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Mayor’s office seeks public art installation for fire station

City issues call for artists for public art project to complement new Columbus Ave. firehouse

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Mayor’s office seeks public art installation for fire station
Outside perspective of Engine 42 station. Photo courtesy of City of Boston

Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture, in collaboration with the Boston Art Commission, today announced a Call to Artists for a piece of permanent public artwork to complement the construction of the new Engine 42 fire station in Roxbury.

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The City of Boston and the Boston Fire Department are undertaking the demolition and new construction of the Engine 42 station located at 1870 Columbus Avenue, near Egleston Square. The Call to Artists is for the Percent for Art project the City of Boston is commissioning as part of the construction project. The Percent for Art program sets aside one percent of the City’s annual capital borrowing budget for the commission of public art.

“This is a monumental project for the City of Boston, and a great example of incorporating art into different sectors,” said Mayor Walsh. “I look forward to seeing the oldest fire department in the nation be transformed and revitalized through public art.”

The $23.5 million building will be the first new fire station in Boston in over 30 years, and will include three apparatus bays, housing for two companies and a district chief, a training room, a fitness room, a day room and kitchen, an elevator, three fire poles, a workshop, and technical and operations areas required for 21st century firefighting.

“The Boston Fire Department is excited about the construction of the new Engine 42, Rescue 2 and District 9 Firehouse in Roxbury,” said Commissioner Joseph Finn of the Boston Fire Department. “We look forward to collaborating with the Roxbury and Egleston Square communities to create an artistic focal point that will build on the rich history of the Boston Fire Department.”

This public art project has a budget of $300,000 and is for a site-specific, impactful, focal design feature. The art is to be located on the exterior of the building or its grounds, and the design should enrich the connection between the Boston Fire Department and the rich and diverse surrounding Egleston and Roxbury communities.

“I look forward to seeing this next chapter of the Percent for Art program unfold, and seeing the impact this process and artwork has on both the neighborhood and the men and women who serve the city from Engine 42,” said Kara Elliott-Ortega, interim Chief of Arts and Culture for the City of Boston.

The Call to Artists is open to all artists, artisans, architects, landscape architects, or teams with experience in public art, site responsive design, project management, and construction administration. An Artist Selection Committee comprised of representatives from the Boston Art Commission and local arts professionals representing the neighborhood will review all applications and determine the final artist/team.

The deadline to submit questions about the project to bac@boston.gov is August 29, 2018, and applications are due by September 18, 2018. The application can be found here.

Other Percent for Art projects currently underway include public art for the Dudley Branch of the Boston Public Library, the Jamaica Plain Branch of the Boston Public Library, and the Vine Street BCYF Community Center in Roxbury.

About the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture

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 implementing the City’s cultural plan, Boston Creates; commissioning public art, managing the Boston Artist-in-Residence program; curating exhibitions in City Hall; and operating the historic Strand Theater in Dorchester. For more information go to: www.boston.gov/departments/arts-and-culture

About the Boston Art Commission

The Boston Art Commission, 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.

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