November 7, 2022

City of Salem Request for Submissions for Temporary Interactive Public Art

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The City of Salem, MA, invites artists from the greater Boston area to submit materials for consideration for the award of a $12,000 commission grant to create a temporary, interactive, public art installation in underutilized public parks in Salem, MA 01970. The Salem Public Art Commission, in conjunction with the City of Salem ‘s Department of Parks, Recreation, and Community Services; Mayor Kimberley Driscoll or her designee; and other community stakeholders, will be the acting as Art Jury for the artist selection process.

To be considered for this commission, you must submit the required materials by 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 15, 2022 via the online portal.  More details below.

The City of Salem’s Public Art Commission (PAC), in partnership with the New England Foundation for the Arts and Massachusetts Area Planning Council’s “Making it Public” program, is seeking to bring activation, playfulness, joy, color, and beauty into the City’s neighborhood parks and underutilized spaces by commissioning a temporary work of interactive public art that will be installed in a public, City owned, space of the artists’ choosing (with the approval of the PAC & the City’s Parks & Recreation Commission) for a minimum of 4 months in the spring of 2023. The form and content of the artwork is at the artist’s discretion. The PAC wants this project to be artist-led and challenges artists to get creative and think outside the box. All projects must be interactive in some way, through the inclusion of play or kinetic elements, musical components, digital interactions, etc.

The City is seeking applications from artists, or teams of artists, with demonstrated experience in creating outdoor and/or site specific works of art. The $12,000 grant commission must cover all services from development through final completion including but not limited to artist fee, travel, community meetings, materials, creation, fabrication, installation, transportation, and project coordination.

From the applications received, three to five finalists will be selected by the Art Jury. At that stage, the Art Jury will notify non-finalists that they will not be moving forward to the next round and finalists will be invited to share additional details about their submitted qualifications and concept with the Art Jury. This may be conducted via “in-person” interviews with each finalist, or a request for additional information in writing, but all finalists will be given the same opportunity to present their work to the Art Jury. One artist, or team of artists, will be selected by the Art Jury for this commission, based on the finalists’ presentations and pending final approval by the Mayor. Please note, full design proposals are not required as part of this process at any stage, but general rough sketches of ideas to be provided along with the original application submission are highly desirable.

Please review the full Call to Artist & Creative for project parameters, eligibility, and submission guidelines. That call, and others released by the City of Salem, can be viewed here: 

Submit your materials for consideration here: 

Julie Barry, Senior Planner of Arts & Culture at or 978-619-5681.

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