The Artist Project is a collaboration between the MFA and ten after-school community organizations in the Boston area. The artist and the children create a collaborative work of art inspired by the Museum’s encyclopedic collection. The completed project is exhibited in the Edward H. Linde Gallery in the Linde Family Wing for Contemporary Art at the MFA.

Current Project

“Building with Light”

Over 170 students from the Museum’s ten Community Arts Initiative partners visited the MFA with artist Julie Martini. Together, inspired by the MFA’s collection as well as patterns they explored in neighborhood clubhouses, they created “Building with Light”–a colorful wall of light. With sketchbooks in hand, students discussed objects at the MFA–including stained glass, contemporary installations, and Impressionist painting–to understand the use of light in art and architecture. Inspired by what they explored, the children used transparent materials to experiment with ways to intensify and modify light. The final installation celebrates each young artists’s discoveries–incorporating colors, patterns, and motifs from their sketches on large Plexiglas panels.

Past Project

“Second Hands”

Students from the Museum’s ten Community Arts Initiative partners visited the MFA with artist Maria Molteni to create a multifaceted artwork inspired by the MFA’s collection and the global community of makers. Students selected items from a variety of vibrant garments acquired from second-hand stores in the Boston area, checked the tags to find where their garments were made, and then explored those areas of the world via the Museum’s collection. Using artwork from those places as inspiration, the students designed their own original patterns.

View all past projects

“The unique collaboration is an experience made up of imagination, play, investigation, and creativity. The children ask big questions like “How do you know art is beautiful?” “How did this stuff get here?” Their questions and curiosity led to lively conversations and exciting visual responses. Exploring art with the children was a great opportunity to discover art making in a new way and from some wonderful new perspectives.”
-Evelyn Rydz

“ ‘And their Families’ was my first museum exhibition and it was an amazing learning experience. Working with curators and the design department I walked away with firsthand knowledge on what it takes to put together a Museum-worthy exhibition. Seeing the project fulfilled and over 100 boys and girls proudly viewing their artworks was an experience I will never forget.”
-Raul Gonzalez


The Community Arts Initiative is generously supported by the Linde Family Foundation.