Arts Council seeks artist for asphalt artwork project

Staff Reports

The Columbus Area Arts Council (CAAC) has issued a Request for Qualifications from an artist or artist team to design and implement an asphalt artwork in Columbus.

The asphalt artwork will be a ground plane mural installed along 16th Street between the intersections of Home Avenue and Union Street, near a residential neighborhood and budding neighborhood commercial node, arts council officials said.

This project is made possible by the Bloomberg Philanthropies Asphalt Art Initiative grant program with additional support from the city of Columbus and Columbus Regional Health Healthy Communities.

Bloomberg Philanthropies announced in July that the city of Columbus, in partnership with the Columbus Area Arts Council and Columbus Regional Health Healthy Communities, has been awarded a 2020 Asphalt Art Initiative grant for $25,000.

The Asphalt Art Initiative grant program is designed to fund visual art displays and installations on roadways, pedestrian spaces, and public infrastructure in small- and medium-sized U.S. cities with populations of 30,000 to 500,000 people.

Out of 200 applications, Columbus was one of 16 cities selected.

Goals of the project are:

Transform the neighborhood with a visually appealing artwork that inspires and uplifts residents and visitors.

Improve walkability, street and pedestrian safety, and increase foot traffic in the designated area.

Enhance social connectivity and economic growth through creative placemaking and art activation.

Total project budget is $20,000 with $5,000 designated to the artist and/or artist team to cover design fees, insurance, and travel and lodging during all phases of the project.

The remaining funds of $15,000 will be reserved for project expenses, materials, supplies and project implementation. These funds will be managed by the Columbus Area Arts Council.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for our community to engage an artist or artist team in the design process, while bringing new energy and creativity to a growing business district” said Kathryn Armstrong, the arts council’s executive director.

Emilie Pinkston, senior planner with the City of Columbus-Bartholomew County Planning Department added, “The city is thrilled with the opportunity to partner with the Columbus Area Arts Council and to improve walkability in this neighborhood in a creative and visually-appealing way.”

Submissions are due by 4:30 p.m. Dec. 4, the arts council said.

Bloomberg Philanthropies invests in more than 570 cities and over 160 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: the arts, education, environment, government innovation and public health.

Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s giving, including his foundation and personal philanthropy as well as Bloomberg Associates, a pro bono consultancy that works in cities around the world. In 2019, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $3.3 billion in this effort.