Boston seeks poets and artists for Copley Square Park revitalization

The public artwork will focus on themes of community solidarity, empathy, and acknowledgment of loss.

Pilates in Copley Square Park, hosted by New Balance in 2016. Globe Archives

Boston has put out a call for artists and poets to create several public artworks for Copley Square Park, which is slated to undergo a major revitalization. 

City officials first put out the call on June 27, seeking practicing visual artists and poets to honor themes of community solidarity, empathy, and acknowledgment of loss.

The types of artwork the city is commissioning include poetry, light projections, ground plane interventions, and a small sculptures series. According to the project’s website, “supporting communal gathering and envisioning public interactions will be a crucial component of each design.”

Organizers said there are multiple opportunities available for the call, and they may select more than one artist for some of them.


The budget for the art project is as follows: 

  • Poetry: $5,000 each for up to three poets
  • Pavers and Walkways: $75,000
  • Light Projections: $100,000
  • Small Sculptures: $150,000

Located in the heart of the Back Bay, Copley Square Park will undergo a major redesign that includes a revitalized fountain, new lawn area, a spacious plaza, new gardens, and a raised platform area that will offer seating. The park already contains five existing artworks; the new artworks will be integrated into the revamped setting.

The artwork project is led by the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture and is related to the city’s One Boston Resilience Project.

Interested participants can attend two virtual Q&A sessions on Thursday (12 p.m. and 6 p.m.) and visit to learn more. The application deadline is Aug. 5.


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