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Artists Sought for Public Art Project in Boston's Hyde Square

Posted by Boston Art Commission ; Posted on 
Public Art; Visual - DEADLINE :  
Artists Sought for Public Art Project in Boston's Hyde Square


Mayor Walsh, the Public Works Department, and the Boston Art Commission within the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture working in coordination with Hyde Square Task Force, Hyde Jackson Square Main Street, and local residents, invite artists to submit their proposal for a public art project. The public art will be implemented in conjunction with the reconstruction of Hyde Square at the intersection of Centre Street, Perkins Street, and Day Street in Fall 2017.

Project Background
As part of a larger project, the Public Works Department will be reconstructing the intersection of Centre Street, Perkins Street, and Day Street, collectively known as Hyde Square. Enhancements will include increased sidewalk widths, traffic and pedestrian safety improvements, new lighting, and landscaping. A major goal of this project is to create a  sense of place and enhance the public realm with artwork, which is what this RFP seeks to accomplish.

Project Vision and Community Values
The City of Boston’s recent cultural plan, Boston Creates, calls for public art that embraces a neighborhood’s identity and adds to a strong sense of place. Based on community feedback, we are looking for a proposal that celebrates the multi-generational and diverse populations and cultures of Hyde Square. At  public meetings held earlier this summer to discuss this project, individuals valued the following about their neighborhood: its positivity, desirability, access to green space and nature, and diversity of people and cultures (such as Latinx, African-American, Native-American populations). The community indicated it would be open to proposals that include a central object, artistic furniture, artistic crosswalk designs, integration of poetry, message boards, or similar installations. That will become a signature public art work of exceptional quality and enduring value for the Hyde Square neighborhood. The community also expressed values that they think are important to the neighborhood: freedom of expression, investment in the community, resistance to gentrification, amenable to families, and face-to-face interactions between neighbors.These neighborhood strengths and values should be taken into consideration and inform project proposals. The community have requested the project proposal foster a sense of place complementary to the neighborhood’s dynamic identity and encourage social engagement.

This RFP is open to all professional artists, artisans, architects, landscape architects, or teams with experience in public art, site responsive design, project management, and construction administration. Professionals from the Jamaica Plain/Hyde/Jackson Square neighborhoods are encouraged to apply.

The City expects its budget to be less than or equal to $100,000.00.


  • RFP released –– Wednesday, August 10, 2016
  • Deadline to submit questions about the RFP to –– Monday, August 22, 2016 at 9am EST
  • Consolidated answers posted on the City’s Supplier Portal, at  –– Monday, August 29, 2016
  • Deadline to submit proposals –– Wednesday, September 14, 2016 at 5pm EST
  • Interviews with proposers submitting responsive and responsible proposals (if needed) –– Late September 2016
  • Artist /Team selected –– anticipated early Fall 2016


The Selection Process / Evaluation Methodology

The Artist Selection Committee, which will review responses to the Request for Proposals (RFP), will be comprised of representatives from the City of Boston and local arts professionals. The City, in coordination with the Artist Selection Committee, will schedule interviews with proposers submitting responsive and responsible proposals if needed. Following the RFP review and the interview process, one artist will be selected to work with the City’s project team and the Boston Art Commission to further the Artist’s development of the Artist’s design proposal, integrating public engagement, finalize the design, and assist in the management, implementation and installation of the final project as developed pursuant to the Artist’s proposal. The contract will be awarded to the most responsive and responsible Artist submitting the most advantageous proposal, taking into consideration the experience of the Artist and the Artist’s team, the strength of the Artist’s references, the Artist’s artistic vision for the proposed site, plan for providing the services, as well as the proposal price. The City reserves the right to reject any and all proposals.

What the Selection Committee is looking for

Vision of the project:

  • Does the Artist state a compelling interest for the project?  A compelling interest will connect their proposal to the project’s vision and community’s values provided in this RFP.  A compelling interest will provide a clear connection between the artist’s past and future work with the goals of this project.  An uncompelling interest will speak to the artist achievements without connection to the project vision, community values, or the proposed environment.
  • Does the Artist’s vision for the project complement the community values and Boston Art Commission’s criteria for excellence?  The Boston Art Commission promotes innovative and transformative artworks that engage the community, enrich/ enliven the urban environment, are driven by a clear artistic vision, enhance the diversity of the existing collection, respond directly to their specific environment, and possess durability appropriate to the lifespan of the work.  A complementary vision of the project will present a proposal that responds to the project vision,community values, and considers the environment in its design.  A complementary vision of the project will be an original artistic concept and include information on the materials proposed in respect to the environment and the expected lifespan of the project.  An uncompelling vision for the project will not connect to the project vision, community values, or the proposed environment.


Qualifications of the artist:

  • Does the Artist’s work show a strong, clear artistic vision, such that the proposal’s vision for the project is clearly communicated and actionable?
  • Does the Artist present unique or innovative methods in their work and/or vision?
  • Does the Artist demonstrate a history of professional competency in project management and construction administration?
  • Does the Artist demonstrate a history of ability to complete projects of similar scope and scale within a defined budget in a timely manner?
  • Does the Artist have organizational experience in proactive organizing and partnering with multiple, and possibly disparate, stakeholders?


How to Apply

Part 1: Project Vision / Technical Proposal

Submit proposal through the City of Boston’s Supplier Portal ( ) or through the Mayor’s Office of Arts + Culture, BOSTON CITY HALL • ONE CITY HALL PLAZA • BOSTON • MASSACHUSETTS 02201 • 617.635.3911

Mail or hand deliver the Technical Proposal and six physical copies and/or thumb drive containing complete technical proposal by 5pm on September 14 in a sealed envelope to:

Hyde Square Public Art Project

Project Vision / Technical Proposal

Boston Art Commission

One City Hall Plaza, Room 802

Boston, MA 02201



Part 2: Price Proposal

The Price Proposal includes all the budgetary and other financial information, including itemized project expenses.  If price proposal is based on time spent, please provide your hourly rate.

● Submit an application through the City of Boston’s Supplier Portal ( )  OR

● Mail or hand deliver the Price Proposal and six physical copies and/or thumb drive containing complete technical proposal by 5pm on September 14 in a sealed envelope to:

Hyde Square Public Art Project

Price Proposal

Boston Art Commission

One City Hall Plaza, Room 802

Boston, MA 02201

For step-by-step instructions on how to use the Supplier Portal, go to:


Please review the full RFQ document for complete project and application information, including required forms.