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Green Line extension: Artists wanted

Painted columns brightened the exterior of the Jackson Square MBTA station.

Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff/file 2006

Painted columns brightened the exterior of the Jackson Square MBTA station.

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Want to leave your mark on Greater Boston? The MBTA is looking for a few good artists to decorate the first three stations on the planned Green Line extension, and has extended its submission deadline until Friday. The stations — an overhauled Lechmere station, as well as two new stations in Somerville — afford a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for enterprising artists to reach large audiences.

Boston has benefited from a bumper crop of good public art recently, from the giant murals in Dewey Square to the graffiti installation at Bartlett Yard in Roxbury last fall. But when the three new stations open later this decade, they’ll become permanent fixtures in the region. Jackson Square, with its painted columns, and Porter Square, with its whimsical molten gloves, are already showcases for how public art can enliven stations. Transit stations provide a unique canvas, and local artists should step forward to take on the challenge they pose. As for the MBTA — which has made some memorable art choices, but also some forgettable ones — it should be open to imaginative, offbeat ideas.

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