Boston Calling’s Looking For Artists to Make Murals For September’s Concert

The organizers will pay for the supplies, and even toss the winners a cash prize.

Photo by Olga Khvan

Photo by Olga Khvan

The organizers of the bi-annual Boston Calling concert on City Hall plaza want to give area artists a chance to show off their work.

“We look around at that site when we start setting up, and constantly, for us, we want to make it feel less like City Hall plaza, and feel more like a festival that is other-worldly from where you are actually standing,” said Brian Appel, cofounder of Boston Calling. “It’s not to say that standing in the middle of the city isn’t amazing already, but we want to create a different environment while you are in there.”

To make that shift, and transform the steps of the mayor’s headquarters into a place that feels a bit more like a venue, Boston Calling is launching an open-artists contest this month, seeking painters, photographers, and those working with two-dimensional mediums to create murals that will go on display through the entire weekend during September’s concert series.

“We looked at the walls that are blank in that area and said, ‘this is a great opportunity for artists,’ and we want to give artists that opportunity to display their work,” Appel said.

Artists interested in getting their works in front of thousands of concert goers’ eyes should submit their mural plans to Boston Calling by August 5, by drawing or designing their proposal on a standard-size piece of paper. The only requirement is that the city, community, or atmosphere at Boston Calling be the inspiration for the artwork, said Appel.

Each submission should be accompanied by a short description detailing the design, along with the artist’s name and contact information. The packets can be sent to for consideration.

Once submissions start rolling in, Boston Calling organizers will share the concepts with people via social media, and let the public weigh in on which murals should go on display. Based on that feedback, and internal voting, five winners will be picked to create a 36” by 60” mural for the three-day festival.

“We haven’t figured out exactly where we will hang them, but we will find prominent places for the artwork, and will credit the artists with signage,” said Appel. “They will also receive four VIP tickets to the show.”

To make sure that local artists know that Boston Calling isn’t trying to take advantage of their talents only to spruce up the plaza, they are also offering up a hefty $1,000 prize to each winner, including a $250 stipend to pay for supplies.

“We set up the site, and every time we finish setting up we see all these fences, or blank brick walls that could use some sort of an installation to make the site cooler. We figured this is a nice opportunity for people to display their work where it will get seen by 20,000 people a day,” said Appel. “We wanted to fill up the space with something from the community.”