Public Art Mural

(2.15) Attention artists: There’s a new blank canvas downtown. The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA) is requesting qualifications for a new public art commission for the Garrahy Judicial Complex parking garage. The deadline for applications is 11:59pm, February 15.

Through a competitive selection process, one artist or team of artists will be chosen to create a large-scale temporary mural, which will be on display for 5 years. This is a national call open to all artists. Students are excluded. There is no fee to apply, and the budget has been set at $98,000.

The parking garage facade (see below) is on Friendship Street, but this mural will face the courthouse building itself. (I would resist the urge to feature another giant human face. We already have lots of faces downtown, and another one here would probably drive the people working inside the courthouse building insane. My preference would be something abstract or naturalistic, without any people at all.) RISCA provides the following guidance:

Without belying the dignity of the court, artwork that is colorful, bright, cheerful, calming and/or soothing would be appropriate. The selection panelists indicated that applicants should consider how the artwork is viewed from both inside and outside the courthouse. The Courthouse is used by approximately 3,500 people daily and has 400 employees.

Courthouse parking garage, 1 Dorrance Street, (directions)


This facade on Friendship Street is pretty cool. Parking garage designers are doing a much better job of making these structures appealing to those walking and working nearby.

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