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 www.palmdesertart.org 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: www.soundtransit.org/artopportunities

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 (http://www.purchasingconnection.ca/) 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 www.calgary.ca/publicart.

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 purchasing@town.huntington.ny.us 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
e-mail: schlangerg@apsu.edu

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 www.withorwithout.org
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, www.withorwithout.org, 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.