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Artists announced for the 2020 Public Space Invitational

Civic design competition aims to bring a slice of Boston’s green spaces to homes this summer.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced the selections of the City's seventh Public Space Invitational, a civic design competition that seeks ideas that reimagine and enhance Boston’s public spaces.

Since 2018, New Urban Mechanics has partnered with The Trustees and TD Bank to bring new ideas and events to Boston's community gardens and green spaces through the Community Grown program. In light of continued physical distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s Public Space Invitational focuses on bringing a slice of the city’s green spaces to homes in Boston.

Six teams of local artists have been selected to customize and paint sets of window boxes, planters, pots, and birdhouses with original artwork. Selected artists will work remotely with residents and community groups to collaborate and get feedback on the artwork. The Trustees will then plant a mix of tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, flowers, or herbs in the containers. Finally, the customized pieces will be distributed to 90 individuals and families at three neighborhood green spaces: Nightingale Community Garden in Dorchester, El Jardín de la Amistad in Roxbury, and Titus Sparrow Park in the South End.

Recipients of the customized pieces will be chosen via a lottery process. Residents of Boston who are interested in receiving a customized window box, pot, or birdhouse can request one using the following application form (kriolu / Cape Verdean Creole) (简体中文 / Simplified Chinese) (English) (Kreyòl ayisyen / Haitian Creole) (Português / Brazilian Portuguese) (Español / Spanish) (Tiếng Việt / Vietnamese)

The selected artists of the 2020 Public Space Invitational are:

Chanel Thervil

Chanel Thervil is a Haitian-American artist and educator who uses varying combinations of abstraction and portraiture to convene communal dialogue around culture, social issues, and existential questions. At the core of her practice lies a desire to empower and inspire tenderness and healing among communities of color through the arts. She's been making a splash in Boston via her public art, mixed media portraits, and joyful collaborations with institutions like the Urbano Project, Boston Children's Museum, deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, and the Boston Center for the Arts. 


Dorchester Art Projectincluding:
Emma Leavitt

Emma Leavitt is a visual artist and muralist based in the Boston area. She is the Director of Brain Arts Organization, whose mission is to realize creative independence in systematically undervalued communities. She is also Gallery Director at Dorchester Art Project (DAP) which serves Boston-area artists with below market-rate rent for studio, gallery and performance space, as well as connecting them with opportunities to engage with community outside of DAP. 


Amber Torres

Amber Torres is an artist, curator, media personality, and alumna of the Boston Arts Academy. In 2016, she attained a Bachelor's Degree in Communication from Hamilton College. Since her return, Amber has become a trusted voice in Boston's grassroots art scene – using digital media and creative programming to provide under-resourced communities with access to the arts.


Quéla Jules

Quéla Jules is an early childhood educator and artist born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts. She started her art business Art By Jules in 2018 and specializes in digital art and custom apparel. To see more of Quéla’s work you can find her portraits at @artxjules and her customs at @impressive.customs on Instagram.

Symba Tu

Symba Tu is a multimedia artist and musician from Dorchester. He is a graduate of Artists for Humanity. You can see more of his work on Instagram at @the_allaroundartisttu_.

Jose Varon

Jose Varon is a street artist and graffiti artist who grew up in Boston. You can find his unique writing style and inspirational, positivity-packed stickers all around Boston, or see more at @beantownbdbc on Instagram. 

Nuno Pereira

Nuno Pereira is a self-taught artist from Dorchester who specializes in highly realistic charcoal portraits as well as  video production. You can find more of his work at @nuno_artpage on Instagram.

Jaypix Belmer

Jaypix Belmer is a Boston-based documentary photographer whose work captures the “visual soul” of  their subjects. Born in Boston, Jaypix 's professional style combines innovative design and artistically bold portraits that shine a light on individuals, enabling confidence toward the pursuit of their own vision. 

You can learn more about their work at

Sam Potrykus

Sam Potrykus is the Founder and Co-Director of Brain Arts Organization, Founder of the Boston Compass newspaper and Director of Dorchester Art Project. He grew up on the South Shore of Boston (Braintree and Wareham) and has been living in Jamaica Plain for the last 10+ years, where he discovered his passion for community building.

Brianna Asbury

Brianna (she/her/hers) is the owner of Taking Root Gardening and has been a professional gardener for over 15 years. She has received certification as a Massachusetts Certified Horticulturist, a NOFA Accredited Organic Land Care Professional, and is a graduate of the Boston Natural Areas Network Master Urban Gardener program. Brianna loves helping Boston-area residents nurture their gardens and reimagine their outdoor spaces into areas of tranquility and beauty.

JennyMae Kho 

JennyMae (they/them/theirs) is the founder of The Dreamland Project and curator for the New Society Art Gallery at the STEM Advocacy Institute (SAI). They are a writer, musician, and multidisciplinary artist with a passion for public art, installations, soundscapes, and projections.  JennyMae's work explores the intersections of science, art, imagination, and identity.

Julie Ann Otis

Julie Ann Otis is a social practice artist creating experiences of ease. for. every. body. Through transformational counseling and public art, she catalyzes compassion and brings people home to their beautiful, embodied selves.


Liz LaManche

Liz LaManche is a street artist and public artist with a background in architecture and software design, and a goal of making our city spaces more welcoming for all. Best known for large and symbolic ground and wall art, LaManche's urban interventions add color and meaning, with a goal of bringing people together in a shared experience.


Ngoc-Tran Vu

Ngoc-Tran Vu (she/her) is a Vietnamese-American interdisciplinary artist and organizer whose socially engaged work draws from her experience as a cultural organizer, trainer, and healer. Tran threads her social practice through photography, painting, and sculpture to resonate and engage audiences with intentionality. Tran grew up in Boston, works across borders, and is based in the Dorchester community.


About Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics

The Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics serves as the City's innovation incubator, building partnerships between internal agencies and outside entrepreneurs to pilot projects that address resident needs. From community green spaces to Accessory Dwelling Units, their approach to innovation is human-centered, nimble, and responsive to the changing needs of our growing city.

About The Trustees

Founded by landscape architect Charles Eliot in 1891, The Trustees has, for more than 125 years, been a catalyst for important ideas, endeavors, and progress in Massachusetts. As a steward of distinctive and dynamic places of ecological, historic and cultural value, The Trustees is the nation’s first preservation and conservation organization, and its landscapes and landmarks continue to inspire discussion, innovation, and action today as they did in the past. We are a nonprofit, supported by members, friends and donors and our 118 sites are destinations for residents, members, and visitors alike, welcoming millions of guests annually. Our network of 56 community gardens provide food access and open space in eight Boston neighborhoods.

About TD Bank

TD Bank is committed to driving positive change that enriches the lives of our customers, colleagues and communities. In support of our mission, TD launched the TD Ready Commitment, which targets $1 billion (CDN) by 2030 toward community giving, in order to maximize our impact in supporting financial security, elevating the quality of our environment, creating opportunities for everyone to participate in their communities, and supporting more equitable health outcomes for all.

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