Artist Certification Guidelines

What is an Artist Certificate? 

An Artist Certificate is a letter from Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture. 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 live/work and work spaces listed through the Artist Space program - spaces developed by the City of Boston. The Artist Certification is valid for a period of eight years. Upon expiration, the artist will need to reapply ro renew their certification. The Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture keeps a list of all spaces for artists in the City of Boston, whether they require the Artist Certification or not. Review those spaces here.

Who is eligible for an Artist Certificate?

Applicants must able to demonstrate that they have a recent body (last three years) of fine artwork 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

If you are a commercial artist who has an office space to do your work, and/or works for a company instead of for yourself (sole proprietor) we require examples of your personal fine art to ensure that you need an artist space for your artistic work.

Who reviews the applications?

The Artist Resource Manager in the Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture reviews applications.

The decision of the Artist Resource Manager is final. If an applicant is not certified during this round, it is because they were not able to convey that they have been actively making art in the past three years through their application.

Applications will be reviewed based on the following criteria.

  • Evidence of a recent body of work (last three years), demonstrated by an artist resume or CV that lists dates and locations of exhibitions, publications, performances, press, awards, artist residencies, jobs held in arts discipline field, and formal training if you have it.
  • Documentation of artwork including image files, video clips, and writing samples. Files must be dated or they will not be considered. 
  • Recommendations and letters of support from peers and professionals in the arts.

When are applications accepted?

Applications for the Artist Certification are reviewed on a rolling basis. Applications are reviewed the last week of every month. If you submit your application by close of business on the last Tuesday of the month, your application will be reviewed that month.

When will I hear back about the status of my application?

You should expect to wait no more than 6 weeks to hear back.

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. Letter must prove reception of award in the past three years.

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. Your submission will be kept on file for future consideration.


Selection process

  • This is an ongoing search, there is no deadline

City of Boston logo 

Boston Art Commission logo 

The Boston Art Commission, housed within the Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture, 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.

Please fill out the following form to propose both short and long-term public art and design interventions and installations on City of Boston property.

All applications will be reviewed by the Boston Art Commission at our monthly meeting, scheduled for the second Tuesday of the month. We ask for applications to be submitted two weeks before a BAC meeting and six weeks before the proposed start date.

City of Boston • The Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture

Call to Artists: Transformative Public Art

Request for Proposals
The Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture and the Boston Art Commission invite artists to submit conceptual proposals for transformative public artwork, with particular interest in murals and temporary projects with social practice, participatory artmaking, or educational programming that celebrate the diversity of the city. We hope to commission at least 4-5 projects with budgets ranging between $5,000 and $20,000. 


Call released Friday, June 14, 2019 at 12 PM (noon) EDT

Deadline Sunday July 7th, 2019 at 12 AM (midnight) EDT



This RFP is open to all professional artists, artisans, cultural producers, or teams (hereinafter, referred to as “the artist” or “artists”), with experience in public art, site responsive design, project management, and community engagement. Local artists are encouraged to apply. Artists must be 18 years of age or older. 


Project Background

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. The City of Boston is looking to artworks that transform and enhance our current sense of place, improve the streetscape, and create an environment that celebrates the city’s cultural vibrancy.

The Sites

Projects may be proposed for public or private property. (Please submit a letter of permission from the property owner.)

Potential artworks could include but are not limited to:

  • Temporary artwork/interventions integrated into streetscape
  • Murals on empty walls

Project Details
Artists will be selected by the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture. The final artwork design will be approved by the Boston Art Commission. Artist selection is pending property-owner approval of installation plan and proof of insurance.

We hope to commission at least 4-5 projects, we are looking for projects with budgets ranging between $5,000 and $20,000. All proposed budgets should include artist fees and materials for all projects. 

Selection Criteria

We will consider murals and temporary projects with social practice, participatory artmaking, or educational programming that celebrate the diversity of the city. 

Projects must align with our curatorial mission to commission and approve innovative and transformative artworks that engage communities, enrich and enliven the urban environment, are driven by a clear artistic vision, enhance the diversity of the existing collection, respond directly to a specific environment, and possess durability appropriate to the lifespan of the work. Please also note that projects that act as commercial or idealogical promotions, campaigns, or marketing of any kind will not be funded.


Call for Artists released Friday June 14

Call for Artists closes Sunday July 7

Artist(s) Selected by late July

Artwork installation through fall 2019


  • Sketch of proposed work
  • Brief narrative of design (250 words)
  • Brief narrative of experience in social practice, participatory artmaking, or educational programming. (optional)
  • Brief narrative of the background and origin of the project, including any project partners
  • Images of past related work (up to 10 image files)
  • Image list / description sheet
  • Proposed budget
  • Letter of support from the property owner 
  • CV


Please Note:

  • 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

City of Boston Arts and Culture