Archive for the ‘Public Art’ Category

City of Spartanburg, SC, Selected as Recipient of up to $1 million from Bloomberg Philanthropies for Public Art Project

June 29, 2015

Bloomberg Philanthropies today announced that the City of Spartanburg, SC, has been selected as one of four cities to receive up to $1 million as part of the Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge, a new program aimed at supporting temporary public art projects that engage communities, enhance creativity, and enrich the vibrancy of cities. The city’s project, “Seeing Spartanburg in a New Light,” will highlight public safety and the relationship between citizens and law enforcement officers in Spartanburg, and will be developed and executed over the next 24 months.

Bloomberg Philanthropies invited mayors of US cities with 30,000 residents or more to submit proposals for innovative temporary public art projects that address a civic issue, and demonstrate close collaboration between artists or arts organizations and city government. Proposals covered a range of issues, such as the revitalization of decayed downtown areas, underutilized waterfronts, and vacant neighborhoods. They also addressed social themes including neighborhood safety, environmental sustainability, and promoting city identity. More than 230 cities submitted proposals for consideration in the Public Art Challenge, representing 68 million residents across the United States.

“We are ecstatic to have been selected,” Spartanburg Mayor Junie White said. “The Bloomberg Philanthropies grant will allow the City to partner with the Arts Partnership of Greater Spartanburg to develop a truly special public art project that I know will inspire our citizens. I want to thank the Bloomberg Philanthropies for this display of belief in our project and our city.”

“Seeing Spartanburg in a New Light” is a partnership among internationally recognized light and digital media artist Erwin Redl, The Arts Partnership of Greater Spartanburg, and City of Spartanburg departments and civic leadership. The project will use a collaborative, neighborhood-based art-making process to enhance community policing and public safety efforts aligned with the annual National Night Out program. Its artistic objective is to provide residents and visitors with unique and dramatic aesthetic experiences of light breaking free of a purely functional role, to redefine public spaces, reduce crime, re-energize neighborhoods, educate and foster greater pride of place.

By bringing site-specific art into Spartanburg neighborhoods where residents may feel isolated from traditional cultural assets, the project will foster greater understanding of both the artistic process and the transformative impact of public art. The project will eliminate barriers to engagement as residents become part of the artistic process and help translate ideas into works of art. By de-mystifying art and artists, the project will deepen Spartanburg citizens’ personal commitment to art and culture as a shared value.

Spartanburg’s 21 neighborhood associations will be invited to submit a letter of interest to the City of Spartanburg as a demonstration of their interest in participating and their commitment to contributing to the collaborative process. Their application will outline their case for a light installation in their neighborhood and present the project team that will work with Mr. Redl and the other project partners. The intent is to select five neighborhoods that represent a diverse cross-section of Spartanburg’s residents and socio-economic backgrounds.

The Public Art Challenge grant will cover development, execution and project-related expenditures but will not fund 100 percent of project costs. The grant is intended to provide catalytic funds as part of a strong, committed consortium of supporters.

Cities of all sizes applied to the Public Art Challenge. Nearly half of the 237 submissions were from cities with populations fewer than 100,000 residents; 38 percent had populations between 100,000 and 500,000; and 13 percent of the applicant cities had more than 500,000 residents. A variety of artistic disciplines were represented amongst the applications: 61% of the proposed public art projects involved visual art, 19 percent combined multiple disciplines, 17 percent featured digital media, and three percent focused on the performing arts. Bloomberg Philanthropies narrowed the application to 12 finalists, including Spartanburg, in February.

Submissions were evaluated on a number of factors, including their potential viability as dynamic public art projects, their impact on civic issues, and capacity to establish or strengthen public-private partnerships. More information about the Public Art Challenge can be found on (http://publicartchallenge.bloomberg.org).

More information about “Seeing Spartanburg in a New Light” can be found on (bloomberg.org), and more more information about artist Erwin Redl can be found on (paramedia.net).

Bloomberg Philanthropies’ mission is to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: Public Health, Environment, Education, Government Innovation and the Arts. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s charitable activities, including his foundation and his personal giving. In 2014, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $462 million. For more information on the philanthropy, please visit (bloomberg.org) or follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

One Columbia Unveils New Public Art Piece on Main Street, Columbia, SC

September 30, 2014

One Columbia for Arts and History and the City of Columbia are pleased to announce the installation and unveiling of the first sculpture resulting from the public art pilot program, in Columbia, SC.

Commissioned with a generous donation from Sean McCrossin, owner of Drip coffee shops and Scoopy Doo gelato shop, 1400 Block of Main, the piece entitled “Hanging” was created by local artists Eileen Blyth and Mark Finley. As Blyth explains, “This sculpture is an invitation to play…to stop and sit and play, or just listen. One Columbia is the force behind the Main Street public art initiative. And without the city’s support, this sculpture and many more to come would not happen. It is very exciting to be a part of.”914one-columbia-eileen-blyth|
“Hanging” was created by local artists Eileen Blyth and Mark Finley

“I am very happy to be a part and help One Columbia, the City of Columbia and the Mayor in their endeavor to fill the streets with creative, inspired and inspiring art that will hopefully remind us of this colorful city in which we live.” says McCrossin.

The sculpture consists of five tank drums (also known as hank drums) fabricated from propane tanks mounted to painted seats. Each drum is tuned differently to allow for unique harmonies to be played. The piece is installed in front of 1441 Main Street.

“Public art is inspirational, thought provoking and even more so when it’s interactive. ‘Hanging’ will give the public the opportunity not just to observe but to participate.” says Karel Givens, Vice President of City Center Partnership, the organization that manages the downtown Business Improvement District (BID).

“From increasing funding to our arts and cultural organizations to displaying local artists’ work in City Hall, we have taken several important steps this year toward realizing our vision of Columbia as a true City of Creativity,” said Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin. “This sculpture and the new public art program it represents is a giant leap forward and I couldn’t be more proud.”

The public art program administered by One Columbia for Arts and History represents the joint efforts of multiple departments of the City of Columbia, the City Center Partnership, and the Community Relations Council who all contributed to make the process a success. The framework established by these partners will carry over to the creation of future pieces throughout the City of Columbia.

Lee Snelgrove, Executive Director of One Columbia for Arts and History explains, “Public art can define a place and give it a distinctive and inviting personality. Because of the relationships that have been made in establishing this formal process for commissioning public art, we’ll be able to continue bringing work to Columbia that will demonstrate the level of creativity and talent in this city.”

Artists interested in submitting their qualifications for consideration for future projects can find the call for artists on the One Columbia for Arts and History website at (onecolumbiasc.com).

One Columbia for Arts and History is a non-profit corporation that works to promote collaboration among citizens, the cultural community, and city government through celebrations of Columbia’s arts and historic treasures. Its goal is to enhance the quality of life for our residents, attract tourist dollars to our city, and further build our vibrant community. In short, it serves as the promotional arm of the City for Columbia’s cultural community.

Visit the One Columbia website (http://onecolumbiasc.com) for a continuously updated master list of art and cultural activities occurring throughout the city.