Monday, November 26, 2007

Call for Artists for LA County Fire Stations

The Los Angeles County Arts Commission’s Civic Art Program seeks artists to design, fabricate and install artworks for four new Los Angeles County fire stations, two in Santa Clarita and two in Palmdale. One artist may be selected for multiple stations. Several more fire stations are in the planning stages. Artists who respond to this RFQ may be placed in a pool for future fire station commissions.

The new fire stations will provide fire protection and emergency medical services to unincorporated areas of the County. Fire Department personnel desire artworks that are timeless, classic and modest.

The 11,000 sq. ft. Fire Station 156 (24525 Copperhill Drive, Santa Clarita), to be constructed in 2008-09, will provide fire and life safety services to northern Santa Clarita. The station includes a community meeting room, two equipment bays, dormitories and a kitchen. The County is constructing a temporary station on the site to serve the area until
Station 156 is completed.

The 5,000 sq. ft. Fire Station 108 (28799 Rock Canyon Dr., Santa Clarita), currently under construction and due to be complete in August 2008, will serve the rapidly growing region of Santa Clarita and the adjoining area of Saugus. It is located in a residential neighborhood, and has a welcoming, home-like feel.

The 11,000 sq. ft. Fire Station 136 (3650 Bolz Ranch Road, Palmdale), located in a rapidly growing residential community of Palmdale, is under construction and will be completed in August 2008. In addition to the equipment bays and dorms for staff, this station includes an office and dormitory for the Battalion Chief.

The 11,000 sq. ft. Fire Station 93 (5624 East Avenue R., Palmdale), serves a residential area of east Palmdale. This station will also house a Battalion Chief as well as three equipment bays and accommodations for seven personnel.

Budgets include artist fees, insurance, travel, fabrication, structural engineering, conservator review, delivery, permits and installation:

Fire Station 156: $69,000
Fire Station 108: $35,000
Fire Station 93: $56,000
Fire Station 136: $52,000

Selection Process and Criteria
Artists will be selected by a committee comprised of community and County stakeholders, using the following criteria:

Proven artistic merit and strong professional qualifications;
Ability to execute a high quality, easily maintainable artwork on time and
within budget; and
Ability to produce an artwork that embodies the qualities of timelessness,
modesty and classic design.

To Apply
The following materials must be received by 5pm, Monday, December 10, 2007:
1. Resume including name, mailing address, preferred phone number(s), fax, email and web page (if applicable). Please limit resume to three pages.
2. Brief letter of interest, addressing:
Specifically why this project interests you;
Interest in or experience with working with public safety personnel on artwork content; and
Other relevant civic artworks.
3. Up to twenty (20) images of your most relevant work. We prefer digital
Submit digital images on a CD-ROM or via email in JPEG format, PC compatible and no larger than 1920 x 1920 pixels (do not zip or stuff files). Each image must be unlocked and downloadable.
Submit slides in a clear plastic sheet, labeled with artist’s name and a number which corresponds to the annotated image list. Indicate the top of the image.
·Label each slide or digital image with artist’s name and a number which corresponds to the image list – for example 001JaneJones, 002JaneJones.
4. A brief image list, including:
·Title, date and location of artwork
·Very brief project description
·Mediums and dimensions
·Commissioning agency or client, and project manager, if applicable.
5. Three professional references, with title, phone and email addresses.

Materials may be e-mailed, mailed or hand delivered to:
Los Angeles County Arts Commission Civic Art Program
Fifth District Fire Stations
1055 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 800
Los Angeles, CA 90017

Questions? Rebecca Banyas, Project Manager, 213-202-3986, or Letitia Ivins, Civic Art Coordinator, 213-202-5859. For further information about the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, please visit

Do not send original artwork.
Late applications will not be considered and will be returned.
While every effort will be made to carefully handle applications, the Arts Commission cannot be held responsible for lost or damaged materials.
The Arts Commission reserves the right to accept or reject any and all responses received, or commission an artist through another process.
All artists who submit their materials for review will receive written notification of the results of the selection process, including identification of the selected artist(s).
All information contained herein does not constitute either an expressed or implied contract.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Overton Park Shell Deadline Extended

The deadline for proposals for the Overton Park Shell has been extended to Tuesday, November 27. All proposals must be received by 4:00 PM on November 27th. For more information about this project, please visit our website.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Contemporary Bronze Sculpture in Philadelphia

This is an interesting, contemporary take on traditional bronze sculpture. We often hear people say that they would like to see more "traditional artwork." I would like to see more of it, too, if artists put a contemporary spin on it, thinking about today's audience while addressing the context of the site and/or figure being represented.

See more about this new sculpture by artist James Peniston here.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Call for Artists for Temporary Work in DC

DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Announces:

ArtWalk 2008
Design Fee: $2,500
deadline: Friday, December 7, 2007 at 5:30pm

The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities is seeking 12 artists to take part in a thought provoking large-scale outdoor exhibit entitled Emerge, the third phase of the ArtWalk exhibition. Through artist interpretation of Emerge, the premise and goal of the exhibition is to present 12 diverse artworks with a common theme that will draw the attention of both Washington, DC residents and visitors. ArtWalk is a project of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities' downtown public art initiative, in cooperation with the Washington Convention Center. The ArtWalk features 12 display units each stretching 6 feet tall by 24 feet wide. Open to local, national and international artists with preference given to individuals residing or working in the District of Columbia. The ArtWalk is located between New York Avenue and H Streets, NW at a pedestrian friendly parking facility that was once the site of the Washington DC Convention Center.

For more information, please visit our website at

Monday, November 5, 2007

UrbanArt on Other Blogs

Here is a great mention of Mark Nowell's new sculpture, Aspire, at the William H. Brewster Elementary on Sam Cooper Boulevard.

And here are some great photographs of the Vito Acconci sculpture, Roof like a liquid flung over the plaza, at the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts.

UrbanArt Seeks Executive Director

After 10 successful years as the Executive Director of the UrbanArt Commission, it is hard to believe that Carissa Hussong is leaving to head up the Metal Museum, but we are happy that she will still be close by at an organization that is close to our hearts.

As we approach our 10th Anniversary, we are in an excellent position to look forward, as well as to the past. Under Carissa’s tenure, the UAC grew from a small program within ArtsMemphis, formerly the Greater Memphis Arts Council, into a robust arts organization that has had and will continue to have an impact on the landscape of our community. Since the UAC's inception, we have completed over 70 projects throughout Shelby County and have approximately 26 projects in design or fabrication. Both Memphis City Schools and the City of Memphis are committed to percent for art and we have a long list of clients, including the Memphis Area Transit Authority and the Riverfront Development Corporation, that have incorporated public art into their building programs. In the upcoming months, we will celebrate ten years of public art with an exhibition at the Memphis College of Art and a series of temporary public art projects.

The board has begun a national search to find someone who will embrace the original vision and guide the organization into the next ten years.

Please visit our website for a link to the job description and application guidelines.


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Temporary Public Art

Interesting temporary project

And a good argument for temporary public art.

Artist Opportunity

2009/2010 El Paseo Invitational Exhibition
The City of Palm Desert is now accepting applications for the 2009/2010 El Paseo Invitational Exhibition. The exhibition is showcased on the medians of El Paseo and is seen by thousands of visitors each year as well as advertised nationally, regionally, and locally. The exhibition is juried by a curator and runs for approximately two years.

Applications are due on May 10, 2008
Honorarium: $2,500 for each selected artwork

Exhibition Guidelines Overview:
· All artists, galleries, museums/non-profit arts organizations, and private collectors are encouraged to participate.

· All sculptures must be installed on one of the existing pads along the El Paseo median (see full guidelines for pad sizes).

· All sculptures MUST be designed with tabs or other devices that can be utilized to secure the artwork to the concrete pads.

· Artworks can be sold, but not removed for six months once installation is completed. If a sculpture from the exhibition is sold, the artist or representative must resubmit for approval of a replacement artwork.

· Installation will be paid for by the City of Palm Desert and scheduled starting October 20, 2008.

Richard Twedt, Public Arts Manager
City of Palm Desert
72-567 Highway 111
Palm Desert, CA 92260

Attn: 2009/2010 El Paseo Invitational Exhibition

For more information and the full Exhibition Guidelines visit the “Artist Opportunity” section at or call 760-568-5240.

Still There

As of yesterday - not sure what it's fate is at the moment.

We Like This, Too!

From a local blog.

Monday, October 22, 2007


South Main Arts + Arts in the Park = RiverArtsFest


Fri. 10/26, 6pm - 9pm
Sat. 10/27, 10am - 6pm
Sun. 10/28, 11am - 6pm

  • Three Invitational Art Exhibitions in Jay Etkin's Gallery featuring the works of Cynthia Thompson, Ian Lemmonds and Roger Cleaves
  • Juried Art Exhibition in the historic Central Station on South Main
  • Artists' market will feature items for sale from more than 150 talented artists from all over the country in all of the fine art categories from painting, photography, and sculpture to jewelry, wearable arts, and mixed media
  • "Taste of Downtown" from over ten downtown restaurants
  • Performance artists will exhibit their art along South Main
  • Two stages featuring a wide variety of performances such as ballet, jazz, and middle-eastern dance with scheduled appearances.

TAC Individual Artist Fellowships

Applicants May Apply For Individual Artist Fellowships In November

NASHVILLE - - The Tennessee Arts Commission has announced that applicants may apply for Fiscal Year 2009 Individual Artist Fellowships beginning Nov. 1. The fellowships will be available in: Visual Arts (three-dimensional), Craft, and Media (film and video); Music (instrumental performance and composition), Dance (performance and choreography), and Theater (acting); Literary Arts (fiction/creative nonfiction, and poetry). The award provides fellowships to outstanding professional artists who live and work in Tennessee. The Commission anticipates that each fellowship in FY 2009 will be $5,000. In the coming year, the Commission may award up to two fellowships in each category. Deadline for application is: Monday, Jan. 28, 2008. Guidelines and application here.

Friday, October 19, 2007

For Arkansas Artists

Crittenden Arts Council is presenting a show at Askew Nixon Ferguson Architects in Memphis, TN, “Art as a Sense of Place” which opens Friday, November 30, 2007 and will run through Thursday, December 20. The exhibition, curated by Tennessee visual artist, Anne Davey, will feature Arkansas artists. The deadline for submissions is Thursday, November 1, 2007. Interested artists who were born in Arkansas or currently live there may submit a maximum of five images of artwork burned to a CD. Please write your name on the outside of the CD in permanent ink. Include a slide sheet with your name and contact information, and the title, dimensions, media, date of completion, and price of each work. Mail to: Crittenden Arts Council, P.O. Box 1434, West Memphis, AR 72303. For further details, call 870/732-6260.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Artist Opportunities

Seattle, WA
Deadline: November 7, 2007
Art Opportunity:
Create a major artwork integrated in the design of a new underground light rail station serving the urban Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle, Washington. The art budget is $550,000 with design completed in December 2008.

The Capitol Hill Station will open in 2016, after tunneling is completed from downtown Seattle under Capitol Hill and Portage Bay to the University of Washington.

Sound Transit (ST) is committed to incorporating artwork and the contribution of artists into the built environment of the multi-modal transit system it is constructing across the Central Puget Sound region.

View and download application information and orientation materials including site context photos, station design drawings and a streaming video presentation of 30% design by the lead station architect at:

Calgary, Alberta Canada
Deadline: November 9 2007
Three Open Calls: The City of Calgary Public Art Program, in conjunction with business unit sponsors, is seeking artists for public art projects at three locations:
Apparatus Repair and Maintenance Facility (Calgary Fire Department)
Deadline for submission: Friday, November 15, 2007 at 16:30 Calgary time
Budget: $221,000 CDN
Expression of interest #07-039 Public Art Project for Apparatus Repair and Maintenance Facility
Southland Leisure Centre (Calgary Recreation)
Deadline for submission: Friday, November 9, 2007 at 16:30 Calgary time
Budget: $72,000 CDN
Expression of interest #07-040 Public Art Projects for Southland Leisure Centre and Max Bell Arena
Max Bell Arena (Calgary Recreation)
Deadline for submission: Friday, November 9, 2007 at 16:30 Calgary time
Budget: $50,000 CDN
Expression of interest #07-040 Public Art Projects for Southland Leisure Centre and Max Bell Arena

Download Project Details: Please download the relevant Expression of Interest (as listed above) from the Alberta Purchasing Connection ( for details on the public art project, the related capital project, submission evaluation criteria, how to create and send a submission, and who to contact if you have an inquiry.
Select "vendors" on the Purchasing Connection home page and register if you are a first-time user. Registration only needs to be done once.
Late, misdirected and/or incomplete submissions may not be considered.
For more information about the Public Art Program: Resources for artists, including a list of current opportunities for artists, can be found online at The City of Calgary Public Art Program page at

Long Island, NY

Deadline January 31, 2008
Public Art Initiative Request for Proposals (RFP) - Seasonal Park Installations - The Town of Huntington (Long Island, NY) requests submission of innovative proposals for seasonal public art installations in Town Parks. While open to any U.S. artist, strong preference will be given to artists of the region. Approximately 5 projects are expected to be selected for implementation & receipt of $1,000 honorarium each. Copies of the RFP can be obtained by contacting the Purchasing Division at or via fax @631-351-2833. Submission deadline is January 31, 2008.

Volunteers Needed for Rugby Gates Project

From Gregg Schlanger, Artist for the Rugby Gates Project:


Volunteers are needed this Saturday, October 20, 2007, 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM.

I will be going door to door in the Overton Crossing neighborhood with students from Frayser and Trezevant High Schools.

Please join us at 9:00 AM. Will meet at ArkWings on James Road and go door to door along Overton Crossing and the all of the side streets.

I hope to better inform the residents about the project and let them know they can get their name inscribed on a paver brick. We will hand out (or leave on the door) a brochure that explains the project and has a form to fill out for a brick inscription.

"Rugby Gates" will consist of two large 20 ft. tall brick columns and ten smaller 5 ft. tall columns. The two large columns will be placed close to the intersection of Overton Crossing and James Road. There will be one on each side on the road. They will be located approximately in the same location as the original stone gateway into Rugby Hills Estates. These columns represent the public gateway to the neighborhood.

The original brickyards of Memphis were in the Rugby area. While the brickyards no longer exist, the clay soil is still perfect for brick making. The brick columns will be made from the soil it sits upon.

There is a temporary brickyard at ArkWings. At ArkWings, local high school students are making bricks in wooden molds. The bricks produced here will be large pavers that will be used as the surface area around the two large columns. The paver bricks will be stamped with names from the community. There is no charge to have your name or the name of a loved one stamped into a paver brick.

I am also interested in gathering your stories. I would like to know about your memorable experiences of the area, what are your interests or connections to the area, why you live here, what brought you here or keeps you here and/or any other relevant stories/history about Rugby/Frayser. I am also interested in seeing any photographs you might have relevant to the

Please contact me before November 1, 2007 about contributing stories or to have your name stamped on a brick.
Gregg Schlanger, 931.249.0572

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Ernest Withers Dies at 85

from the Commercial Appeal
By Michael Lollar
Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Much of his work has been recognized in museum collections, but for photographer Ernest Withers the real joy was what friend Benjamin Hooks calls a simple "burning desire to shoot pictures."

Withers, 85, died about 8:35 p.m. Monday at Memphis Veterans Medical Center. His death followed a Sept. 23 stroke that led to complications, said his son, Joshua 'Billy' Withers of Los Angeles.

It was the final chapter in a career that began during World War II when Withers asked to replace an Army photographer who was being promoted. His duties included photographing engineering projects such as bridges and airfields that black soldiers helped build. Withers then began shooting photos for his camp newspaper.

From that humble beginning, Withers spent more than 60 years documenting history from the blues music of Beale Street to the civil rights movement, including legends B.B. King and Elvis Presley and iconic images from travels with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to the striking sanitation workers whose "I Am A Man" signs became a symbol of King's 1968 death in Memphis.

In the end, he was as well known in some circles as his subjects, said Memphis Brooks Museum of Art director Kaywin Feldman. "Ernest Withers is internationally recognized as one of the most important American photographers of the 20th century. Not only did Withers capture iconic images of the civil rights movement, but he also produced important photographs of the Negro Baseball League, Memphis musicians and daily life for African-Americans in Memphis. We are proud to have almost 200 of Withers' photographs in our permanent collection."

Some of Withers' collection may also end up at the as-yet unopened National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, the newest edition of the Smithsonian museums. "We have been investigating the various possibilities," said Jacquelyn Serwer, chief curator of the museum, "and we hope to have his work represented in our core collection. He's a major figure in several fields of photography."

Withers' agent, Tony Decaneas, owner of Panopticon Gallery in Boston, said Withers' name will become more important in time as people realize the scope and body of the collection. "I think in my opinion he's the greatest African-American photographer of all time." In addition to his best known civil rights photos and those of major entertainers, his work includes a virtual history of segregated black Memphis. "That's an undiscovered jewel in the collection. It's a major exhibition waiting to happen."

Hooks, the former NAACP chairman, was a close friend of Withers. The Hooks family ran a photography business when Withers was getting started in the same field. When his father was asked to photograph something, Hooks said he had to think of his family. "His first question was, 'Who's going to pay me?' Ernest would go to a meeting and just start snapping pictures and never make arrangements for who would pay."

Although he flirted with bankruptcy in the beginning, Withers was a true photojournalist, said Hooks, developing relationships and trust with his subjects and gaining entrée to everything from the recording studios at Stax Records to the Lorraine Motel on the day King died.

"He put together a living legacy. Thank God he did it. We are blessed as a people, black and white, that he amassed such a wonderful collection of pictures." Hooks said Withers worked as a free-lance photographer, shooting photographs and then selling them to anyone who might be interested.

He shot nightclub photos on Beale, then returned the following night to sell prints of the photos to patrons who wanted them as souvenirs. His news clients ranged from the old Memphis World and the Tri-State Defender to Newsweek, TIME, The New York Times, Jet, Ebony, People and The Commercial Appeal.

Picture editor Jeff McAdory at The Commercial Appeal remembered Withers as "a great photographer who possessed an amazing memory for the people and the moments in history he documented."

A nomination McAdory wrote was used to describe his work when Withers won a 2004 Missouri Honor School Medal for Distinguished Service in Journalism. "Because of his intimate familiarity with the people and geography, he was often the first or only photographer to capture momentous events as they unfolded, long before the national press became interested. Mr. Withers' self-published booklet on the infamous Emmett Till murder trial mobilized national interest. Of his photographs, he says, 'I look for things of time and value. None of my images deal in violence -- they deal in time.' "

Maxine Smith, former executive secretary of the Memphis Branch of the NAACP, said Withers had a knack for being in the right place at the right time during the civil rights movement.

"One of the most truthful forms of recording history is through photography, and Ernest was always there," she said. "He seemed to have a special sense of being where the integrity of the camera was needed. He wrote history with his film and with his genius as a photographer."'

Others recall Withers not only for photography but for a gentle spirit willing to lend a helping hand to others. Mark Stansbury, a gospel announcer for WDIA Radio and assistant to the president of the University of Memphis, grew up in the Foote Homes public housing project and took out a loan to attend his first year of college at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Mo., in the 1960s.

He had to drop out in his second year because his loan wasn't renewed. "I wrote to Ernest. I had learned photography at Lincoln and asked him if I could come do an apprenticeship with him. He said, 'Come on.' I met everybody from the janitor to the chairman of the board. When presidents would come to town, Ernest got Secret Service clearance for himself and made sure I got it too. I've made pictures of six different presidents."

At some point, Stansbury said, Withers decided he was becoming too comfortable as a photographer's assistant and told him he was treating him like one of his own children. He made telephone calls to several friends who arranged for Stansbury to attend Lane College in Jackson with a combination of financial aid, work-study grants and scholarships. "Had it not been for Ernest Withers, I would not be where I am today."

Son Billy Withers said his father made a comfortable living and made sure that his seven sons and a daughter attended college. "We were by no means rich, but we were comfortable, and he educated all of us." Stansbury was not the only person his father helped, he said. "He loved this city, and he loved people. That was his energy. He loved helping people. He used to help panhandlers on Beale Street. When he went to a restaurant, he would eat a little, then have them put the rest in a doggie box, then give it to the panhandlers. He had a great heart."'

His art was limited only by his integrity, said Billy Withers. His father took pride in refusing to capitalize on the death of King through morbid photographs. Withers was allowed into the morgue when King was carried away in 1968. "He refused to take pictures. He could have made a lot of money on something like that, but he didn't want his image to go out like that."

Withers' circle of friends was part of his ability to gain entrée, and it extended to all parts of society. Former Memphian Pallas Pidgeon was living in New York a decade ago when she kept seeing Withers' photographs in museums and exhibitions. "I called him when I came home (to Memphis) for Christmas, and we really hit it off. I finally got up the nerve to tell him Boss Crump was my great-grandfather."

Pidgeon said she doesn't want to be "too hard on" her grandfather, E. H. "Boss" Crump, the political legend and former Memphis mayor, but she recognizes that he helped perpetuate what she calls "a plantation mentality" in Memphis. It turned out, Crump had appointed Withers one of a group of nine blacks in the city's first black recruit class in the Memphis Police Department. Withers served while working as a photographer from 1948 to 1951, but he was dismissed for "conduct unbecoming of an officer."

Stansbury said Withers explained his dismissal by saying he "arrested the wrong bootlegger," while Hooks said he never knew the full story, but assumed there was a good chance the dismissal during that era was unjustified.

Pidgeon is completing a book, including several of Withers' photographs, on how the death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. changed the city. She said Withers' health seemed to be in decline in the last year, but she will remember him for his warm spirit and a keen sense of humor. "He always had a twinkle in his eye and a bounce in his step."

Withers leaves his wife, Dorothy; two other sons, Andrew Jerome Withers and Perry Withers, both of Memphis; and a daughter, Rosalind Withers of West Palm Beach, Fla.

Funeral arrangements were incomplete.

Lantana Projects Class of '07

Lantana Projects is looking for the most compelling and forward-thinking visual art created in 2007 by artists from or living in the Memphis area. Find more info here.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Mural in Danger

It came to our attention today that a new tenant in the building at the southeast corner of South Main and Pontotoc (in the South Main Arts District) is planning to paint over this mural, which has been on the building since 1983. The owner of the building, C.O.G.I.C., has apparently given the tenant permission, not realizing the history of the artwork.

Here is what we think is the story behind this mural:
This is one of several murals that local artist George Hunt created with students as part of the CETA Summer Youth Program in the early 80's, including artist Lurlynn Franklin. A few of these murals still exist, including this one and one on Vance Avenue.

If anyone has better information about the history of this mural, or an idea as to how to save it, please let us know!

Rugby Gates

One of the joys of being a part of this organization is that we occasionally get to be a part of a different community. Last week it was Frayser in North Memphis.

The Frayser Fall Festival was held at the Ed Rice Community Center. Community members of all ages visited, learned about community organizations, and participated in one of UrbanArt's projects - the Rugby Gates.

“Rugby Gates” is a community-based public art project consisting of two 20-foot-tall brick columns at Overton Crossing and James Road that both identify the entrance to the residential community and mark the location of the historic stone gates. In addition, five pairs of 5-foot-tall brick columns will flank Overton Crossing as it winds up to Woodlawn Terrace.

Artist Gregg Schlanger is using clay form the area to make the bricks for the project. He was on-hand at the festival meeting with people interested in having a name and/or date stamped on bricks that will be used as pavers. Some participants were able to actually make bricks as well.

He will also conduct interviews with residents to gather personal stories that will be translated into simple visual interpretations on tiles that will be part of the shorter columns. All of the columns will depict past landmarks and visual identities of the neighborhood, including the stone gates, water tower, the Wolf River, and the street car.
This project is funded by the City of Memphis Percent-for-Art Program with the UrbanArt Commission.

Below is an article about the project that ran in the Commercial Appeal Wednesday, October 10.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

CODA Arts Leadership 2007 Conference

“Arts Leadership: New Directions” Conference, hosted by the
Center for Outreach in the Development of the Arts (CODA), will be held at Rhodes College on October 25. The conference is free and the focus is “The Role of the Arts in Building Creative Communities.”

See more specific information about the conference here.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Film Screening: The End of Suburbia

Join urbanArt and ULI Memphis for a free screening of the film The End of Suburbia.

6 pm, Thursday, October 18
Myer Auditorium
Memphis College of Art
1930 Poplar Avenue

Since World War II North Americans have invested much of their newfound wealth in suburbia. It has promised a sense of space, affordability, family life and upward mobility. As the population of suburban sprawl has exploded in the past 50 years, so too has the suburban way of life become embedded in the American consciousness. Suburbia, and all it promises, has become the American Dream.

But as we enter the 21st century, serious questions are beginning to emerge about the sustainability of this way of life. With brutal honesty and a touch of irony, The End of Suburbia explores the American Way of Life and its prospects as the planet approaches a critical era, as global demand for fossil fuels begins to outstrip supply. World Oil Peak and the inevitable decline of fossil fuels are upon us now, some scientists and policy makers argue in this documentary.

The consequences of inaction in the face of this global crisis are enormous. What does Oil Peak mean for North America? As energy prices skyrocket in the coming years, how will the populations of suburbia react to the collapse of their dream? Are today's suburbs destined to become the slums of tomorrow? And what can be done NOW, individually and collectively, to avoid The End of Suburbia?

Hosted by Barrie Zwicker. Featuring James Howard Kunstler, Peter Calthorpe, Michael Klare, Richard Heinberg, Matthew Simmons, Michael C. Ruppert, Julian Darley, Colin Campbell, Kenneth Deffeyes, Ali Samsam Bakhtiari and Steve Andrews. Directed by Gregory Greene. Produced by Barry Silverthorn. Duration: 78 minutes

This event is free and open to the public.

Call-to-Artists: Overton Park Shell Project

The Overton Park Shell, now the Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts (Levitt Shell) is being renovated thanks to a partnership between the City of Memphis and Friends of the Levitt Shell, a 501c3 organization formed to restore the shell and provide free open-air concerts.

Changes to the shell include removing the benches and creating lawn seating, adding new seating near the stage and at the rear of the lawn, replacing the wings on either side of the shell, reducing the depth of the stage, and renovating the bathroom facilities and backstage areas. These changes will bring the facility back to its original 1936 footprint. In addition, many of the existing architectural materials will be reused, and new sustainable materials and techniques will be used for the renovation.

Project Description
The UAC is seeking an artist to create an enhancement for the Levitt Shell. Possible areas for enhancement include, but are not limited to, the following:
1. Along the sidewalks
Sidewalks will connect the entrance and entrance area seating with the bathrooms, and will lead to the seating near the stage. The sidewalks will be finished by the time the artwork is ready to be installed, so we are suggesting that artists consider creating a border for the sidewalks. A site plan will soon be available at
2. On the wall of the existing restroom building
The back wall of this building, which measures approximately 9' x 44', will face the lawn seating.
3. At the entrance
The main entrance to the shell will be behind the Brooks Museum and will be at the top of a slope looking down to the shell. This creates an opportunity for a grand portal to the area. This area may also contain plaques about the history of the shell, and artists may consider incorporating these plaques into the artwork.

The enhancement should reflect the historical nature of the park, which was established in 1906. The shell was built in 1936 as a project for the Works Progress Administration. It served as the site of Elvis Presley's first paid concert in 1954. The shell is situated in Overton Park, which also houses the Memphis Zoo, the Brooks Museum of Art, Memphis College of Art, a 9-hole golf course, an old forest arboretum and many memorials, monuments and sculptures.

Overton Park Shell before renovations.

Rendering of the renovated shell.

Please check our website,, for more images and information about the shell.

Budget: $75,000
Deadline: 4:00 PM, November 21
Eligibility: National

· Typed, one-page letter of interest that explains your general concept including theme and materials.
· A sketch may be included but must be no larger than 8.5 x 11 inches. Artists with no previous experience in public art are encouraged to send some type of visual representation of their concept. Do not send original artwork.
· Resume, not to exceed 2 pages.
· Images of your work - either slides or digital, following these guidelines: Please note that only the first five images may be viewed during the first round of selection.
  • Slides - up to 10 slides labeled with your name and artwork title, in a plastic slide sheet.
  • Digital - up to 10 digital images. Images must be JPEG format, 1920 pixels maximum on the longest side, 72 dpi, with compression settings resulting in the best image quality under 2MB file size.
· Image identification sheet
· List of three references, including current phone number.
· Self-addressed, stamped envelope with postage sufficient for the return of your materials. Materials will not be returned without one.

Send applications to:
UrbanArt Commission
Attn: Shell Project
8 South Third Street, Suite 100
Memphis, TN 38103

All proposals must be received by 4:00 PM, Wednesday, November 21, 2007
· To ensure fairness to all, there are no extensions or waivers of deadlines.
· Applicants will be notified by letter as to the status of their application.

For information contact the UrbanArt Commission:
Elizabeth Alley, Director of Public Art

Commissioning of artists by the UrbanArt Commission and the pursuit of all UrbanArt Commission activities are implemented without preference to racial or ethnic origins, gender, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, disability or age.

The UrbanArt Commission reserves the right to modify this solicitation and to request additional information or proposals from any or all participating artists.

The UrbanArt Commission reserves the right to accept or reject, at any time prior to
the commissioning of a work, any or all proposals when the acceptance, rejection, waiver or advertisement would be in the best interest of the project. In addition, the UrbanArt Commission may solicit proposals from artists not responding to this call and reserves the right to select an artist outside of the pool of artists responding to this call.

The staff of the UrbanArtCommission shall be responsible for all correspondence and communication by and between applicants and members of selection panels. Discussion regarding these projects by and between any applicant and any member of a selection panel outside of regularly scheduled meetings during the selection process may be grounds for the disqualification of the applicant. Such determination shall be in the sole discretion of the UrbanArt Commission.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Temporary Public Art in NYC

Portraits of Hope, a national non-profit organization specializing in programs for children and adults that result in "high-profile, motivational art, education, and creative therapy projects which transform public landscapes" has created a temporary public art project that will transform NYC's yellow taxis into a "Garden in Transit". Participation by cab owners is voluntary, and the vinyl flowers are provided by Portraits of Hope.


Friday, September 14, 2007

Temporary Public Art in Indianapolis

This article from Indy Insights with Bill Benner helps to illustrate the importance not only of public art, but of temporary public art and supporting the arts in general.

Bye-bye, Opie (And Dear Sarah); Hello, Romans

Opie is leaving, and I'm sad. But the Romans are coming, and I'm glad.

Actually, it's artist Julian Opie's works of public art that are disappearing from the downtown landscape. The exhibit, titled "Signs," could be seen at numerous locations. My favorite was "Sarah Dancing," my little LED girlfriend softly swaying to the beat at the corner of Illinois and Maryland streets.

Like the Tom Otterness sculptures that preceded Opie, these public displays give our city an amusing, beguiling quirkiness that sets it apart. The good news is that some Otterness pieces are returning, and that Opie's works will be replaced by something new and different.

Still, Sarah, I'm going to miss you.

In the meantime, our robust Indianapolis Museum of Art is preparing to bring in Roman Art from the Romanart Louvre. This will be the first display in the United States of this traveling exhibit, quite a coup for the IMA. Nearly 200 pieces of Roman art will be on display. Beginning on Sept. 23, you can take a little trip back in time ... like 2,000 years!

Public art, the under-construction Cultural Trail, the IMA and many, many other offerings underscore the investment made in the arts and how it enriches the life of the community in general. Yes, there is a definite financial kick: the Arts Council of Indianapolis estimates direct annual spending approaching nearly $500 million annually.

But it's more than that. In an enlightening, thought-provoking presentation peppered with humor at last week's sold-out Start With Art luncheon, keynote speaker and international advocate for the arts Sir Ken Robinson reminded the audience of the important role arts plays, citing a city's need to be "diverse, dynamic and distinct."

In a relatively short time, Indianapolis had made great strides in those three areas. But complacency would be a mistake. As Hizzoner, Mayor Bart Peterson said, "The thing I love about Indianapolis in general and the arts community in particular is that we never say, 'it's good enough ... or that we're done growing or getting better.' Arts are strong here, and getting stronger."

This Looks Interesting


Seeking proposal submissions for installation works, moveable sculpture, banners, performers, poets, dancers, singers, musicians, actors, puppeteers, story tellers, magicians, street performers, cabaret performers, or something of which we have not yet dreamed. One night, December 31, 2007. Attendance at First Night is estimated at 20,000. All individual artists and performers or arts organizations that are selected to participate in First Night Saint Louis 2007 will be paid a fee for their work. Entry fee.


First Night Saint Louis
634 North Grand Blvd Suite 10B
St Louis MO 63103


Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Workshops for MATA Project

The UAC is hosting workshops for artists who are interested in applying for the MATA South Terminal project. The workshops, which will be like an open house with drawings of the new facility available for viewing, will be held at the UAC offices at 8 S. Third Street, Suite 100.

Wednesday, September 5 at noon
Thursday, September 6 at 5:00 PM
UAC office, 8 S. Third Street, Suite 100 (entrance on Madison)

For more information contact:
Elizabeth Alley, Director of Public Art
or visit our web site,
Images of the project are available here.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Don't Forget to Apply!

First Tennessee ArtForum
Deadline: this Friday, August 31
See more here.

I'm very proud of everyone who has gotten their entries in already - before the deadline!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Public Art Opportunity in PA

The City of Philadelphia’s Department of Public Property, Public Art Division, in conjunction with the Philadelphia Water Department, announces a competition for the commissioning of site specific artwork for the Manayunk CSO Basin at the Venice Island Recreation Center located between the Manayunk Canal and the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. A total budget of up to $275,000 has been allocated for this Percent for Art project. The competition is open to artists or collaborative teams who reside in the U.S. Prior experience in public art is not required. The deadline for entries is Friday, September 28, 2007 at 4:00 p.m.

For a prospectus please visit:

Margot Berg, Director, Public Art Division, 215-686-4596,
Theresa Rose, Program Assistant, 215-686-4593,

Thursday, August 16, 2007

New UAC Project - MATA South Terminal

The UrbanArt Commission (UAC) is working with the Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA) on the new South Intermodal Terminal. May be an exterior enhancement visible to vehicular traffic on Airways and Brooks, or a more integrated interior piece. The budget is $50,000, and includes the artist’s design fee, fabrication, installation, and all costs associated with the creation of the artwork, including travel if a non-local artist is selected. This project is open to artists who live in the United States. Deadline: 9/26/07

Application guidelines and images of the site are available at
Contact: Elizabeth Alley, Director of Public Art, 901.525.0802

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Public Art Opportunity in RI


The goal of the public art project at T. F. Green Airport is to commission site-specific artwork that enhances the physical environment and provides an amenity for diverse groups of citizens passing through the facility. For new visitors to Rhode Island, it will provide an engaging introduction to the state and perhaps a diversion from what can be a stressful travel process. A total of up to $487,500 has been designated for the acquisition of interior public art for the project. Inclusive in this budget are ALL COSTS for fabrication, installation and transportation of artwork, as well as artist's fees and site preparation. Entry fee.


Cristina De Chiera

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Town Village Audubon Park Requests Art Teacher

The activity director for a local retirement home is looking
for an artist/art teacher to teach a 5 week workshop for the
residents. The workshop can be anything from painting to
fabric arts. They offer workshops throughout the year so this
could be an ongoing opportunity for a local artist who wants
to get some teaching experience. Any interested parties can
contact the number listed below.

Shawna Welch

Resident Programs Director

Town Village Audubon Park

950 Cherry Road

Memphis, TN 38117

(901) 537-0002

Public Art Opportunities in CA & MO


Budget, $80,000, all-inclusive. As part of the City of Sunnyvale Art in Private Development Ordinance, we are seeking an artist to create an exterior site-specific, original public artwork for the public plaza at the Bordeaux Center. Works in a variety of durable media and forms will be considered including free standing sculpture, installations, and functional elements such as seating. The Bordeaux Center is currently being constructed as a spec building. Eligibility: All artists with experience in public art living in the USA. Info:

Bordeaux Center Office Park
Sunnyvale California



Emerson, a St Louis based corporation, is issuing a call for entry to artists or artist collaborations that are interested in submitting qualifications and a concept proposal to create unique artwork for one or more locations in the new auditorium lobby at Emerson Corporate Headquarters. Entry fee.


William Shearburn Gallery
4735 McPherson Av
St Louis MO 63108


Wednesday, August 1, 2007

4th Annual First Tennessee ArtForum

The call-to-artists is available for the 4th Annual First Tennessee ArtForum. First Tennessee Bank, the sponsor of the club level at FedExForum, is once again offering artists an opportunity to exhibit artwork in the arena.

A committee will select 3 to 4 artists to exhibit approximately 4 to 8 artworks each, depending on the space available. Each artist that is selected will receive a $2500 honorarium and will have his or her artwork installed in the First Tennessee Club Level at FedExForum for one year.

For more information about this opportunity, please visit our website.

Friday, July 13, 2007

And Another

Artist Opportunity: Public Art Initiative Request for Qualifications (RFQ) - Waldbaums Community Mural Project - The Town of Huntington (Long Island, NY) requests submission of qualifications from professional mural artists, preferably with prior experience supervising teen apprentices in executing community murals. While open to any U.S. artist, strong preference will be given to artists of the region. Tentative project budget of $30,000-$50,000, not including in-kind support. Copies of the RFP can be obtained from the Town’s web site or by contacting the Division of Cultural Affairs, 631-351-3099. Submission deadline is September 21, 2007.

Another Opportunity

You should apply for this project - especially if you have not used CaFE yet - once you do it the first time it gets easier.

Broomfield CO - The City and County of Broomfield Public Art Committee seeks artist proposals for two public art sculpture projects to be located in two city and county parks. Proposals are due by 4:30 p.m. on Monday, August 13, 2007. Late or incomplete proposals will not be accepted.

Project Description

Proposals may be submitted for commission or direct purchase of sculpture to be installed in two city and county parks: Miramonte Boulevard and Kohl Street Park, and Interlocken East Park. The budget per park site is $50,000; honorariums will be paid to semifinalists submitting maquettes. Details for each site proposal as well as aerial photos and submission information can be viewed and downloaded on the 2007 Public Art Opportunities link at:

Estimated Timeline:
Requests for Proposal (RFP) posted: July 13, 2007
Deadline for RFP submittal: August 13
Semi-finalists notified: August 17
Deadline for semi-finalists’ maquettes: September 10
Finalists notified: September 24
Deadline for refined concepts and work plans: October 8
Council review of finalists’ proposals: October 23
Installations completed by: March 31, 2008

How to Apply

Proposals are due by 4:30 p.m. on Monday, August 13, by hand delivery or email to the attention of Alisa Zimmerman, Cultural Affairs Manager, located at One DesCombes Drive, Broomfield CO, 80020; email:

Applications may also be posted beginning Monday, July 30, on CaFEtm at:; apply to “Broomfield – Interlocken East Park” and/or “Broomfield – Miramonte and Kohl Park.” Registration is free for first-time users.

Program Information

The public art sculpture projects represent the second phase of public art initiated by the City and County of Broomfield Public Art Committee. The first project, Art Benches, was completed in November 2006 and consists of ten commissioned benches installed in parks and open space areas.

For information about the program and committee, master plan and guidelines, please contact the Cultural Affairs Office at 303-464-5835 or 5829 or visit:

The City and County of Broomfield Cultural Affairs Division, established in 2001, oversees development of the performing and visual arts in the Broomfield community, and programming and rental of the Broomfield Auditorium. For further information, please call 303-464-5835 or visit:

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Opportunities for Artists

Phoenix, AZ
METRO Light Rail is currently working on a 3 mile expansion in the city of Phoenix, Arizona with several public art opportunities. There are four commissions for work at the light rail stations and a parking structure, from $235,000 - $245,000 and two commissions to work on traction power sub stations at $50,000. Application due date is August 6, for more information please visit our website at

Santa Cruz, CA
The City of Santa Cruz Public Art Committee invites you to submit qualifications for proposing a public art concept for artwork to be located at Poet’s Park, a new neighborhood park in the Beach Flats neighborhood. Finalists will be paid an honorarium of $500 to develop design/concept ideas. Total project budget is $25,000. Deadline to apply is July 27, 2007. Photos and site design plans are available. For more information contact Crystal Birns at (831) 420-5256 or email
(Or UrbanArt can email the RFQ to you.)

Seminole, FL
Project: Passenger (Bus) Shelter
Budget: $50,000
Postmark Deadline: August 1, 2007
An open call-to-artists for the design, fabrication, and installation of a passenger (bus) shelter to be located in the City of Seminole, FL. Project Budget $50,000. Postmark Deadline: August 1, 2007. For complete project information, graphics, and application instructions, visit Pinellas County’s Cultural Affairs PUBLIC ART web-page at or contact: Amber Overby at (727) 384-6000 ext. 3049 or

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Good Definition of Public Art

Public Art

involvement of artists
in the same places
in which the time, energy and money
of the community are engaged

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Public Art Conference in Las Vegas - Part 3

Jaume Plensa

Spanish artist Jaume Plensa presented an overview of his work, including the Crown Fountain in Chicago's Millenium Park.

He said so much and he said it so well I can't really do it justice here - instead I will let some of his artwork speak for itself. (I can tell you that he said either "obsessed" or "obsession" 10 times during his talk.)

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Public Art Conference in Las Vegas - Part 2

Unfixed: Exploring Temporary Public Projects

Presenters: Marina Zurkow, Artist; Katie Salen, Artist; Carole Stakenas, Curator and Director, LACE; Kendal Henry, Public Art Consultant, Director of Culture and Economic Development, Newburgh, NY

Marina Zurkow and Katie Salen began by discussing their collaborations on temporary public art projects, most notably Karaoke Ice. This project, which was originally commissioned for ZeroOne San Jose: A Global Festival of Art on the Edge, is described on the Karaoke Ice web site as follows:
Imagine an ice cream truck transformed into a mobile karaoke unit, driven by a squirrel cub with a penchant for cheap magic, deployed to spark spontaneous interaction between passersby.
This project brings different aspects of popular culture into play in one mobile unit. Please visit the web site, Karaoke Ice, as my descriptions here cannot do this project justice.

Another interesting presentation was by Kendal Henry about his work with CEC ArtsLink, an international arts organization that supports exchange of artists and cultural managers between the US and Europe, Russia and Eurasia.

Kendal spoke about two of his experiences working in Russia with American and Russian artists and community members. For one project, all of the information he and artist Sheila Levrant de Bretteville had before they arrived was that they would be working with a concrete company. The location for the project was an old water tower in the center of the city. Working with community members, they created abstract imagery together with Russian letters - the letters were the first letter in each word of a poem that had been written for the project, and they were engraved into concrete that replaced the crumbling step at the entrance. For the opening, the poem was filled in with chalk. After the initial temporary project was over, the concrete slab engraved with letters remained, and the history museum created a program for poets to create new poems and fill the letters in on an ongoing, temporary basis.

The artists and cultural managers involved in these projects were all working long-distance and stated how important it is to make local connections. Marina Zurkow and Katie Salen created a temporary project at Fremont Street for the conference, and worked with Russian ice sculptor/artist Anfim Khanikov, obliging them to make connections with other ice sculptors in the area, as well as a nearby hotel with a walk-in freezer.

Both of these projects capture an aspect of what is important in temporary art - reaching out to the community in some way, especially through an element of fun. They stressed that the public at large will be more interested if temporary art is not framed as "capital A art."

Do Not Forget to Apply for City School Projects!!!

Deadline is tomorrow, June 8 at 4:00 pm!

Three new projects with Memphis City Schools:
Douglass High School, Manassas High School, White Station Middle School

Art Enhancement Budgets: $85,000 - $144,500 per school
Artist Eligibility: Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee Artists

Click here for the call-to-artists. And please contact us with any questions.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Public Art Conference in Las Vegas - Part 1

After spending a few days surrounded by others who do what we do in the field of public art, the UrbanArt blog is going to share with you some of the things that were said and lessons that were learned, starting with the very first session titled, "Ante Up, Do the Rules of the 'Game' Determine the Outcome."

Here are a few questions and answers by the participants of this discussion: Ralph Helmick, Artist; Janet Kagan, Principal, Percent for Art Collaborative; Mary Lucking, Artist; Pasha Rafat, Artist and Professor of Art, UNLV; Norie Sato, Artist; Ruri Yampolsky, Director of Public Art, Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs

1. What are the conditions and circumstances in which you produce your best work?
Ralph Helmick: Clarity about the project and knowing the parameters that surround the project. Acknowledgment of the administrative component - knowing ahead of time that you are responsible for things such as engineering, insurance, etc.

2. What gets in your way?
Mary Lucking: She likes to have a strong organization that knows art and will tell her if she's going down the wrong path, and will also follow her through the project, through development, and will help her in the process.

3. How do you help artists make the best art they can make?
Ruri Yampolsky: She believes in clarity from the beginning - from the call-to-artists. They state from the beginning who the artists will be working with and are clear on when things are due.

4. How do you balance the artist's flexibility with community needs?
Ruri Yampolsky: They have a public art advisory committee (similar to UrbanArt's Public Art Oversight Committee) who they discuss the project with in advance, in addition to working closely with the department that the project is connected with and meeting with the community about their expectations.

5. Which type of call-to-artists do you prefer?
Ralph Helmick: He likes it when he is called directly (to which all of the project managers in the room gave a hearty chuckle). But seriously, he does like when a small group of artists, from 6 to 8, is called directly to be interviewed, based on their previous work and the scope of the project. He said that the artist has to give up a bit of ego during the artist selection process, but at the same time acknowledges that artists don't want to have to give up too much of their ego during the process. He stated that artists need to be "aesthetically generous" with the community - to engage visually curious people who have not had extensive art training.

6. How do you handle the different types of calls-to-artists?
Mary Lucking: She likes having the options of different public art projects to choose from, but does not like it as much as she used to because of the time and energy that goes into putting together proposals for different types of projects. She now concentrates on both large-scale projects and smaller, usually temporary projects that she calls "research and development." Because these projects have smaller budgets and a shorter time-frame, they allow her to work more creatively and test out ideas for larger projects.

7. Who is responsible for teaching artists about public art?
Ralph Helmick: Temporary projects are a great way to develop artists and to educate the community about public art. He also stated that art administrators have to be clear about the practical things involved in a public art project. He suggested linking young artists with more experienced artists.

Whew. That was not even half of the notes from that session, but gives a good idea of what was discussed and how much information there was to take in.

Please come back for information from the session "Unfixed: Exploring Temporary Public Projects."

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

So Much Going on in Memphis!!!

Check out these calls to artists for events in Memphis:

RIVERARTSFEST CALLS FOR ARTISTS (oops - this one is due today - hurry up and apply!)
Fine artists nationwide are invited to submit entries for inaugural RiverArtsFest in the heart of the historic South Main Arts District of Downtown Memphis.
The juried show will be held Oct. 26-28. The deadline for submissions is May 30 electronically via the RiverArtsFest website at

The festival will feature both a Juried Art Exhibition and Juried Artist Market. Ken Marvel of LewAllen Contemporary in Santa Fe will select approximately 50 artists for the exhibition, while a five-person jury will select up to 150 participants for the artist market. Winners will be announced June 30th.

Artists may submit applications to one or both of the competitions in the following categories: ceramics, digital art, drawing, fiber, glass, graphics and printmaking, jewelry, metalworks, mixed media, painting, photography, sculpture and wood. Application details are available on the website.

Free and open to the public, RiverArtsFest will celebrate the visual, performing and culinary arts with activities for all ages. The festival is sponsored by former festival organizers of Arts in the Park and the South Main Association. For more information, call 901-482-1399.

Call for Proposals: The Memphis Downtown Storefront Art Project
The Rhodes College Center for the Outreach and Development of the Arts (CODA) and the Center City Commission (CCC) are working together to install art of any media in vacant storefront windows along Main Street between Adams and Union in downtown Memphis. The installations will be temporary, so should be relatively easy to put up and take down. Artists that become involved with the project will receive a base stipend of $500 for materials and installation of work in the window. Students in BFA and MFA programs are also strongly encouraged to to apply.

CODA will retain ownership of the work and shared rights of reproduction upon completion.

Deadline for submissions is July 1, 2007.

Please send an artist's statement of no more than 300 words, 5-10 images of your work in a jpeg format, and any ideas that you may have regarding the project.

Direct all submissions and inquiries to Lauren Kennedy.
phone: 870.225.9388

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Workshops for New School Projects This Week

The UrbanArt Commission is hosting two artist workshops this week for the current Memphis City Schools' Call to Artists.

Workshop Description
The UAC will be hosting two separate artist workshops where artists and designers who are interested in applying can access detailed information about the Memphis City Schools Projects.

Workshop Dates and Times
*Wednesday, May 23, 2007 at 5:30 P.M. at UAC office
*Thursday, May 24, 2007 at 12:00 (Noon) at UAC office
Our office is located at 8 S. Third Street, Memphis, TN 38103
(south-east corner of Third and Madison, enter our office from Madison).
A parking garage sits east of office entry (on Madison) and costs about 5 dollars.

Project Description
Memphis City Schools is building three new schools including Douglass High School,
Manassas High School, and White Station Middle School. Images and additional
information about each of the schools can be found on the UrbanArt Commission website

Please remember that artist proposals are due by 4:00 PM June 8, 2007.
If you would like to attend one of the workshops or if you have additional questions about the Memphis City Schools Projects, please contact:
Melanie (Mel) Spillman, Project Manager

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Temporary Public Art in NY

From yesterday's New York Times.

Funded by the Public Art Fund, this public art piece by Beth Campbell, a Brooklyn artist, is in a nondescript storefront vaguely advertising personal growth. When you look inside the locked front doors, you see the same storefront repeated five times, down to the gum on the floor.

From the article:
Ms. Campbell, 35, said she was partly inspired to create the storefront — which appears to be a vague combination of travel agency and life-coaching service — by the nameless stores she sees in Greenpoint, where she lives.

“They’re kind of like Fed Ex and UPS places that sell milk and Avon, and maybe you can get your taxes done there,” she said. But the idea arose more from a desire to create a public artwork that did not immediately announce itself as art, one that caught people in mid-stride and played with their expectations and their perceptions of real and recreated, copy and original.

On view in Lower Manhattan through June 24, 125 Maiden Lane.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Winchester Park/Intown Charrette Paper Release Invitation

Join the Memphis Medical Center, St. Mary's Episcopal Cathedral and the UrbanArt Commission for the release of the Post-Charrette Paper

Learn what has happened, what is happening now and how you can get involved.

4:30 - 6:30 pm, Monday, May 14th
St. Mary's Cathedral, 700 Poplar Avenue

For more information or to obtain a copy of the charrette paper call 901-525-0880.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Grand Opening of The Links at Riverside

Today was the grand opening of The Links at Riverside, a renovated 9-hole public golf course that includes one of our public art projects by Jim Wallace of the National Ornamental Metal Museum. The project is part of the City of Memphis Percent for Art Program.

Riverside was actually the first public golf course in Memphis. When it opened in 1913 it was an 18-hole course, but the Mighty Mississippi took 9 of those holes over the years.

In it's newest incarnation, Riverside sports a new clubhouse with a pro shop, grill, patio and putting green. It is only 2 miles from downtown and set among gorgeous oak trees. The best part, of course, is the hand-crafted gate at the entrance. It was a bit dark today because of the rain, but here are some pictures that show a bit of the detail of the artwork.

Mayor Herenton was there.

The ribbon was cut.

Beautiful old trees.

Gates by Jim Wallace.

The Links at Riverside should be open for golfing tomorrow, if there is no rain. Go for a visit - just to see those beautiful gates and the really big trees.
465 South Parkway West

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

New Public Art Projects with Memphis City Schools

Three new projects with Memphis City Schools:
Douglass High School, Manassas High School, White Station Middle School

Art Enhancement Budgets: $85,000 - $144,500 per school
Proposal Deadline: 4:00 pm, June 8, 2007
Artist Eligibility: Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee Artists

Click here for the call-to-artists. And please contact us with any questions.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Deadline 4/30/07! Call-to-Artists for UrbanArt's 10th Anniversary

Don't forget! Proposals due Monday!!!

Interactions/ Interruptions: 10th Anniversary Celebration

The UrbanArt Commission is approaching its 10th Anniversary and is commemorating this milestone with a series of events and programs, including the installation of 10 temporary public art pieces, an exhibition of models, drawings and photographs from projects completed over the past 10 years and an audio tour of public art. The anniversary will be recognized during the Spring of 2008.

The title Interactions/Interruptions reflects how temporary public art can be used to change our perception of the space and community around us. It interrupts our environment and forces us to interact with the art and the ideas expressed therein. Interactions/ Interruptions is intended to bring greater visibility to Memphis and public art, to educate the public about the value of public art in the urban landscape and to raise the appreciation of non- traditional and contemporary art.

We are seeking five professional artists from the tri-state area (TN, MS, AR) to create temporary public artworks to be displayed around Memphis.

Other components of the temporary public art project include:
1. A large-scale installation by Seattle artist Dan Corson who often uses technology such as interactive (motion-sensored) light installations in his artworks.
2. Temporary public art projects by local college-level student artists. A request for student proposals will be distributed in September 2007. Four student proposals will be chosen by our selection committee.

The budget for professional artists is $5,000 for each project.

Applications are due by 4:00 P.M., April 30, 2007.

The full call-to-artists can be found here. Or call 901.525.0880 for more information.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Dolph Smith

We got a press release recently that our own Dolph Smith will be teaching book binding classes this fall at Caifiordi School of Art in Italy.

He will teach two separate week long classes, one beginning September 3 and the other September 10th. Constance Grayson, director of Caifiordi states that "Dolph is so talented and such an exceptional teacher that we know these classes will be excellent creative opportunities even for a true beginner."

Memphians know Dolph for his watercolors, books and small paper sculptures. He also worked with Kay Lindsey to create the massive sculpture Confluence, at the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts. Kay, a poet and former Memphian, wrote a poem called The Origin of Applause that Dolph worked into a sculpture that spans the length of the mezzanine level at the Cannon Center. He created tiny paper maquettes and the good folks at the National Ornamental Metal Museum transformed his ideas into metal.

The results are amazing and need to be seen in person to be fully appreciated.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

North to Alaska

This looks like a fun project to apply for. We would love to see more local artists apply for national projects. Just give us a call if you need a pep talk.

The Alaska State Council on the Arts (ASCA) announces a Call for Artists for the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC). The deadline is May 23, 2007 and the total art budget is approximately $700,000 for three sites. For the complete Request for Qualifications (RFQ), visit Artist Opportunities on the ASCA website:

Contact: Andrea Noble (907) 269-6605 or 1-888-278-7424

Monday, April 9, 2007

Trolley Station Artwork Honored by American Society of Mosaic Artists

The mosaic mural by Jeanne Seagle at the Madison Avenue Trolley Line's Orleans Station was selected for inclusion in Mosaic Arts International, an annual exhibit that is part of the American Society of Mosaic Artists' annual conference. A digital image of the mural will be projected at the exhibit, which is held at the Mesa Arts Center in Mesa, AZ from March 20 to April 29.

Seagle was commissioned by the Memphis Area Transit Authority through UrbanArt to create the mural, which is installed on an 8-foot tall, 5-foot diameter column and depicts images of Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, B.B. King and Johnny Cash, all of whom recorded at Sun Studio, which is right around the corner from this trolley stop.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Today! Panel Discussion & Tom Otterness Lecture

Don't forget! Panel discussion today about public art including how it can be used to engage students on college campuses.

Thursday, April 5
3:00-5:00 P.M.
University of Memphis, Jones Hall Room 212

And don't forget about the Tom Otterness lecture!
Thursday, April 5
7:00 P.M.
University of Memphis, Rose Theater

Both events are free and open to the public, seating will be limited based on first come first serve.
We hope to see you there!

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Arts Advocacy Day

Just last week... or the week before... or the middle of March... anyway, recently our own Melanie Spillman joined a group of local arts administrators for a trip to Nashville for Arts Advocacy Day. It is an annual event organized by Tennesseans for the Arts, and it gives individuals from all over the state a chance to visit with members of the legislature to talk about the importance of the arts. Become a member of Tennesseans for the Arts and you get a subscription to their newsletter, The Arts Advocate; email Action Alerts about important arts issues; and invitations to Arts Advocacy Day and the Governor's Awards in the Arts.

That's Mel with Senator Mark Norris and other arts advocates.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Nashville Call-to-Artists

Hurry! Deadline is soon!

Request for Qualifications, Nashville, TN

Deadline Monday, April 2, 2007, 3 p.m. Central Daylight Time: Project Budget: $45,000.

Nashville Children’s Theatre seeks artists to construct a large sculpture of a dragon that will welcome visitors to the renovated and expanded theatre facility on 2nd Avenue South in downtown Nashville. This project, open to Southeastern Regional Artists, will be located in the courtyard directly across from the front entrance to the expanded lobby, acting as an icon and representation of the Theatre’s history, mission and values.The complete Call to artists is available on Nashville Children’s Theatre website – The direct link to the Call to Artists is

For more information, please contact Nashville Children’s Theatre at or visit the website

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Art in the Airport - Nashville

The deadline for Arts at the Airport’s 2007-2008 Flying Solo Call for Proposals is FRIDAY, APRIL 6th at 4:00pm. The Call for Proposals can be found at:

If you have any questions, please contact Curator Andee Rudloff at:

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Public Art Panel Discussion

Thursday, April 5
3:00-5:00 P.M.
University of Memphis, Jones Hall Room 212

This panel discussion is geared toward art students, faculty and anyone who might be interested in hearing more about public art including how it can be used to engage students on college campuses. The panelists will include artists who have completed UrbanArt Commission projects as well as arts professionals who will comment on the importance and effectiveness of public art in our community.

And don't forget about the Tom Otterness lecture!
Thursday, April 5
7:00 P.M.
University of Memphis, Rose Theater

Tom Otterness, a high profile public artist from New York, will be presenting a slide lecture about his artwork and his successful career as a public artist.

Both events are free and open to the public, seating will be limited based on first come first serve. If you have additional questions about these events (including where to park) please contact Mel Spillman 525.0880, or by email
We hope to see you there!

These programs are sponsored by an ABC Grant from the Greater Memphis Arts Council.