The City Is Looking for Artists to Display Their Work Outdoors in Dudley Square

The project is part of a pop-up series being held in August.

Photo by Margaret Burdge

Photo by Margaret Burdge

The city has issued a call for artists interested in showcasing their work outdoors as part of a month-long program to pump life into the burgeoning Dudley Square area, where millions of dollars worth of renovations to nearby properties are taking place.

This week the Boston Art Commission, in collaboration with Dudley Square Main Streets and the non-profit organization Discover Roxbury, asked local artists to pitch their ideas for projects they would like to see on the city’s streets to be included in a series of pop-up-style installations that will last through the month of August.

The artwork, which can be performance art, sculptures, musical acts, or paintings, will be prominently displayed in Dudley Square as part of “Pop Up! Dudley Connections,” and will be partially funded by the Art Commission through community grants. Funding is limited to $500 to $1,500 per proposal, including artist fees and expenses, according to officials. Artists are also being encouraged to collaborate on works if possible.

The theme of the pop-up series is called “connections,” and is an effort to tie the community together. “Priority will be given to projects that focus on fostering connections between people and communities. Proposals should closely consider the relationship between the art and its environment and should promote interactivity with passersby,” according to the call for submissions sent out by city officials this week.

Proposals for projects are due by June 15, and require a detailed explanation about what the outdoor installation entails, how much an artist anticipates it will cost, and what the site requirements will be so that organizers can find a suitable area for it. The Art Commission also wants to know how the public will interact with the work, and how the work relates to its desired location.

Dudley Square is no stranger to unique public art. The Bartlett Yard project, which last summer turned a run-down bus depot into mural space for graffiti artists, is still visible to passersby.

The request for more art in public spaces comes at a time when Mayor Marty Walsh’s office has vowed to put extra emphasis on welcoming and fostering outdoor projects by local artists. The city is in the midst of selecting a new arts commissioner to handle these sorts of collaborations in the future, and has also been working with the MBTA to figure out how to weave together artistic talents with the new late-night service.

  • Shane Taylor

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