Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Mesquite hosts public art contest modeled after Dallas project
Regional artists who have not previously exhibited in Mesquite can submit works for the project.
MESQUITE Taking cues from Dallas’ Henderson Art Project and The Outdoor Sculpture Tour in Abilene, Mesquite will host their own public art project called Art Around Town. The Mesquite Arts Council hopes to install the first piece by late spring.
Arts Council Managing Director Mike Templeton says that the goal of the project is to support Mayor John Monaco’s focus on project renewal and revitalization of the city. The idea is to promote artful living in Mesquite while improving the city’s appearance.
The idea was borne from the Art Council’s annual board of directors’ retreat. While brainstorming ideas to expand programming, the group was inspired by the success of both Abilene’s and Dallas’ current projects in attracting visitors to each of the cities while promoting the arts.
Mesquite's art project will be funded by the Arts Council, a private non-profit. The money will come from the 1% of tax revenues that it receives for managing the city’s hotel-motel taxes.
During the first year of the project, three pieces will be installed in carefully-chosen areas. Giving consideration to code and traffic limitations, places identified as high traffic areas -- such as pocket parks and nature trails -- will serve as prime locations for the works of art.
The first piece will be installed during late spring, and each of the first three pieces will display for two years. Next year, the council will add another three works to the collection.
Regional artists who have not previously exhibited in the city will be invited to submit works for the project. Each artist will receive a $1,000 stipend. Along with that, the council will provide insurance and necessary structures to display the works of art.
Two of the artists for this year’s installation have already been chosen. Laura Abrams’ sculpture entitled Water Lily will be prominently displayed on a landscaped island at the post office on Galloway Avenue. Her piece Sugar Magnolia happens to be a part of the Henderson Art Project. The second piece, by Brad Abrams — also a HAP artist — will display in front of the Mesquite Arts Center. The unnamed piece stands over 17-feet and can turn.
In addition to the inaugural works of art, the council plans to have a variety of contemporary pieces as a part of the project.
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