Art Trail Tecumseh unveils expanded program next year

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The western facade of the Boulevard Market is poised to receive large artwork if project succeeds. Photo by Jim Lincoln.

Tecumseh’s successful Art Trail program, which includes annual offerings of new sculptures throughout the community, will be expanding to include some 2-D art next May.

The Tecumseh Downtown Development Authority (DDA) is requesting proposals from artists who are interested in submitting original work that will be digitally reproduced for an outdoor public art project. Submissions must be postmarked by Monday, Dec. 2, at 5 p.m.

“We have been very happy with our sculptures program and the response we’ve gotten to it, but we also want to keep evolving the program,” said Paula Holtz, Director of the Tecumseh Economic Development Department, who helps coordinate the program. She added that the DDA’s Public Art Selection Committee has been having a subcommittee meet for the past year-and-a-half to consider how to achieve an evolving program.

“We’ve wanted to grow to include different forms and media and are looking for different types of artists,” Holtz said. “With the sculptures, that’s really a specific type of genre and the art has to be metal or wood or something that is weather resistant. We’re going to continue to have the sculptures, but we wanted to add something as well.”

This year, interest was added through the addition of a Sculpture Annex between BLUSH Boutique and the Ivy Gallery, with smaller sculptures supplied by Ken Thompson and colleagues. Thompson is the Midwest Sculpture Initiative coordinator and owner of Flatlander Art Gallery in Riga on US-223.

Holtz said the new work could include up to three artists’ work that would be selected to be reproduced on materials (similar to a canvas) suitable for an outdoor display. The work will be featured on the western façade of The Boulevard Market at the corner of Evans Street and Chicago Boulevard.

The request for proposals notes that only original artwork by the proposing artist will be considered. Original photography is eligible for submission as well. One artist or several may be selected. One piece on several panels may be used or multiple pieces may be featured. An artist may submit several pieces for consideration.

“We’re really open at this point,” said Holtz. “This is something different and we may find a painter or a photographer to feature. We just hope artists will submit their work for consideration.”

The approximate size of the finished artwork scrim may be up to 12’ high by 22’ wide for each panel. Vertical or horizontal oriented artwork will be accepted and the scrim size would be made proportionally to fit the original artwork.

Selection criteria includes: work of the highest caliber; visual impact on pedestrian and vehicular traffic; work submitted within the specified format and guidelines; and appropriateness of content (for all audiences). Artists whose works are selected will receive a stipend of $500 for each panel. The DDA will be responsible for reproducing the work on a scrim, mounting the piece and other miscellaneous activities.

Submission process includes preparing a CD with an artist statement; resume or CV, proposed images that are digital images on the CD or flash drive in jpeg or PDF files. Images must be of good quality, 40 MB minimum at 300 dpi or higher. No hard copies will be accepted; they must be electronic files.

The work would be displayed for one year, and after that may be relocated to another location in downtown Tecumseh or at another municipally owned site. The selection committee consists of prominent experts in their respective fields and includes artists, arts advocates, downtown merchants, city officials and ad hoc volunteers, who have been tasked with selecting pieces for this display.

DDA staff will notify selected artists and may request a meeting to further discuss the project before making a final selection. Submissions must be delivered or mailed to: Tecumseh Downtown Development Authority, Attn: Public Art Project, 309 E. Chicago Blvd., Tecumseh, MI 49286. For more information, contact pholtz@tecumseh.mi.us or call 424.6003.




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