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Call for artists for North Square public art project

November 21, 2016

Arts and Culture

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Arts and Culture

Mayor Walsh announces a Request for Proposals with the Public Works Department and the Boston Art Commission

NORTH END - Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a public art project for North Square, a public space located in the North End of Boston.  Working closely with the Public Works Department and the Boston Art Commission, the Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture invites artists to submit their proposals for public art to be incorporated in the reconstruction of North Square.   

"Boston Creates, the City of Boston's Cultural Plan, calls for public art that embraces a neighborhood's identity and adds to a strong sense of place," said Mayor Walsh. "Incorporating art into public works projects like this helps to showcase the incredible creativity that exists in our city."

North Square rendering

Settled in the early 1600s, the North End is one of Boston's oldest neighborhoods and has a vibrant community fabric. North Square has always been a center of community life, and today, the neighborhood is a tourist destination both for its place in American history as well as its contemporary Italian American culture, such as summer festivals honoring patron saints of Italian cities.   

In 2017, North Square will undergo a revitalization project by the Boston Public Works Department. Designed to build on its identity as a cultural destination and making the space accessible to all, the completed project will be a livable, walkable, green and sustainable square. The City of Boston's Public Works Department has allocated $200,000 from the North Square reconstruction project budget towards a public art project that will be incorporated into the reconstruction of the Square. Background information on the project is available here.

The RFP is open to all professional artists or teams with experience in public art. Artists from the North End neighborhood are encouraged to apply.  There will be a site walkthrough available for applicants on Monday, December 5 at 3:00 p.m.  Questions will be accepted by the Boston Art Commission through Friday, December 9. The deadline to submit proposals is 5:00 p.m. on January 4, 2017.  The successful applicant will be announced in February 2017 and the public art installation is expected to be complete in the summer of 2017.

Incorporating community feedback about the site is essential and a successful proposal will honor the past and contemporary use of the Square by preserving open space, encouraging community gathering, and highlighting navigational or nautical themes.  Although history is integral to the site, proposals that balance historic references and context with a more contemporary perspective are also encouraged.

Incorporating art into public works projects like this helps to showcase the incredible creativity that exists in our city

Mayor Walsh

Applications will be reviewed by a selection committee comprised of representatives from the City of Boston and local arts professionals representing the neighborhood. For more information and to apply, visit here.

"We continue to look to integrate arts and culture into all aspects of life in Boston and to support artists in Boston," said Julie Burros, Chief of Arts and Culture for the City of Boston.  "We look forward to seeing the proposals that are submitted for the North Square project and to incorporating more public art across the City."   

Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture (MOAC)

The Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture's mission is to support artists, the cultural sector, and to promote access to the arts for all. The office houses the Boston Cultural Council, the Boston Art Commission, and the Poet Laureate program. Responsibilities include leading up the City's Cultural Plan, Boston Creates; managing the Boston Artist-in-Residence program (BostonAIR); curating exhibitions in City Hall; and operating the historic Strand Theater in Dorchester.  For more information, visit here.

About the Boston Creates Cultural Plan

The cultural plan is a ten year plan for supporting arts and culture in the City of Boston. It was created out of a year-long community engagement effort designed to help local government identify cultural needs, opportunities, and resources and to prioritize, coordinate, and align public and private resources to strengthen Boston's cultural vitality over the long term. The full cultural plan can be found online.

Boston Art Commission

The Boston Art Commission (BAC), an independent board of arts leaders charged with the care and custody of all artworks on City of Boston property, advocates for the creation of innovative and transformative art and promotes its accessibility to enrich the lives of Boston's diverse citizens and visitors. The Art Commission advises, supports, and consults with artists and communities, City departments, and others. It commissions, approves, and conserves the City of Boston's collection of art and historical artifacts. For more information, visit here.