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Public Art Sought for New School Complex

Posted by City of Cambridge ; Posted on 
Public Art; Visual - DEADLINE :  
Public Art Sought for New School Complex




The City of Cambridge, Massachusetts, is seeking artists to create a major public artwork outside the city’s new Tobin Montessori and Vassal Lane Upper Schools complex, as part of a reconstruction of the educational and community hub at 197 Vassal Lane.

BUDGET:  $650,000

ELIGIBILITY: Professional artists and artist-led interdisciplinary teams

DEADLINE:  November 9, 2020

Review full RFQ here.

The Tobin Montessori and Vassal Lane Upper Schools (197 Vassal Lane) serve preschool through eighth grade students and draw from across all city neighborhoods. Preliminary schematic concepts for the new complex feature guiding themes of climate change and sustainability; trees; water; early childhood and play (a significant population of students will be very young children); community wellness; natural materials that relate to the site’s former role in the brickmaking industry, its proximity to Fresh Pond, and the Montessori educational philosophy. The net-zero-emissions design will include new facilities for the Tobin Montessori elementary school and the Vassal Lane Upper School, in addition to the Special Start (the city’s preschool program serving children with disabilities), preschool, and afterschool programs, serving approximately 975 students in total. In addition to the buildings, significant open space will contain various programmatic areas for recreation and open play, incorporating the existing Reverend P.H. Callanan Playground, an important space for the surrounding community. The landscape design will also include multi-use paths through the site that connect with adjacent neighborhoods. As with all the city schools, outdoor space is open to the community when school is not in session.

The city seeks qualifications from artists who would be able to develop a concept that responds specifically to the multi-faceted aspects of the site, both its physical attributes and its educational and community purposes.


  • Application form
  • 15-25 JPEG, GIF, or PNG images, audio clips, and/or videos documenting past work
    • Images must be less than 10MB each
    • Videos must be less than 500MB each
    • Audio clips must be less than 60MB each
    • You may also provide a PDF file with links to media in Vimeo, YouTube, or SoundCloud
  • Artist bio (narrative)
  • Artist resume/CV
  • Artist statement


Upload your materials to the Cambridge Arts Public Art Registry. The application form is at the link.

QUESTIONS?  Contact Hilary Zelson, or 617-349-4388.


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