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


Over the past school year children visited the MFA six times and met with artist Hilary Zelson to learn about six elements found in every object and painting in the Museum’s vast collection: line, shape, form, value, color, and texture. As part of their visits, the students took photographs and created artworks that demonstrate both their creativity and their new knowledge of how these
elements are incorporated into art.

“Elemental” exhibition page

Past Project

Experiments in Animation

Children from eight after-school community organizations in the Boston area explored the MFA with artist/animator Jake Fried and experimented with the art of animation. Inspired by the Museum’s vast collections, the students collaborated on multiple stopmotion films reflecting on their communities and creating imaginary worlds. Each film demonstrated a different animation technique that they learned and experimented with in order to bring their art to life.

“Experiments in Animation” exhibition page

“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.