As crews work to add steel and concrete to the Dudley Municipal Center in Roxbury, the former site of the Ferdinand Building, the Boston Art Commission is working to bring public art to the space.
The commission, in partnership with its selection committee, recently released a “short list” of finalists for the two spaces in the new building dedicated to art. A third space has also been reserved for a creative work, but that space has been set aside for a Boston Public School student. The finalists were selected after the project was publicly advertised by the city.
”We have this great new building and we’ve found a way to have three projects that can engage people,” explained Karin Goodfellow, director of the Boston Art Commission.
The new building where the art will be displayed, dubbed the Dudley Municipal Center, is a $119 million city development being led by Shawmut Construction. Eventually the structure, slated to be completed by December 2014, will house the headquarters of Boston Public Schools and ground-floor retail.
The first art display, an outdoor sculpture, will be located just outside the building next to the Dudley Square bus stop.
“The idea for the sculpture is to have it act as a landmark,” said Goodfellow. “We want something that catches people’s attention and that they can engage with.”
The second art display will be located inside of the new building and like the sculpture will seek to engage those passing by the structure.
“For a lot of public art, success is dialogue,” said Goodfellow. “I think in Boston there is a desire for more contemporary art and I think people are looking for different ways to express themselves as a community.”
Over the coming months the artists will work to develop their concepts for the spaces.
Although the selection committee will have the final say on the pieces, sometime in late-January the proposed works of art will be displayed to allow the community a chance to evaluate them and provide feedback.
“The six artists selected are all really exciting and we will definitely get something that will be different than what we have had in the area before,” said Goodfellow.