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Roxbury Branch Library: Public art project II

This project is in the design phase.

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

Project details

Project Context

This project is the second of two public art projects that the City is commissioning as part of the Percent for Art program. The first commission is an original artwork by Joe Wardwell, in collaboration with local poet Nakia Hill and youth writers at the YLAB at 826 Boston. It overlooks the central collections space and will be completely installed in November 2021.

The budget for this project is $150,000. The call to artists was for a permanent artwork. It was open to national and international artists, with a strong preference for artists connected to Roxbury. 

The Boston Art Commission approved the selection of Jeremy "Sobek" Harrison.

Community Values

In their narrative proposal, artists and artist teams responding to this call were encouraged to consider:

  • the recent renaming of the building where the Roxbury Branch of the Boston Public Library is located and the neighborhood to Nubian Square
  • the library’s featured African-American collection, and
  • the theme of economic justice.
Project Site

The site is located in the library's main entrance, housing the African-American collection. The wall is approximately 12 feet by 8 feet, and is visible from the front entrance along Dudley Street.

Photo of site for Roxbury BPL Public Art Project
Photo of site for Roxbury BPL Public Art Project
Rendering of site for Roxbury BPL Public Art Project
Courtesy of Utile.

Selection Criteria

The selection committee is looking for submissions that:

  • align with the curatorial vision of the Boston Art Commission
  • show consideration of the neighborhood, site, and theme
  • showcase a strong, original artistic vision, and
  • demonstrate experience in public art that meets the expectations for this commission.
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