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City Hall Plaza Public Art Projects: Short-term Artwork

We commissioned an artist to create a short-term artwork for the north entrance to Boston City Hall.

This project is in the contracting phase.

This is one of two public art projects to complement the renovation of City Hall Plaza. The total budget for this project is $50,000.

We also commissioned an artist to create graphics for the exterior of Boston City Hall (total budget of $5,000).

Project Details

Project Context

As the epicenter of civic activity, Boston City Hall Plaza is a place for inspiration, convening, and celebration. The plaza is currently under construction. The renovation aims to:

  • renew the cultural and architectural legacy of the plaza, and
  • create a welcoming civic and front yard for City Hall.

It will include interpretive wayfinding, including nearby landmarks and open spaces.

This international Call to Artists was open to all artists, with a strong preference for artists with a connection to the themes of the project. 

City Hall Plaza rendering
Rendering of City Hall Plaza renovation, courtesy of Sasaki.

Learn more about the renovation 

The Short-term Artwork

The City identified the new north entrance planting bed as the ideal site for this opportunity. There is a sculpture pad embedded in the planting bed. The commissioned artwork will be installed for one year.

Rendering of City Hall Plaza north entrance artwork location
Rendering of City Hall Plaza north entrance artwork location, courtesy of Sasaki (note: sculpture in rendering is a placeholder image).

The Project Theme

We envision these projects as the first of a series of artworks for this site. Through these artworks, we want to recognize and celebrate the stories of Boston and City Hall Plaza.

For centuries, we have been missing the following communities in our artistic landscape:

  • BIPOC/ALAANA (Black, Indigenous, People of Color/African, Latinx, Asian, Arab, Native American) individuals

  • women

  • local activists

  • LGBTQIA+ individuals, and

  • many others.

This site offers a unique opportunity to tell those and other stories.

The site of City Hall Plaza has changed dramatically over time, especially in relation to the Boston Harbor. It will continue to transform as the climate changes. We encourage the selected artists to examine the past, present, and future of the plaza.

The artwork should provide context and meaning for residents and visitors. It should also recognize that the land is the traditional homeland of the Massachusett tribe and the neighboring Wampanoag and Nipmuc tribes.

A three-paneled image showing City Hall Plaza in the past, in its current state, and in the future.

Watch: The Amulet Series by Rhea Vedro
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