List View Map View

Walk around any neighborhood in Cambridge, and you're sure to come across something surprising: a painting on the side of a building, a sculpture in a park, a patterned walkway. What are these things? Why are they here?

They are all examples of public art. Unlike art in a museum, public art is located on street corners, in youth and senior centers, schools, libraries, parks, plazas and sidewalks. Public art is part of the landscape of our daily lives. Public art involves many people. The artists work with communities, listening to the stories that reveal what makes a place special. The artists translate these stories into artworks that reflect their individual style and unique vision. Finally, viewers bring their own experiences and personalities to their understanding and interpretation of the art.

We each respond to art differently. We may even make discoveries that the artist didn't think of!

With over 170 public artworks, Cambridge holds the largest contemporary public art collection in Massachusetts. Well over one hundred artworks have been publicly sited in Cambridge through the Cambridge Public Art Ordinance since the Ordinance was approved in 1979. Commissioned for capital improvements, the art is lasting evidence of the City's ongoing pursuit to enhance its physical environment.