Boston City Hall
Call to Artists & Art Organizations
The Scollay Square Gallery, The Mayor’s Gallery, and
The Mayor’s Neighborhood Gallery at Boston City Hall.
Seeking artists and artist organizations, that live or create in Boston to exhibit at Boston City Hall.
- This is an ongoing search, there is no deadline
Artist Certification Guidelines
What is an Artist Certificate?
An Artist Certificate is a letter from Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture and the Boston Planning and Development Agency (formerly BRA) to an artist. The letter confirms that the artist has been reviewed by a committee of peers and is “certified” as a working artist. An Artist Certificate qualifies an artist as eligible for artist spaces for a period of eight years. Upon expiration, the artist will need to renew their certification.
Who is eligible for an Artist Certificate?
Applicants must able to demonstrate that they have a recent body of work and must be at least 18 years of age. Artists in the following disciplines are considered:
- Visual Arts: including painting, printmaking, sculpture, photography, conceptual art, ceramics, woodworking, architecture/design, media arts, film, and new media.
- Performing Arts: including dance, theater, and music.
- Literary Arts: including fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and spoken word.
- Multidisciplinary Art
Who reviews the applications?
A Peer Review Panel selected from a pool of Boston artists and arts professionals reviews applications on a quarterly basis.
The decision of the panel is final. If an applicant is not certified during this round, they can request feedback on how to improve their application and reapply in a future round.
Applications will be reviewed based on the following criteria.
Evidence of a recent body of work, demonstrated by an artist resume or CV that lists dates and locations of exhibitions, publications, performances, or press.
Documentation of artwork including image files, video clips, and writing samples.
Recommendations and letters of support from peers and professionals in the arts.
What is Automatic Certification?
Automatic certification is granted to artists who have received any of the following awards in the last 3 years: the Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Fellowship, The Boston Foundation Brother Thomas Fellowship, the Boston Cultural Council Artist Fellowship, or the City of Boston Emerging Artist Award.
To receive automatic certification, please fill out your name and contact information in the Artist Certification application and upload your fellowship letter in the Work Samples section.
All applications will be reviewed by the Boston Art Commission at our monthly meeting, scheduled for the second Tuesday of the month. We generally ask for applications to be submitted 2 weeks before a BAC meeting and 6 weeks before the proposed start date, to allow us time to process the request and work with other departments for permissions and the insurance waiver scheduled BAC meeting.
Submit your design idea for City utility boxes!
● Selections will be made by the Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture.
● Submissions will be reviewed on a rolling basis.
● Artists will be notified if and when their designs are selected.
● Artists must avoid dark palettes in order to prevent boxes from overheating in the sun.
● Artists must supply their own materials, tools, and water while painting.
● The utility boxes must be scraped, cleaned and primed (with automobile spray primer) before painting. Please tape over functional areas– hinges, vents, locks, meters, keyholes, and any cautionary text – as the operational use of the boxes cannot be obstructed by paint.
● Artists are responsible for protecting their work from the elements and possible vandalism by using durable materials and a protective varnish and coating of wax. As you develop your designs, please keep in mind that large, empty monochrome areas do not help to discourage vandalism.
● The area around the box must be maintained at all times, including passage on the sidewalk for pedestrians and unobstructed traffic lanes, as well as protecting the area from drips, etc. A dropcloth must be used while priming and painting.
● Please subtly incorporate the text 'Sponsored by the City of Boston' into your design.
● A photo of the electric utility meter number (if visible) – this is part of a collaboration with the Environment Department to promote energy efficiency through improved tracking for our street lights and traffic lights.
● Photos of the completed PaintBox
●A City of Boston vendor ID number
Visit publicartboston.com to see examples of PaintBoxes in the city. Please click here to view and download the PaintBox design template.
Please contact BAC@Boston.gov with any questions.
The Boston Public Health Commission, Mayor’s Office of Recovery Services, Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture, and Boston Art Commission invite Boston artists to submit conceptual designs for consideration for a temporary public artwork on the Finland Building at 774 Albany Street Boston, MA 02118.
Call released: Tuesday, April 11, 2017
Deadline: 12:00 pm (noon) Tuesday May 9, 2017
This RFP is open to all professional artists, artisans, or teams (hereinafter, referred to as “artists”), with experience in public art, site responsive design, and project management.
This call for artists is part of a broader City of Boston effort to improve the neighborhood around the intersection of Melnea Cass Boulevard and Massachusetts Avenue, an area of the city with a large concentration of services for homeless individuals and individuals recovering from addiction. One of the primary goals of this neighborhood improvement initiative is to beautify this neighborhood with public art.
To that end, the Mayor’s Office of Recovery Services (ORS) is seeking an artist to create a large-scale work of art for the corner of the Finland building (774 Albany Street, Boston, MA, 02118).
The Finland building houses a number of the Boston Public Health Commission’s addiction recovery services programs. Clients come to the Finland building for a broad range of services, including harm reduction services and as an entry point to detox and other treatment programs. The building is adjacent to Boston Healthcare for the Homeless and across from Boston Medical Center, the city’s safety-net hospital.
ORS is seeking to commission artwork for the Finland building that embodies the values of resiliency and hope of those in recovery. ORS and the Boston Public Health Commission accept anyone and everyone in need of service into their programs.
Beautifying the area with meaningful art is a form of encouragement and support for those who utilize recovery services. ORS asks artists to consider that each recovery story is unique and that recovery is a multidimensional process. ORS requests the art reflects the vast variety of experiences of people who come to the Mass/Albany intersection, as well as the shared values of hope and resiliency. The art should be informed by the spirit of this neighborhood, the multiple service providers in the area, and the clients who access these services.
The initial amount budgeted for this project is $8,000, which includes artist fee, materials, and installation.
The artist will be selected by the Artist Selection Committee, which is comprised of representatives from the Mayor’s Office of Recovery Services and the Boston Public Health Commission as well as two local artists. The final artwork design will be approved by the Boston Art Commission. Artist selection is pending departmental approval of installation plan and proof of insurance. For insurance requirements, please see Appendix B.
The space available for artwork is the north west facing wall next to the entrance of the Finland Building. This entire wall is available and measures 70’ x 20’. It is up to the artist to propose how much of the space to use for their artwork. The perpendicular south west facing wall is also available as a secondary space. Artists may propose an artwork that spans both walls, taking into consideration that the wall facing the street has the highest visibility. Please see Appendix A for a diagram of the space.
Potential artworks could include but are not limited to:
- Murals on one or both of the brick walls
- A graphic design adhered to or hanging from the facade, such as a printed banner
Installation of the artwork is the responsibility of the artist. The selection committee will evaluate the ability of the artist to successfully install the work based on the artist’s installation experience and clarity of an installation plan.
Murals are considered temporary art, and as such the City of Boston does not plan for maintenance of murals in the way we do for permanent installations. The City of Boston expects this project’s lifespan to be at least 18 months in good condition. Please keep this in mind when making fabrication and material recommendations, particularly preparing/priming the wall and paint/material selection. The City of Boston will not be liable for degradation of the artwork caused by normal wear and tear and weathering.
- Concept sketch of proposed work
- Budget totalling $8,000 (including artist fee, materials, and installation)
- Plan for installation (300 words)
- Brief narrative of design (250 words)
- Images of past related work (up to 10 image files)
- Image list / description sheet
- Electronic submissions only
- Only complete submissions will be reviewed; please see above checklist for requirements.
Please direct all questions to the Boston Art Commission at BAC@boston.gov.
Appendix A: Image of Building Facade
The primary space for artwork is highlighted in the red rectangle below:
Appendix B: Insurance Requirements
The City of Boston requires insurance coverage in place for contractors to protect both the City and the contractor. The Contractor shall maintain during the term of the Contract, at his expense, all insurance required by the applicable laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and insurance required in this section. Insurance will be issued by licensed insurance companies with a current Best’s rating of A- VII or above. Evidence of insurance requirements will be provided on Acord Form 25 Insurance Certificates after being awarded the contract, with renewal certificates delivered 30 days prior to the expiration of the preceding policy. These requirements shall not be construed to limit the liability of the Contractor or its insurers.
The amounts and types of insurance required may be modified by the City if it is determined they do not provide adequate coverage. The minimum insurance requirements are:
- Commercial General Liability for Bodily Injury and Property Damage, on an Occurrence Form, naming the City of Boston as Additional Insured, including Premises/Operations, Products/Completed Operations Liability, Contractual, Broad Form Property Damage, and Personal/Advertising Injury for one million ($1,000,000) per occurrence and two million ($2,000,000) annual aggregate limit per project per location.
- Workmen’s Compensation insurance as required under General Laws c.152 (the Workmen’s Compensation Law) and including employer’s liability limits of one million ($1,000,000) per accident and per employee for the disease. This type of insurance is not required if the contractor will only use volunteers or casual employees in the contract and will hold the City harmless for any personal injuries.
- Automotive liability to cover the artist while traveling and transporting materials be traveling to and from the site, if required the City will mandates a automotive liability coverage for $250,000/accident for property damage, $250,000/per person, $500,000/ accident for bodily injury for any vehicle used in performance of Contract including but not limited to personal transportation.
The amounts and types of insurance required may be modified by the City if it is determined they do not provide adequate coverage. The CIty’s general conditions for Insurance are:
- The City of Boston will be named as Additional Insured on all policies except Workers’ Compensation and Employer’s Liability.
- Above insurance shall be primary and noncontributory over any such insurance available to the City of Boston, its officials, employees, and volunteers.
- Waiver of Subrogation will be included as respects all coverages listed above in favor of the City of Boston.
- All policies will be endorsed to provide thirty days written notice to the certificate holder, the City of Boston, in the event of cancellation, non-renewal or material changes in coverage.Tuesday, April 11, 2017
Call for Artists Timeline
- Released: April 3, 2017
- Deadline to submit proposals: 5:00 pm Friday, May 5, 2017
- Space Walkthrough (open to the public): Thursday, April 20th, 1:00pm
- Artists/Organizations selected: End of May 2017
Who should apply / Eligibility
This call is open to individual artists, nonprofits, and artist groups. You do not need to be a non profit organization to apply. Boston residency is preferred.
Space Description and Requirements
- Space: There are two available spaces on the second floor of the Starr Center at Massachusetts Eye and Ear at 185 Cambridge St in Boston MA. Photos are available at the end of the document.
- The Auditorium
- The auditorium is a lecture hall, with a flat carpeted performing area (level with the floor, not a stage). Chairs are available.
- The Break-out Room
- The break-out room measures 2,300 square feet and can accommodate 120 people. This room is carpeted and has a ten foot high ceiling. Chairs and tables are available.
- Artistic disciplines: These spaces are ideal for rehearsal space for performing arts groups, including those in the disciplines of music, dance, and theater
- Hours: Both spaces are available Monday - Friday, from 9am - 9pm or on weekends from 9am - 5pm. A regular weekly schedule will be determined with the artists and Massachusetts Eye and Ear.
- Storage and Loading: There is limited storage in both spaces (cabinets and a closet). Storage is not guaranteed to be secure. Both spaces are accessible by elevator.
- Transportation and Parking: Massachusetts Eye and Ear is very conveniently located between the West End and Beacon Hill, off Cambridge Street. The building is served by two nearby MBTA stops: the Charles/MGH stop on the Red Line and the Bowdoin Stop on the Blue Line. Massachusetts Eye and Ear can provide a limited number of parking passes to their parking lots, a 5 - 10 minute walk from the building.
Site Visit and Space Walkthrough
- We encourage interested applicants to see the space firsthand. Massachusetts Eye and Ear and the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture will host a walk through of the spaces on Thursday, April 20th, 1:00pm. This walkthrough is open to the public and all interested applicants. Please meet in the lobby of 185 Cambridge Street, next to the Whole Foods.
In June 2016, the City of Boston issued Boston Creates, the city’s cultural plan. The Alternative Space Pilot Project was announced as one of the first implementation steps, responding to the lack of affordable rehearsal and work space for artists. This program will make use of underutilized private space as rehearsal space for arts organizations and artists. The Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture will help match arts organizations and artists to the available spaces for rehearsals on a regular basis, for a minimum of a one-year commitment.
Artist Selection and Process
Applications will be reviewed by the selection committee, based on the evaluation criteria below. Once an artist or group is selected, a rehearsal schedule and space details will be finalized through a signed agreement between the artist(s) and Massachusetts Eye and Ear. The artist(s) will have access to the space for one year from signing. The Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture will serve as a resource throughout the year to both Massachusetts Eye and Ear and the selected artist(s). Periodic check-ins may be scheduled with all three parties as needed.
- Erin Duggan Lynch, Director of Communications and Corporate Relations, Mass. Eye and Ear
- Julie Hennrikus, Executive Director of Stagesource Boston
- Wanda Strukus, Chief Programming Officer at Boston Center for the Arts
- Space match - is the applicant a good fit for Massachusetts Eye and Ear and the available space?
- Expression of need - does the applicant sufficiently demonstrate a space need?
- History of presenting or working in Boston - does the applicant demonstrate a history of sharing artistic work with the public and contributing to the arts and culture sector in Boston?
- Contact information for group or individuals using the space
- Application narrative:
- Artist/Group/Organization description and background.
- Description of your artistic practice space needs.
- Description of how you will use the space at Massachusetts Eye and Ear.
- Description of how you have shared your work with the public in the past, including how your practice has engaged residents, venues, organizations, etc, within the City of Boston.
- Artist CV or resume for everyone using the space, or links to artist’s individual websites.
- Work samples:
- Including images, video, MP3s, or other files that show evidence of your artistic practice. This may include video of a performance, images of artwork, press clippings, recordings, handbills, etc.
Map of Massachusetts Eye and Ear location
The Break-out Room
Note: The break out room may be booked with or without tables/chairs.