The City of Boston has commissioned Colombian-born artist Monika Bravo to create artwork for East Boston’s new District A-7 police station that is currently under construction in East Eagle Square at the City Yards.
Bravo, who was born in Bogotá, Colombia and lives in Miami, is a multi-disciplinary artist whose work integrates a wide array of disciplines, from psycho-technologies to immersive sculptural environments.
Bravo was recently awarded the Civitella Ranieri Visual Arts Fellowship, a prestigious residency program for international writers, composers and visual artists, in Italy.
Before construction began on the new $30 million state-of-the-art police station in Eastie, Mayor Martin Walsh and the Boston Police released an international Call to Artists to help create art for the new station.
Funded by the City of Boston’s Percent for Art program, which sets aside one percent of the City’s annual capital borrowing as a budget for the commissioning of long-term public art, Bravo was chosen because her proposal considered three key qualities of Eastie in their applications. Her proposed art at the station will inappropriate Eastie’s deep history with immigrant communities, its geographic location and how that has put it on the front lines of climate change, and its strong neighborhood identity and close-knit community.
Before choosing Bravo, an Artist Review Committee composed of representatives from the Boston Art Commission and local arts professionals representing Eastie reviewed applications using criteria including experience, past work, knowledge of materials and their durability, experience working with multiple stakeholders, and how well the artist responds to the goals and community values
“For the East Boston police station, I aim to create a mesmerizing environment that invites the audience to mutual participation, to an experience of synthesis, a communion,” said Bravo. “Its source resonates with the roots and origins of all the historical elements that relate to its new location.”
The City of Boston celebrated the groundbreaking of the new Eastie police station in October 2019.
A total of $450,000 was set aside and budgeted for the public art project. Bravo expects to finish the project in two years.
“The East Boston police station is the first new station in Boston in a decade,” said Mayor Walsh. “Bringing public art into this space is a great way to highlight the interconnected roles art, education, and public safety play in making our City a more welcoming and vibrant place for residents and visitors.”
For over two decades the residents and police officers in Eastie have awaited the construction of a new police station at the City Yards across from American Legion Playground.
In 2019, Mayor Martin Walsh and Police Commissioner WIlliam Gross joined elected officials and the community to break ground on the new police station at the City Yards.
The project will create a more efficient and better station for police and replace the aging District A-7 station on Meridian Street near Maverick Square.
The station will be roughly 27,000 sq. ft. with an entrance on the corner of Condor and Trenton Streets. There will be parking in the rear of the station for 50 vehicles and the building will be LEAD Silver Certified.
Bravo has an impressive resume of public art commissions that include: An interval of time, 2020 for the Landmarks Public Arts program at University of Texas, Austin and Duration for the Metropolitan Transport Agency (MTA) Arts design subway in New York.
Bravo has exhibited her work both nationally and internationally at the Rubin Museum of Art; 56th Venice Biennale representing the Vatican City-State at the Pavilion of the Holy See; The New Museum in New York; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía; Museo de Arte del Banco de la República; and the Museo de Arte Moderno Bogotá, The 5th Seoul International Media Art Biennale, Seoul Museum of Art, South Korea, CAB in Spain, Site Santa Fe and Stenenser Museum of Oslo, Norway.