Transformative Public Art Program
We commission several murals and temporary projects every year as part of the Transformative Public Art Program.
The City of Boston launched the third year of the Transformative Public Art program in 2021 as part of the Joy Agenda.
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About the program
In 2019, we released a call to artists for the first round of the program. We were particularly interested in murals and temporary projects with:
- social practice
- participatory artmaking, or
- educational programming that celebrates the diversity of Boston.
We funded seven projects.
We released a call to artists for the second round of the program in April 2020. That year, we were looking for artworks that respond to COVID-19 and provide creative approaches to public connections and community rituals at a time of disorientation and insecurity. We supported projects that were ready to be implemented immediately, and also supported the research and development of future projects.Proposals could include:
- New media, including web-based projects, online comics, and virtual reality
- Traditional media, including murals
- Interior installations or performances visible or audible (or both) to passersby or neighbors
- Community-engaged cultural practices
- Social practice, including rituals related to joy, grief, and other human experiences
- Elements that specifically engage youth or reach non-English speaking communities (or both)
Twenty-four projects were selected as part of last year's Transformative Public Art Program. In addition, two murals that were funded through the first year of the program were completed last summer.
We commissioned five temporary art projects in Grove Hall in 2017. These projects were part of a City-led initiative to improve the streetscape. We wanted to create an environment that is safe, convenient, and comfortable for pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists. The projects included:
- An interactive Affirmation Station by Chanel Thervil. It was designed to uplift people by gifting them with an affirmation pin to serve as a reminder of hope and positivity.
- A mural entitled "Afro Futurism/ Breathe Life" by Rob "Problak" Gibbs at 324 Blue Hill Ave.
- A series of banners entitled "On the Shoulders of Giants" by Laurence Pierce at the Grove Hall Branch of the Boston Public Library.
- A mural entitled "Powerful Knowledge" by David "DonRimx" Sepulveda at 41 Geneva Ave.
- A mural entitled "Love Thyself" by Victor "Marka27" Quiñonez on Quincy St.
For the third year, the program was split into three opportunities:
This was for artists interested in creating murals, who were flexible about location. Artists were selected based on:
- a written proposal
- their portfolio, and
- their interests.
The City then matched artists with a site. Projects include:
- Murals at the Engagement Center in Newmarket Square by artist Alex Cook and art collective Mz Icar,
- Three murals at Boston Housing Authority sites by Mattaya Fitts, Cyrille Conan, and Victor 'Marka27' Quiñonez, and
- A mural at 158 Stratton St. by Mel Mandel, who worked in partnership with Youth Lead the Change.
This was for artists interested in creating murals that are associated with specific themes or communities identified by the City. Projects include:
- artist Roberto Chao working with the Hyde Square Task Force and community members to create a mural for Boston’s Latin Quarter in Mozart Park in Jamaica Plain,
- an artist (to be announced) working with the Boston Parks Department and community members to create a mural honoring the legacy of Malcolm X in Malcolm X Park in Roxbury,
- artist Rixy, who worked with a consulting team and community members to create a mural proposed by Boston Artist-in-Residence Golden commemorating the life and legacy of Rita Hester in Allston, and
- artist Alex Gerasev working with Age Strong Boston and community members to create a mural at the East Boston Community Center.
The City allocated more than $1 million to murals through Opportunities 1 and 2, and 11 were installed by fall of 2022.
This was for artists with a specific, short-term project and location in mind. Projects could include:
- new media
- traditional media
- installations or performances
- community-engaged cultural practices
- social practice, or
- elements that specifically engage youth or non-English speaking communities, or both.
Twenty-seven projects received grants totaling $323,950 in this category.
Transformative Public Art GranteesTransformative Public Art Grantees
- The American City Coalition (TACC) - Savor the Square
- Daniel Callahan - MassQ Ball
- Galeria de Chuwi
- Cornell Coley - Mattapan Farmers Market
- Dunamis - Jamaica Plain Porchfest
- Kevin Derrick - Tiny Urban Galleries
- Boston Cyberarts - "Augmented Memorials"
- Artists for Humanity - Fort Point Rock the Block
- BU Arts Initiative - Caution: Cultural Emergency Response by Erin Genia
- Black Market Nubian - NUBIANA
- ANIKAYA - Migrations
- Yu-Wen Wu - "Belong"
- Chinatown Community Land Trust - The Immigrant History Trail
- Art Resource Collaborative for Kids (ARCK) - "Together Through Art"
- Jasmine Lee - justflyproject
- Kate Martens
- Jorge “Kreo” Morfin
- Sheila Novak - "Our Collective Gardens"
- Boston Children's Chorus - BCC WE SING
- Nuestra Comunidad Development Corporation - Sanative Summer Arts Fest 2021
- Ágora Cultural Architects - CROMA
- Roxbury Electric Illumination Company art collective (Mark Schafer and Yvon Augustin)
- TransCultural Exchange - Hello World – Hello Boston
- Bent/Haus + MF Dynamics
- Dayenne Walters - Billboard Hope
- Me2/Orchestra, Inc. - The Joy Agenda: "Be our Conductor!”
- Lily Xie and Crystal Bi Wegner - Chinatown Story Cart
- Katrina Goldsaito and Jonah Goldsaito with Beau Kenyon - ReachYou (follow their Instagram for additional updates)
- HipStory - HipStory House Party Digital
- Mia Schon
- Maia Dolphin-Krute - Opioid Epidemic Memorial, Boston
- Hannah Pryfogle and M Sloth Levine with Sparkhaven Theatre - Camp Strangewood
- Design Studio for Social Intervention (DS4SI) - Projecting Our Stories, Projecting Our Future
- Lani Asuncion - Biosounds
- Kate Finnegan and Kaji Aso Studio - Tanabata: Star Festival
- Jo Troll - Constructing Queer Community
- Eben Haines and Delaney Dameron - Shelter in Place Gallery
- Ariel Basson Freiberg
- Daniel Lam - Smile Through the Pandemic
- Chanel Thervil - Quarantine Self-Care Series
- Doug Stewart and Nina Gershonowitz with Cirque Us (watch a video of their project)
- Gianna Stewart with Asian Community Development Corporation - Storytell and Sway
- Heather Kapplow - Warmth
- Liz LaManche - Distance Whispering
- Maria Fong and Krina Patel - Residence Lab 2020
- Meghan Anderson, Urbanity Dance's Professional Company, and MASARY Studios - Refractive Choreographies
- Ngoc-Tran Vu
- Raquel Jimenez and Laura Smith - Precious Works
- Yazi Ferrufino
- Yu-Wen Wu
Received $20,000 for the multimedia public art project "Augment".Rob 'Problak' Gibbs
Received $15,000 to create a mural in Roxbury.Victor 'Marka27' Quiñonez with Street Theory Gallery
Received $15,000 to create a mural in Newmarket.Brian Beyung with the Chinese Historical Society of New England
Received $10,000 to create a mural in Chinatown.
Received $5,000 for the performative project "desires not even our own".MASARY Studios
Received $5,000 to create "Water's Edge", a live music and projection piece in East Boston.Levi Bedall with Pneuhaus
Received $5,000 to create a sculpture project in the Back Bay.