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Matthew Hincman picked to complete public art project at Jamaica Plain library

November 15, 2017

Arts and Culture

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Arts and Culture

Hinçman is a sculptor and educator living in Jamaica Plain.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture, in collaboration with the Boston Art Commission, Boston Public Library and Public Facilities Department, today announced Matthew Hinçman as the artist selected for a public art project at the Jamaica Plain Branch of the Boston Public Library.

Matthew Hincman
Hinçman is a sculptor and educator living in Jamaica Plain. Best known for Jamaica Pond Bench, 2006, and STILL, 2014, both located in Jamaica Plain, his pieces are generally found in public places.

The City of Boston released a Request for Proposals (RFP) earlier this year for a public art project to complement the recent $10 million renovation of the Jamaica Plain Branch Library. This was the first project under the new Percent for Art Program, which allocates one percent of the City's annual capital borrowing budget to the commissioning of public art. The renovation included a 20 percent increase in space, a 700-square foot addition of a community reading lounge, a terrace along Sedgwick Street where residents can read and mingle, several meeting spaces, a refreshed collection of 30,000 books, an elevator, more efficient mechanical systems, 20 parking spots for bicycles, and new exterior landscaping.

"The recent renovation has allowed the Jamaica Plain library to accommodate more visitors, provide better access to resources, and strengthen the surrounding neighborhood, and this project will enhance these efforts," said Mayor Walsh. "It's great to see someone who has such a strong understanding of Jamaica Plain's cultural identity and a proven connection to the larger community take on the project."

"The JP renovation has been so well received, the latest in our ever strengthening branch system. We're so proud of the modern and welcoming space that everyone can use and enjoy," said David Leonard, President of the Boston Public Library. "The addition of public art by a JP resident will enhance the street presence of the branch and connect it even more deeply to the fabric of the neighborhood."

Hinçman is a Professor of Sculpture at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design and Chair of the Fine Arts 3D Program. He currently serves on the Board of the Boston-based non-profit Now+There.

"I am thrilled to be selected to create a new work of art for the Jamaica Plain Branch of the Boston Public Library," said artist Matthew Hinçman. "I embrace the idea of being 'local', and focus much of my energies here in my neighborhood. To have been considered and ultimately awarded this commission is very humbling. I love making work for public spaces that disrupt the order of the everyday, and it is an honor to be working right here in my own backyard."

The total budget for the project is $200,000, and the design of the work will be informed by an ongoing community engagement process. The project is expected to be completed and installed in 2018.

"The renovation of the Jamaica Plain Branch and the installation of public art into that space corresponds extremely well with one of the goals highlighted in the Boston Creates Cultural Plan, to integrate arts and culture into all aspects of civic life," said Julie Burros, Chief of Arts and Culture. "The library's role at the center of civic life for the Jamaica Plain community makes it an ideal location for public art, and I am so glad that the Percent for Art program has made that possible."

Earlier this week, the City released another RFP as part of the Percent for Art Program for a public art project at the BCYF Vine Street Community Center in Roxbury, which is now under renovation. The City is also planning to release an RFP this fall for public art at the Dudley Branch of the Boston Public Library, which is closing for renovation on November 17th.

About the 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.

About the Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture

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; curating exhibitions in City Hall; and operating the historic Strand Theater in Dorchester.

About the Boston Public Library

Boston Public Library has a Central Library, twenty-four branches, map center, business library, and a website filled with digital content and services. Established in 1848, the Boston Public Library has pioneered public library service in America. It was the first large free municipal library in the United States, the first public library to lend books, the first to have a branch library, and the first to have a children's room. Each year, the Boston Public Library hosts thousands of programs and serves millions of people. All of its programs and exhibitions are free and open to the public. At the Boston Public Library, books are just the beginning. To learn more, visit