BU Site-Specific Artist in Residency

August 2015
College of General Studies and Department of Political Science, Boston University, Boston, MA, USA
Wave - Mixed-media, Community#theSnapGallery - snapchat, instagram, sharpie, acrylic panelling, Ivy - laser-cut wood and mirrored acrylic paneling, Boston Peace - Laser-cut wood and acrylic paint
Project Partners
BU College of Fine Arts, BU Arts Initiative, BU Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program, Department of Art History, EPIC Lab, and Department of Religious Studies
College of General Studies and Department of Political Science of Boston University


The idea:

Create transformative public artworks in a way that engaged communities and developed a precedent for artistic practice.

The results:

Over the course of several months, I worked with several organizations to develop five proposals for artworks, created and proved that a fair artist contract works, completed four works of public art, and raised $12,500 for a site-specific artist in residency program.


A dream for public art and fair artist's work

It's no secret that Boston lacks public art and it's no secret that artists struggle in current economic systems. That's why last year, I embarked on a somewhat crazy quest to raise enough money for a site-specific artist in residency program at Boston University that incorporated fair labor practices into the process. I would call it the Bringing Art to BU Initiative.

I was told I was never going to make it happen. It was said that there is too much inertia or that the idea is too far-reaching. That nobody would agree to fully pay an artist for their work, that nobody would sign a contract for the artist to retain creative rights and resale commission for the work, or be able to lead so many public art projects to completion.

Well, I, and the countless others who helped me along the way, proved them wrong.

With hours of work, a bit of luck, and the support of those who believed in me and my vision, I developed five project ideas, created and proved that a fair artist contract works, and completed four artworks that bring vitality to forgotten spaces, and I raised $12,500 to support it all.

While this hasn't developed into the yearly artist residency that I hoped it would become, in the past year alone, I have seen an immense amount of work by talented and creative artists who are pursuing their own artistic visions. I'm so glad that I could be part of this process. And as always, for fellow artists interested in the process, please reach out to me! I want to share what I have learned.


Thank you.

In order to raise the funds for such a project, I collaborated with several generous and forward-thinking departments and individuals. This includes my very own College of Fine Arts, the Arts Initiative, UROP, the Department of Political Science, the College of General Studies, the College of Arts and Sciences Student Government, the Department of the History of Art and Architecture, the Department of Religion, and EPIC.

I was also supported by the amazing Hugh O'Donnell, Ty Furman, Whitney Newton, and Ramya Ravindrababu and Shanthni Ravindrababu. This would not have happened without you. To those of you who were part of that process, to those who sat and deliberated the merits of the art or who lended a word or two of support, I would like to offer my deepest of thanks.

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