The $10 million renovation of the Jamaica Plain Branch included:
- a 700-square foot addition facing South Street that will serve as a community reading lounge
- a terrace along Sedgwick Street where residents can read and mingle
- a refreshed collection of 30,000 books
- an elevator for full ADA accessibility
- parking for over 20 bikes, and
- new exterior landscaping.
The budget for this public art project was $200,000. The lawn in front of the library and BCYF Curtis Hall (facing South Street) and the elevated planter in front of the new entrance outside were identified as the two potential sites for the project.
The City of Boston’s cultural plan, Boston Creates, calls for public art that embraces a neighborhood's identity and adds to a strong sense of place. We identified important themes for the artist to consider after based on community feedback:
- the ethnic and racial diversity of the neighborhood, and its intergenerational character, the presence of small businesses, and access to green open space
- a strong sense of civic and social engagement
- a community of artists and creators
- the balance between old and new
- the need to retain a sense of neighborhood identity and celebrate the many communities that have contributed to the area
- artwork that is functional in some way, or interactive in a way that complements current community functions, and
- artwork that responds to the campus-like context of the space.
About the artist
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.