ExpressingBoston 2015


Full Court, by ExpressingBoston Artist Marlon Forrester

DS4SI and the Boston Foundation partner to offer second year of ExpressingBoston Public Art Fellowship!

The ExpressingBoston Public Art Fellowship program will offer selected artists a 9 month fellowship with DS4SI between December 2015 and August 2016. The fellowship is aimed at supporting artists in thinking through and testing new ways to do their art practice in public spaces, in ways that increase the authority which artists and community members feel to claim public spaces in their neighborhoods.  Artists will receive a stipend of $5,000 and up to $2,000 for materials for their participation in this community of practice.

This fellowship is open to artists who are engaged in a wide definition of art and public art. This includes both temporary and permanent art, as well as traditional and nontraditional arts such as (but not limited to): culinary arts, dance, street theater, performance art, music, photography, fashion, body art, game design, graphic design, poetry, fine arts, social practice, puppetry, jewelry, graffiti, fabrics, ceramics, etc.
Funding priorities include supporting artists who live and/or work along the Fairmount Cultural Corridor (map) and whose art represents one or more of their community’s rich history, cultural traditions, identities and assets. We look to gather a diverse community of practice across cultural background, age, experience, gender and art practice.

For more information, go to:


Lighting the Bridges


Lighting the Bridges is a public art project led by DS4SI in partnership with the Boston Foundation (TBF) to celebrate the culturally rich Boston neighborhoods that are joined by the recently renovated Fairmount-Indigo Commuter Line, through a series of bridge lighting installations. The bridge lighting and community engagement projects come out of three years of creative placemaking work with the Fairmount Cultural Corridor, where local arts and cultural activities are bringing people together to both celebrate and have a voice in shaping their neighborhood. 

"Lighting the Bridges" will create a semi-permanent light installation for the underpass of the Upham’s Corner bridge, temporary art installations in the bridge area, and temporary bridge lightings in other Fairmount neighborhoods, culminating in coordinated lighting celebrations on October 23, 2015. The inspiration for lighting the Upham’s Corner bridge came from many residents commenting on how unsafe it felt to walk under the bridge. The long-term vision is to explore with local residents, merchants and artists the possibilities for permanently lighting bridges all along the Fairmount Commuter Line.

Upham's Corner Station / Dudley Street Bridge Artists

We are thrilled to announce our 2 commissioned artists for the Upham's Corner Station Bridge Lighting:


Silvia Lopez Chavez

"My work investigates our basic human need to connect with each other on multiple levels: socially, politically and culturally. I explore the intellectual and emotional narratives of joy, struggle, acceptance and assimilation as well as the change and growth that affect daily life. I have a multilayered process that includes experimenting with medium, color, line, repetition and form. Combining traditional methods of drawing and painting with experimental techniques in printmaking and collage, my practice is both representational and abstract." For examples of Sylvia's work, check her website:

Lopez Chavez's  "Color Up" community engagement project will provide an opportunity for neighbors to participate in creative activities where they can share their ideas and vision for the bridge area. Their input will inform the design of pattern stencils created by the artist, which will be applied with colorful temporary spray. The color patterns hope to reflect many local cultures and help enliven the gray/beige colors that dominate the area around the bridge.

John Powell

"In short, I like to work with bridges.  A bridge is a positive structure that defines what appears to be the negative or dark space underneath.  Light activates this space, making it part of the life of the bridge— what the bridge crosses is now revealed as positive space.  I’ve worked with the scaffold that surrounds the Little Building at Emerson College and the brand new fifteen story student dorm at Berklee College of music.  A project can last one night or twenty years..." For examples from his work, visit his website:

Powell's proposal for the Upham's Corner station bridge responds to pedestrian's concerns about low-light under the bridge as well as widespread support for the current murals that celebrate Cape Verdean and Puerto Rican culture. His design will illuminate the underpass while animating the bridge with light projections of color and images that reflect the beautiful murals underneath. His project is also supported by Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative. (

Both artists are currently exploring ways to reach out to community members and organizations. If you would like to learn more, email us at art [at] or visit us at More social media to come.

Temporary Neighborhood Bridge Lightings and Celebrations

The semi-permanent bridge lighting at Upham's Corner is inspired by a temporary lighting that DS4SI did there in the fall of 2014 in partnership with the Fairmount Line CDC Collaborative. This "productive fiction" helped local residents, commuters and merchants imagine the possibilities for light under the bridge.

On October 23rd, 2015, each of four neighborhoods and nearby commuter rail station bridges—Bowdoin-Geneva, Codman Square/Talbot Avenue bridge, Mattapan/Morton Street bridge, and Hyde Park/Fairmount Station bridge—will host their own temporary bridge lightings and celebrations. A local artist from each neighborhood will bring their imagination to this project with input from the community. DS4SI will also facilitate visioning activities at each site to capture people’s ideas about what changes they would like to see around the train station and what those changes would do.


 Celebrating the Communities along the Fairmount Indigo Line

The community celebrations and bridge lightings will culminate in a curated party on the Fairmount Line, so that community members can visit each other's sites and come together for the unveiling of the semi-permanent lighting at Upham's Corner. "Lighting the Bridges" aims to celebrate the communities along the Line as much as the growing opportunities and challenges posed by the Line itself. By increasing connections along the line--metaphorically bridging the communities--DS4SI, TBF and the Fairmount Cultural Corridor aim to support communities in organizing for affordable housing, local jobs, vibrant neighborhood arts programming, access to healthy food, etc.

This work has coincided with deep on-going investment from the Boston Foundation along the Line, so "Lighting the Bridges" is proud to also celebrate TBF's 100th birthday!



At the Design Studio we design and prototype alternative ways to approach and address complex social problems. We explore unusual solutions, ones that’s very existence help the system see new options for solving stubborn problems.


The Design Studio for Social Intervention: Changing how social justice is imagined, developed and deployed.