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Newton Community Pride, Boston Chinese Evangelical Church launch public art initiative

Newton Community Pride and the city of Newton are working with Newtonville’s Boston Chinese Evangelical Church for “Sit & Let Your Spirit Soar,” an initiative to create 19 temporary public art installations across the city.

The Newtonville church, which is renovating its sanctuary, donated the pews to be converted into temporary public art installations, according to a statement.

The project is intended “to create community, encourage conversation, and inspire feelings of connection,” the statement said.

A jury will select artists to transform the pews into temporary pieces of three-dimensional art. The exhibits will be on display from June to October.

“Through signage, passersby will be invited to sit on the pews and encouraged to use them for outdoor meetings, intimate conversation, or simply quiet contemplation,” the statement said.


The pews will be auctioned in October, and the money raised will be used to support future public art initiatives.

Artists are invited to submit applications to participate by April 22. Winners will be selected by May 15.

The selected artists will be assigned a specific pew — each is about 8 feet long — to decorate on location over the course of a weekend in June. They will each receive a $500 commission, the statement said.

For more information about the project and instructions on how to apply, visit

John Hilliard can be reached at