Boston Art Commission

Boston AIR: Year Two





















BOSTON - Monday, October 3, 2016 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh, the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture, and Boston Centers for Youth & Families (BCYF) today announced the ten artists selected for the City of Boston's second year of the artists-­in-­residence program, Boston AIR. This second year of the Boston AIR program helps fulfill a commitment made in Boston Creates, the city’s cultural plan, and expands the size of the artist cohort, increases the length of the residencies, and grounds each residency at BCYF through their community centers and core citywide initiatives, such as the BCYF Streetworker Program, youth summer programs, and leadership development for young women.

"Arts and culture form the building blocks that make our city thrive. They encourage us to engage with each other and connect to the larger community," said Mayor Walsh. "Boston AIR brings this creative practice into the work of our city departments.  I am excited to announce the new Boston Artists in Residence and look forward to the positive impact they will have on BCYF.”

Recognizing and supporting artists’ essential contribution to creating and maintaining a thriving, healthy and innovative city is a stated goal in the Boston Creates plan launched earlier this summer. Boston AIR is one initiative as part of the plan that will integrate creative thinking into the work of municipal departments and planning efforts.

Through Boston AIR, artists are supported as agents of reflection, collaboration, and activism, whether through process-oriented practice, direct community engagement, and/or as leaders of system-wide change projects at BCYF and other City agencies. The ten selected artists are invited to study and expand their own civic and social practice, alongside a parallel cohort from ten BCYF community centers and other City employees who will explore methods to incorporate artistic social practice into government and community work. Both the artist and City cohorts will share examples of their work, attend master workshops and lectures by guest artists, and have opportunities to exchange ideas and co-design proposals.

The ten selected artists, each with firsthand knowledge of the cultures and communities of Boston, were chosen by a selection committee consisting of current Boston AIR participants, local arts professionals, BCYF leadership, and City staff. The artists are:

  • Salvador Jimenez-Flores collaborating with BCYF Quincy Community Center in Chinatown, an interdisciplinary artist born and raised in Jalisco, México. Jiménez­-Flores is currently participating in a two year-­long artist residency at the Ceramics Program – Office for the Arts at Harvard. He is also Resident Teaching Artist at Urbano Project and instructor at both Wheelock College and Massachusetts College of Art and Design.

  • Maria Molteni collaborating with BCYF Perkins Community Center in Dorchester,  a multimedia artist, educator, and organizer who has lived and worked in Boston for the past 15 years. From fiber to found-object sculpture, puppetry to pedagogy, movement to publication, she employs tactile and tactical processes to encourage participation over spectatorship.

  • Lina Giraldo collaborating with BCYF Hyde Park Community Center, a Colombia-born, Boston-based artist, she explores the questions of being Latino in the US. This is why for over 15 years her work has been focused on creating messages where she depicts the fragility of our environment, immigration concerns, and community equality.

  • Jennifer De Leon collaborating with BCYF Curtis Hall Community Center in Jamaica Plain, has worked as a teacher in Boston Public Schools, a public speaker, a college access counselor in Roxbury, a GrubStreet Creative Writing instructor, and most recently, as the Associates of the Boston Public Library Writer­-in-­Residence. She currently teaches at Emerson and Berklee and is working on two novels and an essay collection.

  • Marjorie Saintil­-Belizaire collaborating with BCYF Mattahunt Community Center in Mattapan, is a Haitian-­American mixed media artist who lives and creates in Mattapan. Her work is driven by her fascination with color and the physicality of texture. With art degrees from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Boston University, she believes the making of art is an ongoing experiment in an ongoing process.

  • Cornell Coley collaborating with BCYF Roslindale Community Center, M.Ed. is an experienced drummer, dancer, teacher, and public performance artist whose influences include the traditions of West and Central Africa, the Caribbean, and Brazil. Also a trained HealthRHYTHMS facilitator and certified by the Drum Circle Facilitators Guild, he works in community-building, education, and therapy. 

  • Charles Coe collaborating with BCYF Tobin Community Center in Mission Hill, is an author and poet. His poetry and prose has appeared in a number of literary reviews and anthologies and has published two books of poetry. He is in the second year of a three-year term as an Artist Fellow for the St. Botolph Club, an organization that supports arts and the humanities in Greater Boston.

  • Ann Hirsch collaborating with BCYF Vine Community Center in Roxbury, is a public artist, sculptor, and educator who creates site-specific works that integrate historical and contemporary practices. Ann gained wide recognition with a sculpture on the plaza of Boston City Hall dedicated to the legacy of human rights activist and basketball champion Bill Russell. She teaches at Rhode Island School of Design.

  • John A. Walsh collaborating with BCYF Curley Community Center in South Boston, tells stories with and pictures. John is the co-author and illustrator of the graphic novel The Bad Times, a story of love and friendship set during the Irish Famine. His graphic narratives often explore the intersection of racism, religious bigotry, and immigration. John lives in Boston with his wife and daughter.

  • Rashin Fahandej collaborating with BCYF Blackstone Community Center in the South End, is a multidisciplinary artist and filmmaker whose projects include feature documentaries, video-sound installations, photo, sculpture, and painting. Fahandej is currently teaching at Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Bunker Hill Community College, Emmanuel College, and a research fellow at the MIT Open Documentary Lab where she is researching new forms of documentary filmmaking and developing a transmedia project based on the narratives and stories in the city of Boston.

Each artist will be awarded a $22,500 stipend for a nine-month-long residency to develop and test ways that creative approaches can meaningfully impact the work of the public sector and society as a whole. Each artist will be paired with one of ten designated BCYF community centers and provided a studio space at that center.

"When we began the Boston Artists in Residence program, we hoped that by embedding the artists in City Departments it would bring creative thought to municipal problem solving and project implementation,” said Julie Burros, Chief of Arts and Culture for the City of Boston. “The work of our first three Artists in Residence exceeded our expectations.This time, we hope to have the same impact on the work being done by Boston Centers for Youth and Families.”

 Check out this great map of the BCYF locations the artist are working from. 


Press Coverage

Meet the 10 locals accepted into Boston’s artists-in-residence program

By Callie Ahlgrim, | October 8, 2016

Two JP Residents Selected for Boston’s Artists-in-Residence Program

By David Ertischek, Jamaica Plain News | October 10, 2016


By NYU Tisch | October 12, 2016

Lina Giraldo interviewed for Caribbean Community station, Radio Concorde Boston
Radio Concorde | July 13th, 2017

With Basketball Court Mural And Handmade Nets, Boston Artist Unites Art And Sports

By Greg Cook, ARTery |  July 12, 2017

With Artists In Residence, Boston Is Changing How The City Values Art (New!)

By Maria Garcia, ARTery | July 27, 2017 


Press Releases

Boston AIR 2.0 Call - RFQ

Released June 21, 2016

Mayor Walsh Announces the Ten Selected Artists For Boston AIR 2.0

Released June 21, 2016

Online Information Session for Boston AIR!

Released July 14, 2016

Boston AIR 2.0 Extension

Released June 7, 2017