Boston in making room for new public art as it redesigns Hyde Square, an intersection in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood, Mayor Marty Walsh has announced.
The city opened a Request for Proposals to “artists, artisans, architects, landscape architects, or teams” last week. The submission deadline is Sept. 14 at 5 p.m.
This public artwork will be part of a larger traffic safety reconstruction project at Hyde Square (the intersection of Centre Street, Perkins Street, and Day Street). It will be funded using the “percent for art” model, meaning a portion of the capital budget for the reconstruction will go towards public art. The Hyde Square public art project is actually the first to be funded this way since Walsh announced plans for a city-wide Percent for Art program in June, according to Boston Art Commission Director Karin Goodfellow.
The mechanics of Boston’s Percent for Art program are still being developed. While 10% of the Hyde Square budget will be put towards art, Goodfellow stated that “10% won’t be the number that we’re using across the board… we don’t have the whole program established and guidelines [yet].”
Here’s a little more about what the city would like to see from artists’ submissions, via the Boston Art Commission project page:
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
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
The community have requested the project proposal foster a sense of place complementary to the neighborhood’s dynamic identity and encourage social engagement.
The budget for this project is $100,000. There’s a template within the RFP for artists to outline their fee and expenses. The full RFP is available online here.
A proposal will be selected this fall, and implementation is expected a year after that point.