art program

The City released its first cultural plan, Boston Creates, in 2016. The plan called for more support for Boston’s arts and culture ecosystem.

The Percent for Art Program is a critical part of the planning process and addresses Goal 4 of the plan:

to integrate arts and culture into all aspects of civic life, inspiring all Bostonians to value, practice, and reap the benefits of creativity in their individual lives and in their communities

Who's involved

Through the program, we set aside one percent of the City’s annual capital borrowing budget for the commissioning of public art. The Percent for Art Program is administered by the:

We also work with:
WANT TO LEARN MORE?

East Boston Police Station

Project Summary

The City is seeking an artist to create a permanent piece of public art to complement the future new Area A-7 Police Station in East Boston.

The project has a budget of $450,000. The City is asking artists to consider three qualities of the East Boston neighborhood when they apply: 

Immigration

East Boston has a deep history with many immigrant communities. There are also plenty of local symbols of the hopes and dreams of generations of immigrants. One example is The Golden Staircase. New Bostonians would climb this plain concrete stairway up to the heights of East Boston upon arrival to the United States. 

Climate Change

Due to its location, East Boston is on the front lines of climate change. Local nonprofits and the City are engaging in planning to reduce the impacts of climate change in the neighborhood.

Community

East Boston's location makes it somewhat isolated from other neighborhoods in the City. For that reason, the community has a strong neighborhood identity. The Boston Police department enjoys a close partnership with neighborhood residents. This reflects the close-knit nature of East Boston, and Boston’s commitment to community policing.

The City expects this project to take about two years to complete.

Project timeline (subject to change)
  • March 25, 2019: Call to artists available
  • April 25, 2019: Deadline to respond to call to artists
  • June 2019: Interviews with artists and teams
  • July 2019: Artist team contract executed
  • Summer / fall 2019: Artist and team design phase
  • Winter 2019 / spring 2020: Artist fabrication
  • Late 2020 / early 2021: Public art installation

Respond to the call to artists

Responde a la convocatoria a artistas  

Engine 42 Fire Station

Contact: Arts and Culture
project summary

The City of Boston invited artists or artist teams to apply to create permanent public artwork to complement the new Engine 42 fire station.

The total project budget is $300,000. The Call to Artists was open to all:

  • artists
  • artisans
  • architects
  • landscape architects, or
  • teams with experience in public art, site responsive design, project management, and construction administration.

We expect this project to take 12-18 months to complete. 

project timeline
  • August 13, 2018: Call to Artists available
  • August 29, 2018: Deadline to send questions to bac@boston.gov
  • August 31, 2018: Answers to all questions posted online
  • September 26, 2018: Deadline to submit applications
  • October 2018: Artist/team contract executed

No questions were submitted for this project.

Learn More About Call

Dudley Branch Library

Contact: Arts and Culture
project summary

This is the first of two public art projects that will complement the renovation of the Dudley Branch of the Boston Public Library.

With a budget of $250,000, the project is for a site-specific, impactful, focal design feature. The RFP for the public art project was open to all:

  • professional artists and artisans
  • architects and landscape architects, or
  • teams with experience in public art, site-responsive design, project management, and construction administration.
rfp timeline
  • May 7, 2018: Call to artists available
  • May 18, 2018, by 5 p.m.: Questions due to the City
  • May 25, 2018: Answers to all questions posted online
  • June 8, 2018, by noon: Deadline to submit proposals

City Responses to Questions

Jamaica Plain Library | Percent for Art

Project Summary

The public art project will complement recent renovations made to the Jamaica Plain Branch Library.

PROJECT Timeline
  • April-June 2018: Design process
  • July 2018: Artist presents to the Boston Art Commission and to the Community Advisory Committee for final approval
  • 2019: Artwork fabrication and installation

Matthew Hinçman was selected as the artist for the Jamaica Plain library public art project. He is a professor of sculpture at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Hinçman is also chair of the Fine Arts 3D Program. He currently serves on the board of the Boston-based nonprofit Now+There. 

Hinçman is a sculptor and educator living in Jamaica Plain. He's best known for "Jamaica Pond Bench, 2006," and "STILL, 2014," both located in Jamaica Plain. His pieces are generally found in public places.

JP artist selection information

Matthew Hincman headshot

BCYF Vine Street Community Center

Contact: Arts and Culture
Project Summary

The public art project will complement the renovation of the BCYF Vine Street Community Center in Roxbury.

The RFP for the public art project was open to all:

  • professional artists and artisans
  • architects and landscape architects, or
  • teams with experience in public art, site responsive design, project management, and construction administration.

The budget for the project is $150,000. We expect it to take 8 - 10 months to complete. 

This RFP is the first of two calls for artists connected to the Vine Street center. The second call will focus on art inside the center.

RFP Timeline
  • Deadline to submit proposals: Monday, January 29, 2018, by midnight Boston local time.
  • Artist interviews: February 2018
  • Contract award date: March/April 2018