Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced A+J Art+Design has been selected to create a public art project in North Square following an open call for artists through a Request for Proposals. The artist team will work with the Public Works Department (PWD), the Boston Art Commission, and the North End community to further develop their initial proposal. The public art project will be implemented in conjunction with the reconstruction of North Square in summer 2017.
The public art project is part of a larger effort by PWD to revitalize and build on North Square’s identity as a cultural destination. The project will enhance the square by making it livable, walkable, green, sustainable, and accessible to all.
“The North Square public art project will offer the North End community an open space to gather and interact,” said Mayor Walsh. “We look forward to seeing the final project that incorporates community input and enhances the already vibrant character of one of Boston’s most historic neighborhoods.”
The artist team A+J+Art+Design demonstrated their exemplary skill, interest, and vision for the North Square project in their response to the RFP. They will spend the next few months working in coordination with the City and community to develop their initial concept, which considers the nautical ties of the North End as well as the historical and cultural context of the Square.
“The North Square public art project allows us to continue to celebrate the cultural history of the North End, while bringing in a contemporary perspective to this community space,” said Julie Burros, Chief of Arts and Culture for the City of Boston. “It’s one more effort to fulfill the goals of the Boston Creates cultural plan, integrating arts, culture, and creativity into the urban environment.”
“We’re delighted to work with A+J Art+Design, the Boston Art Commission, and the North End community to add a terrific work of art to North Square, ” said Chris Osgood, Chief of Streets for the City of Boston. “We want our streets to not only be well built and well maintained, but also delightful to be on and reflective of the community around them; art helps us deliver on that for the public. ”
A+J Art+Design is a multidisciplinary collaboration between artists. This public art design and development team believes that public art can provoke and entice while inspiring civic engagement. In 2016, they created SOS (Safety Orange Swimmers) for the Fort Point Channel Floating Art Project. The Swimmers relate the Channel to the seas crossed by those in search of shelter, freedom, prosperity and safety. They invoke Boston’s long history of welcoming immigrants. Hirsch also created the Bill Russell Legacy Project, which celebrates the legacy of the great Boston Celtics champion, human rights activist and mentorship leader Bill Russell. The second phase of the Legacy Project relied on a collaborative process with groups of local young people. Hirsch and Angier both received their Masters in Fine Art with a focus on sculpture from the New York Academy of Art.
To learn more about the revitalization of North Square in the North End click here: http://keepbostonmoving.org/portfolio/north-square/.
Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture (MOAC)
The Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture’s mission is to support artists, the cultural sector, and to promote access to the arts for all. The office houses the Boston Cultural Council, the Boston Art Commission, and the Poet Laureate program. Responsibilities include leading up the City’s Cultural Plan, Boston Creates; managing the Boston Artist-in-Residence program (BostonAIR); curating exhibitions in City Hall; and operating the historic Strand Theater in Dorchester. For more information go to: www.boston.gov/arts
About the Boston Creates Cultural Plan
The cultural plan is a ten year plan for supporting arts and culture in the City of Boston. It was created out of a year-long community engagement effort designed to help local government identify cultural needs, opportunities, and resources and to prioritize, coordinate, and align public and private resources to strengthen Boston’s cultural vitality over the long term. The full cultural plan can be found online at http://plan.bostoncreates.org.
Boston Art Commission
The Boston Art Commission (BAC), an independent board of arts leaders charged with the care and custody of all artworks on City of Boston property, 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. For more information go to: www.publicartboston.com