Durham County

City invites artists to apply for public art projects

City of Durham

DURHAM Local and regional artists are invited to apply for new public art projects sponsored by the City of Durham.

The city’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development, General Services Department, and the Public Art Committee of the Cultural Advisory Board are launching three new public art projects around Durham.

▪  THE FENCE 2017, the largest photography public art project in the world, is coming to Durham this August thru November across from City Hall. The Public Art Committee and the City’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development recently applied for Durham to become the sixth city in the country to display the exhibit, and Durham was selected this past January to host the project.

“This project will serve to bring a collection of world-class art to Durham to inspire feelings and thoughts in an eclectic mix of our residents,” said Chris Ogden, chairman of the city’s Public Art Committee. “It is also a terrific opportunity for regional photographers to get exposure with over 4 million viewers worldwide and with international museum curators, private collectors, gallery owners, book publishers, and editorial photography directors.

“We are thrilled to bring this opportunity to Durham.”

Artists are invited to submit to the juried show a series of three-to-five images that relate to one of seven categories: Creatures, Food, Home, Nature, People, Play, and Streets. Submission guidelines are available on the city’s website and the deadline to apply is Tuesday, April 11.

▪  The Neighborhood Park Mural Project will place community-inspired murals on several blank walls of the city’s park bathrooms. The General Services Department recently renovated several of the bathrooms in the parks, which then presented a clean slate for mural art.

“Our goal is to bring together artists and community members in the creation of murals that celebrate the culture and history of Durham’s neighborhoods, while also drawing attention to the facilities available at the city’s parks,” said Jina Propst, assistant director with the city’s General Services Department.

The first mural is expected to be located at Southern Boundaries Park. The winning application will receive a $2,500 commission fee and $2,500 in material costs. The Call for Artists is available on the city’s website and the deadline to apply is April 17.

▪  The Art Alcoves at City Hall Plaza project will bring three large-scale outdoor pieces of visual art just outside the steps of downtown’s City Hall. The City is soliciting applications to commission an artist to submit a triptych design (i.e. a panel divided into three sections) for three alcoves facing City Hall Plaza.

The alcoves are located in the Frontier Communications building directly in front of the main entrance to City Hall, and each alcove measures over 10 feet tall. The selected artist will be paid a commission fee of $1,000 and the city will cover installation costs. Submission guidelines are available on the city’s website and the deadline to apply is April 30.

Each of these public art projects will be funded through the city’s Project Fund for Public Art—a program of the city’s Capital Improvement Plan—and annual operating budget allocations to commission permanent and temporary installation of works of art.

To further help artists connect with opportunities, the city has also now launched a Durham Calls for Artists page on its website, which lists a number of upcoming opportunities for artists in and around Durham.

Artists and other stakeholders who would like to be notified of current and future art-related opportunities and news can now subscribe for alerts through the Cultural and Public Art mailing list.

For more information, visit the city’s public art Web page or call Brian Smith at 919-560-4965, ext. 15205.