fb-pixel Skip to main content

Artwork for Green Line extension back in the picture for the time being

Artists commissioned by the MBTA to create artwork for stations along the pending Green Line extension project have been told to proceed with their proposals — at least for now.

During the T's fiscal and management control board hearing Monday, transit officials said that they are holding off on their initial decision to scrap altogether the public artwork portion of the costly expansion project.

Board chairman Joseph Aiello said during the meeting that the MBTA had reached out to artists "to let them know that no final decisions have been made about the artwork."

Last week, MBTA officials sent an e-mail to artists announcing that the transit agency would no longer fund the commissioned works. The news that the T was pulling the plug on the eight projects sent a shock wave through the arts community, and caught some artists by surprise.


"I'd like to apologize for any distress for these particular artists," said Aiello. "That's not the way we intend to do business around here."

Officials have budgeted roughly $1.9 million for artwork on the Green Line extension.

Joe Pesaturo, a spokesman for the MBTA, had said last week that the decision to cancel the contracts with artists was an "unpleasant, but fiscally prudent action."

But on Monday, Pesaturo said that artists should continue their work as officials "gather and analyze information pertaining to each and every element of the Green Line extension."

"No elements of the project have been cut as of this time," Pesaturo said in an e-mail.

Nicole Dungca of the Globe staff contributed to this report. Steve Annear can be reached at steve.annear@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @steveannear.