Call Detail
Codman Square Park Integral Public Art RFQ | Boston, MA

Contact Email:
Call Type: Public Art
Eligibility: Regional
State: Massachusetts
Event Dates: 6/20/18 - 8/1/18
Entry Deadline: 8/1/18
Application Closed
Images - Minimum: 10, Maximum: 15
Total Media - Minimum: 10, Maximum: 15

Download the complete RFQ including site photos, an overview of park programs and a bibliography on the
Codman Square Park webpage.

Project Summary: The Codman Square Neighborhood Council (CSNC) and the Friends of Codman Square Park are spearheading a community-driven redesign of the Codman Square Park in the Codman Square neighborhood of Dorchester, a historic district in the City of Boston, Massachusetts. An artist/designer will be selected to design integral public art for the park in collaboration with the landscape architect chosen for the redesign of the entire greenspace. At this stage, the vision for the public art portion of the project is broad and may encompass one focal public art element or a series of components. Overall, this creative placemaking initiative will result in an improved landscape design concept that integrates public art.

Community and Site Context: The 0.34-acre Codman Square Park, located at about 360 Talbot Avenue in Dorchester, 02124 at the intersection of Washington Street and Talbot Avenue, neighbors the Second Church, the Great Hall, and the Codman Square Health Center. Codman Square itself is part of a historic district in central Dorchester and has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1983. Important architectural landmarks include the 1806 Congregational Church, the 1904 Codman Square branch of the Boston Public Library, the former Girls Latin Academy (built 1900 as Dorchester High School), and the 1899 Lithgow Building, a commercial brick building. Codman Square Park is an important community meeting place and the CSNC assisted in its establishment as a public park in the 1980s. The CSNC helped to establish the Friends of the Codman Square Park which is made up of residents, community organizations, merchants and other groups that care for the Codman Square Park. Codman Square has a long tradition as a major civic center in Dorchester.

Project Partners: The project is a collaborative effort between the City of Boston's Edward Ingersoll Browne Trust, Boston Parks and Recreation, the Boston Art Commission; the Codman Square Neighborhood Council; the Friends of Codman Square Park Selection Committee (Selection Committee) and community members. The planning process is facilitated by the Urban Culture Institute and TINSFE in partnership with the CSNC and the project team.
Eligibility: Preference will be given to local and regional applications. Applicants are expected to have completed prior outdoor art projects or temporary installations. Artists and designers of diverse backgrounds with knowledge of African-American culture and history are also encouraged to apply.

Budget: The project is anticipated to be funded in part by the Edward Ingersoll Browne Trust Fund, a public charitable trust administered by the City of Boston Trust Office. The total anticipated public art budget of up to $300,000 is all-inclusive (design, fabrication and installation).  The Art Selection Committee is committed to raising funds for the project. Up to three shortlisted finalists will receive a $2,500 honorarium each for initial concept development and presentations.

Work Accomplished to Date: As a first step of the current Codman Square Park planning and redesign process, a landscape architect was selected based on an invitational interview process. The landscape architect will be included in the selection of the artist/designer who will develop public art for the newly designed park.

During the fall and winter of 2016/17, the CSNC hosted an information table at both the Codman Square Farmers Market and the Dorchester Winter Farmers Market in Codman Square to collect community comments regarding what residents would like to see at the Codman Square Park. Comments were also gathered at monthly CSNC meetings. In addition, the Friends of Codman Square Park continued to meet monthly to discuss those comments as well as the status and future of Codman Square Park. The following wish list captures some of the ideas established for the Codman Square Park improvements:

  • Public art as focus of the park.
  • Plant an evergreen to replace the existing one that is dying, which will be used for the annual Holiday tree lighting ceremony.
  • Increase the number of shrubs and flowering plants around the perimeter of the park.
  • Incorporate art that may point to the neighborhood’s history.
  • Incorporate family-friendly areas in the park.
  • Ensure public art complements the program elements.
  • Design a cutting-edge landscape design that integrates public art.
  • Create new space to gather and socialize, knitting neighborhoods together.
  • Serve as a community service project, as well as an educational destination.
  • Design will offer a sense of place.
  • Appropriateness for the site, including scale and safety.
  • Low maintenance and permanent materials.
  • Apply sustainable design methods and principles.
  • Adhere to ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) guidelines, as appropriate.​
  • Ensure the design encourages intergenerational use.​

Selection Process: The Art Selection Committee (ASC) includes arts professionals familiar with the field of public art, community, local business and City of Boston representatives as well as the landscape architect selected for the redesign of Codman Square Park. The criteria used by the ASC will include the artist’s/designer’s professional credentials as evidenced by the submitted materials.

The ASC will select three finalists who will be invited to develop initial proposals, which will be presented to the ASC at a public meeting of the Codman Square Neighborhood Council. Following the meeting, the winning concept will be further developed by the artist in close partnership with the landscape architect. The landscape architect and artist team will jointly present the revised collaborative Codman Square Park Redesign Plan to the ASC at a public meeting of the Codman Square Neighborhood Council.

​Public Art Criteria for the Project:

  • Ensure the public art component(s) are developed in collaboration with the landscape architect.
  • Public art is to enhance and support the landscape design.
  • Create meaningful, high quality and low maintenance public art signifier(s).
  • The artwork serves people of all ages.
  • All media and materials appropriate for a public setting will be considered.

Anticipated Timeline of Landscape Design and Integral Public Art:
Wed., June 20, 2018            Release Call to Artists/RFQ
Wed., Aug. 1, 11:59 MST    RFQ deadline (application received)
Sat., Aug. 11, 11am-2pm     Community design pop-up with landscape architect
Wed., Sept. 12, 5pm            Art Selection Committee (ASC) review of applicants
By Fri., Sept. 21                   Up to 3 finalist artists/designers announced
By Fri., Sept. 28                   Release integral public art Request for Proposals/RFP
Wed., Oct. 10, 6-8pm           Public meeting and site visit   
Thu., Dec. 6                         3 finalist proposals due
Wed., Dec 12, 6pm              Public presentation to ASC
Wed., Jan. 23, 2019              Revised proposal due
Tue., Jan. 29, 6-8pm            Public presentation to ASC
TBA                                      Boston Art Commission presentation
Fri., Mar. 15, 2019                E. I. Browne Fund fabrication grant application due

Applicants are required to access and submit the following via the online application at
• 10 to 15 JPEG images of relevant past work.
• A corresponding, numbered, annotated image list with title, media, dimensions, location, brief description, date of the work, project budget and project partners (if applicable)
CV/ Résumé with current contact information.
• Three references (include at least one from a project where the artists also served as project manager / construction administrator.

Please note: Electronic submissions only. Do not submit proposals at this stage. Submissions may be made publicly available for viewing.

Download the complete RFQ including site photos, an overview of park programs and a bibliography on the Codman Square Park webpage.

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