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Call to Artists – Domino Installation

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Call to Artists – Domino Installation

Spring, 2016
Deadline: July 1, 2016 

Hyde Square Task Force seeks proposals for an art installation in the plaza of the Blessed Sacrament Church at 361 Centre Street, Jamaica Plain, MA, 02130.Church Pic `

Hyde Square Task Force (HSTF) is an award-winning youth development and social change organization based in the Hyde/Jackson Square area of Jamaica Plain, also known as Boston’s Latin Quarter. Our mission is to develop the skills of youth and their families so they are empowered to enhance their own lives and build a strong and vibrant urban community. Through high-quality arts, academic, and leadership programming, HSTF serves more than 1,200 youth each year from all over Boston.

Hyde Square Task Force seeks an artist to design, build and install a work of art in the Blessed Sacrament Church Plaza with the goals to:

  • Start conversations between neighbors;
  • Bring additional beauty to our community;
  • Welcome new community members or visitors;
  • Pay homage to the Afro-Latin/Caribbean cultural roots of the neighborhood.

Artist payment: $10,000

The Vision


HSTF youth paint a mural in 2008

Aim of the Commission

  • Design and install a domino-themed permanent public art piece on the plaza of the Blessed Sacrament Church.
  • Proposals may take a number of forms including sculpture, mural and may incorporate elements such as seating.
  • Designs should be site specific and incorporate elements of the cultural history of the neighborhood while welcoming old timers and new comers alike.


  • Designs should be durable to the elements, with an installation period of 1-3 years, while also providing the option to move or take down the piece.
  • We would like to see themes relevant to Caribbean/Afro Latin culture reflected in the design, and are specifically interested in designs which incorporate dominoes.
    • Dominoes are ubiquitous in many Latin and Caribbean cultures, and the popular intergenerational game has provides a way to connect with family and friends, relax, or compete.

Role of the Artist

  • Present design and installation plan to major stakeholders; adjust plan as necessary to accommodate permitting and space restrictions.
  • Work with major stakeholders and the community to create installation schedule.
  • Participate in stakeholder meeting to gather community feedback.
  • Fabricate, transport and install the work when design is approved.
  • Write an interpretation/ letter to assist with the post publicity of the work and be involved with the community unveiling event.

Site Description

Uncovered cement plaza, church steps, or church facade available for installation. Accessible to the public.

Restrictions: No access to a consistent power source.

Site Background: The Blessed Sacrament Campus

The plaza is located on the Blessed Sacrament Church and campus, which included a church, a parochial school, and a rectory. The campus was in operation under the Boston Catholic Archdiocese from 1917 until 2004. In 2004 the Boston Catholic Archdiocese closed Blessed Sacrament and in 2005 put the entire campus up for sale. A large community-organizing campaign in 2005 and 2006, led in part by Hyde Square Task Force youth, produced a plan that includes mixed income housing, community/educational space, and retail/commercial space.


HSTF program building behind the church

Hyde Square Task Force purchased the Cheverus School, to act as a home base for our youth programs. In addition,16 units of moderate-income townhouses, 36 low- and moderate-income rental apartments, and 28 single rooms for formerly homeless men and women were developed. In addition, there are several new storefront businesses directly next to the plaza, and twenty-one units of market-rate lofts have come on line on the other side of the campus. In addition, Hyde Square Task Force purchased the Blessed Sacrament Church in 2014, with the plan to turn it into an arts and civic space.

It is imperative that our condo neighbors are excited about the plan and invested in what will become a new point of pride for the campus. Campus stakeholders will be part of the process of choosing the final design.

Neighborhood Vision

Neighborhood market and mural

Neighborhood Background: Boston’s Latin Quarter

Over the past 60 years, waves of immigrants from Cuba, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, and Central and South America landed in the Hyde-Jackson neighborhood of Jamaica Plain, also known as Boston’s Latin Quarter, seeking new opportunities. In the late 1980’s, the area was described by Boston Police as the “cocaine capital of New England,” rife with crime, drugs and violence. Over the past 25 years, artists, students, and hipsters have flocked to the neighborhood, attracted by low rents and an open and diverse community.

In Boston’s Latin Quarter one finds crowded Dominican barbershops, a variety of Latin cuisine, Whole Foods, corner bodegas, and restaurants catering to the foodie demographic, while cars cruise by blasting the latest Bachata hit song. The diversity of businesses demonstrates both the Latino roots of the neighborhood as well as the more recent influx of young professionals, families, hipsters and artists. Over the past 10 years the neighborhood has become more desirable, causing housing and retail rents to skyrocket. As a result, over 900 units of new housing are on-line for construction in the area over the next five years.

LQ map

Map of the Latin Quarter with landmarks noted

Our goals for Boston’s Latin Quarter:

  • A safe, clean and economically, racially, linguistically and culturally diverse neighborhood;
  • A dynamic, diverse, locally-owned/managed business district that includes Latin foods, goods, services and specialty shops;
  • A place for public art, open spaces and lively street cultural events that project a “Latin flavor” and enhance local businesses;
  • A stimulating destination place for local residents, families and tourists where all feel welcome energized and engaged.

Design should showcase and further those goals.


May 20: Call to Artists opens

July 1: Design application closes

July 15: Winning design announced


How to Apply

Send design proposals to Emma@HydeSquare.org. Application closes July 1, 2016.

Please include:

  • A project description, sketches, photos or other visual representations of proposed project;
  • Artist’s resume;
  • Up to 10 images of previous works (emphasis on site-specific);
  • Artist statement (optional).

Artists familiar with neighborhood are encouraged to apply. Latino or artists of color are encouraged to apply.

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