Photo by Tess Scheflan. Public Artist Resident Lilly E. Manycolors installing Emanation, with Andre Strongbearheart Gaines Jr., Fall 2020.

Public Art Residency

Please note: Our Public Art Residency is no longer offered.


BCA’s Public Art Residency program supports two artists or artist teams each year to activate our public plaza and other areas across BCA campus with interactive, temporary public art. This process-oriented residency provides an opportunity for artists to experiment with their craft, develop focus, and engage in active public dialogue. We encourage residents to connect with the public not only through the completed artwork, but also throughout the process of developing and realizing the project.

Beginning in 2021, our Public Art Residency program supports an annual Summer/Fall project as well as an annual Spring project.

The Public Art Residency program is open to applicants whose work takes a broad range of forms. We encourage applicants whose practice includes: dance and movement-based aspects, theatre and writing-based aspects, and/or engagement with installation, sound, or other innovative media. A key element of any application is the connection the artist is interested in exploring between the germination and development of a rich creative idea and its active life connecting with the community outside the artist’s studio.

Public Artist Residents are selected through a juried, open-call process; applications are reviewed based on the elements of BCA’s stated Artistic Ethos.


Selection Criteria

Our goal is to gather a diverse and inclusive community of artists for the purpose of supporting innovative work across disciplines, connecting artists with peers and resources, and providing a vibrant platform for new art in Boston.

Applications will be evaluated based on artist’s demonstration of:

Experimentation. Does the artist’s practice display innovation, openness to new ideas, perspectives and techniques?

Responsiveness. Is the artist’s work relevant, topical, in dialogue with issues of contemporary interest?

Balance. Does the artist think holistically about the relationships between art and life?

Community engagement. Does the artist demonstrate a willingness and aptitude for significant give and take exchange among colleagues and audiences? and

Potential impact. How does the artist articulate the impact of this residency on their practice?


Past Residents

Spring 2021 – Mary Ellen Strom and Danielle Abrams

Fall 2020 – Lilly E. Manycolors

Summer 2019 – Shaka Dendy

Summer 2018 – Rashin Fahandej

Summer 2017 – Lucas Spivey

Summer 2016 – Chanel Thervil