Call Detail
Large Murals on New Building in Rapidly Developing Commercial Area - Boston
Contact by e-mail only


Contact Email: SNAmurals@gmail.com
Call Type: Public Art
Eligibility: Local
State: Massachusetts
Entry Deadline: 4/17/21
Application Closed
REQUIREMENTS:
Media
Images - Minimum: 1, Maximum: 15
Total Media - Minimum: 1, Maximum: 15

CALL SUMMARY

The Stonybrook Neighborhood Association (SNA) and SSG Development and Construction are commissioning Boston-based artists or artist teams to design approximately 2,500 sq ft of murals for the exterior of an Extra Space Storage building. Located at Burnett, McBride, and Washington Streets in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston, it is part of a significant development project in a rapidly expanding commercial and residential area. The murals should be reflective of Jamaica Plain, whether its community, its history, or some other tangible or intangible aspect of this lively part of Boston. There are two areas (AREA 1 and AREA 2) of the building available for proposals and applicants are welcome to apply for one or both areas. A jury will choose semifinalists based on their previous work submitted. Semifinalists will then propose site-specific designs, from which the jury will choose the finalists’ artwork for AREA 1 and AREA 2. SSG will contract with a mural painting company to install the designs. Awards are: $500 for each AREA 1 semifinalist and $500 for each AREA 2 semifinalist; $5,000 for the AREA 1 winning submission and $5,000 for the AREA 2 winning submission. The 7-member jury includes Museum of Fine Arts curator Karen Haas and Artists for Humanity (AFH) co-founder Rob “ProBlak” Gibbs.

ABOUT THE PROJECT

The Stonybrook Neighborhood
The Stonybrook Neighborhood of Jamaica Plain is a multicultural, economically diverse neighborhood of longtime residents and relative newcomers. We treasure our community’s historic character, close proximity to parks and public transportation, and community institutions. We are a vibrant, interconnected urban neighborhood where families can grow, all people are welcomed, and neighbors are supported through all stages of their lives. The Stonybrook neighborhood is roughly bounded by Rockvale Circle to the north, Franklin Park to the east, the Arborway to the south, and the Southwest Corridor Park (SWCP) to the west.

Development Project and Surrounding Site
The SNA has formed a committee tasked with organizing this mural project, including selecting a jury and running a call for entries. The mural is one of a number of community benefits connected to this development. Other benefits include a community garden, community room, and funding to assist in designing and building an extension to the adjacent SWCP. The Extra Space Storage building is located across from English High School as well as an entrance to the SWCP; both have rich founding histories. This is a rapidly developing commercial and residential area, providing a great opportunity for artists to have their work viewed by the public.

Mural Locations
There are two areas (AREA 1 and AREA 2) of the building available for proposals and applicants are welcome to apply for one or both areas. AREA 1 is wrapped around the northwest corner of the self-storage building, directly facing both the SWCP and English High School. AREA 2 consists of three (3) square panels at ground-level on the east facade, facing the parking lot and entry of a new mixed-use building, VITA at 3531 Washington Street.  

  • AREA 1 dimensions: north side approx. 1,077 sq ft (33' 8" x 37' 4"); west side, approx. 1,107 sq ft (34' 7" x 37' 4")
  • AREA 2 dimensions: three (3) panels, 121 sq ft each (11 x 11' each)

Please refer to images for details. All applicants are encouraged to view the Extra Space Storage building in person at 141 McBride Street, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130. 

Mural Style and Subject Matter
The murals will create a significant presence in the neighborhood and should be reflective of Jamaica Plain, whether its community, its history, or some other tangible or intangible aspect of this lively part of Boston (see links below). The visual style of the art may be abstract, representational, or anything in between, and must be viewable from a range of distances. While the artist(s) will be given wide latitude for subject and creative expression, the mural’s visibility to English High School students and the general public should be kept in mind. Artists are encouraged, but not required, to involve the community in their mural design process.

Please note that the chosen artist(s) will not install the mural, but instead oversee the translation of their design(s) into the large-scale final project. SSG Development will contract with a mural painting company to install the final designs. Through this process, SSG will ensure the quality of the installation, and in particular the compatibility with the building’s exterior materials, in order to safeguard the longevity of the murals.  

SELECTION PROCESS

Selection Rounds
This Call for Entry offers artists the opportunity to submit previous work in order to be invited to submit site-specific proposals for the building. Applicants are welcome to apply for one or both areas. Three (3) semifinalists for AREA 1 and three (3) semifinalists for AREA 2 will move on the second round. The winning artist(s) will be selected from this group of semifinalists. 

Submission Materials
All applications must be submitted through CaFÉ (callforentry.org). Artists must be Boston-based, e.g., living, working, or teaching in Boston. Individual artists and artist teams are invited to apply. There is no fee to apply. Please do not submit a design proposal for this call; this is a request for qualifications based on artistic style/approach and previous work. This is also a blind jury process: PLEASE DO NOT INCLUDE YOUR NAME/TEAM NAME IN ANY SUBMITTED DOCUMENTS OR FILENAMES. Artists interested in this project must prepare and submit the following materials in electronic format. Files - except for images - should be no larger than 2mb. Accepted formats: txt, pdf, doc, docx, xls, xlsx, or jpg: 

  • Artist/artist team statement, not to exceed 2000 characters (including spaces).
  • Current resume or CV, not to exceed two pages. If submitting as an artist team, each individual should submit a resume or CV combined into one PDF.
  • Letter of interest, not to exceed 3000 characters (including spaces), explaining why this particular mural project is of interest and why you feel qualified for the outlined work. Your letter should include background information on relevant prior work, including if you have previously created a public art project, and a brief description of the need/requirements that your artwork fulfilled. If the work described is not large scale/mural artwork, please also provide context for your interest in and ability to engage in this type of project.
  • Up to 15 images of prior work with an image key (5mb per file limit, minimum of 1,200px on long side). Examples of large scale/mural artwork, with details, are preferred. Smaller scale work will also be accepted if artists have no mural experience. Artist teams will be asked to submit images of art completed by the group, if available. The image key should briefly describe the submitted images (title, date, medium, size, location, themes and ideas that generated them).
  • Please note that letters of reference from previous large-scale art projects will be requested of all semifinalists.
Timeline
  • April 17, 2021: submissions must be uploaded to CaFÉ by midnight
  • May 12, 2021: semifinalists’ notification
  • July 7, 2021: semifinalists’ proposals for AREA 1 and/or AREA 2 must be uploaded to CaFÉ by midnight
  • August 1, 2021: competition finalists’ notification; the winner(s) will provide scalable artwork and further collaborate with the installer to complete the murals in a timely manner.

AWARDS

  • $500 for each AREA 1 semifinalist and $500 for each AREA 2 semifinalist. Three (3) semifinalists for each area will be paid this commission to create site-specific designs for their chosen area.
  • $5,000 for the AREA 1 finalist and $5,000 for the AREA 2 finalist. The two (2) finalists will each be paid this commission for their winning design, and for seeing the project through to completion.

JURORS

Crystal Bi Wegner, artist, educator, and Creative Civic Design Lead, Design Studio for Social Intervention, Jamaica Plain Resident
Bi Wegner is a former art teacher and mural club facilitator at Jamaica Plain's Margarita Muñiz Academy and English High School. She is currently working at the Design Studio for Social Intervention to design tools for co-creating a more equitable, beautiful, and welcoming public. Bi Wegner is a New England Foundation for the Arts 2020 Creative City Grant recipient. She is also an MFA candidate in MassArt's Dynamic Media Institute, studying experience design for socially-engaged art.

Sabrina Dorsainvil, Director of Civic Design, City of Boston Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics, Jamaica Plain Resident
Dorsainvil is an artist, designer, and illustrator. She received her BA from MassArt in Industrial Design and her MS from Parsons School of Design in Design and Urban Ecologies. As a civic designer, her work centers on the human experience and uses creative approaches to address issues within public health, the built environment and human rights. Her artwork focuses on storytelling and finding simple ways of celebrating people and their humanity. Dorsainvil is a national board member for the Creative Reaction Lab and was a 2017-18 Neighborhood Salon Luminary with the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

Michael Ferrigno, District Manager, Extra Space Storage
Ferrigno has been in the self storage industry for over 16 years. A graduate of SUNY Brockport, he has been a District Manager with Extra Space Storage since 2004.

Rob “ProBlak” Gibbs, visual artist, organizer, Co-founder, Artists for Humanity (AFH), Director of the Paint Studio and Programming, AFH
ProBlak is a painter, muralist, and graffiti artist driven by his vision to beautify the predominantly black and brown communities of Boston. Throughout his career, Gibbs has focused on arts education and conducted workshops for a range of organizations, from Girls Inc. to the Boston Foundation. He has received a number of awards, including Mass Industry Committee's 2006 Graffiti Artist of the Year and Boston Celtics' 2020 Heroes Among Us. In 2019 he curated an exhibition for Boston Art & Music Soul (BAMS) Fest and in 2020 completed an artist residency, co-leading "The Mural Project," at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.    

Karen Haas, Lane Curator of Photographs, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Jamaica Plain Resident
Haas has been a curator at the MFA since 2001, where she focuses on American photography. She received her BA in Art History from Connecticut College and an MA in the History of Photography from Boston University. Prior to working at the MFA, she held curatorial positions at several museums and private collections, including the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the Boston University Art Gallery, and the Addison Gallery of American Art in Andover. 

Jenny Jones, Jamaica Plain Coordinator for Garden Stewardship, Southwest Corridor Park Conservancy (SWCPC), Jamaica Plain Resident
Jones is originally from England and was an IT professional for 40 years. She volunteers with the Southwest Corridor Park Conservancy (SWCPC) and coordinates the volunteers and garden stewards for Jamaica Plain. She paints murals in the Park, does liturgical art and environment projects for her church, organizes her Jamaica Plain neighborhood with block parties and street wide yard sales, and has been known to do very elaborate lanterns for the Lantern Parade around Jamaica Pond.

Constanza Robles, Development Consultant, Urbano Project, Inc. in Jamaica Plain
Robles came to Boston to pursue her doctorate in the History of Art and Architecture at Boston University. She is currently working on her dissertation about Latin American art and how it is portrayed in world fairs. Robles also collaborates with Urbano Project in grant writing and fundraising. Robles earned an MA in Theory and Art History at Universidad de Chile, a BA in Hispanic Literature and Linguistics and a BA in Aesthetics at Universidad Católica in Chile. Before moving to the US, she was adjunct professor in the Aesthetics Department at Universidad Católica.

HELPFUL AREA INFORMATION

QUESTIONS AND FOLLOW-UP

  • Questions about the project may be directed to the Stonybrook Neighborhood Association mural committee at SNAMurals@gmail.com.
  • Questions about using the CaFÉ entry portal may be directed to: cafe@westaf.org.
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