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The_Scream

Calling All Artists/Storefront Owners

Program fills vacant storefronts with art.

May 3, 2011, 1:00 am
By Rani Molla
Too many artists and too many vacancies? On the heels of other struggling/forward-thinking cities, including Seattle and San Francisco, Santa Fe has announced the Storefront Art Installation Project, a recession-centric effort in which local artists showcase their work in vacant storefronts.

The project is simple, even elegant:

Artists receive a $500 stipend for installation and the opportunity to display their work to passersby.

Property owners, in exchange for use of their vacant storefronts for 90 days, get to showcase their properties, which are also listed on the Arts Commission's website.

Santa Feans and tourists alike enjoy a presumably more attractive downtown.

Everyone wins.

Santa Fe is not a new-comer to this concept. In fact, from 1997-2003 artist Guy Ambrosino directed and curated The Window Project, in which artists installed their contemporary work in commercial buildings downtown accessed on a series of walking tours.

This symbiotic Storefront Art Installation Project is part of the unfortunately named "Buy Into It!" campaign and is led by the City of Santa Fe Arts Commission and Economic Development Division.

According to project Specialist Julie Bystrom, the project is looking for "site-specific installations" that take into consideration the "site, the street and the environment around it, instead of taking an existing exhibition and putting it in the site." "We want installations that really engage the community and enhance downtown," she says.

A committee, culled from the Art in Public Places Committee, the Arts Commission and perhaps a community member or two, will decide on the winning installations.

Bystrom plans to put QR codes out in front of winning installations/storefronts so that passersby can access info about the artist and the property by phone.

So far, Bystrom says, interest in the program has been massive, mostly from artists, but also interested community members and property owners.

If you're an interested artist or property owner, the deadline for proposals is Wednesday, June 1. Installations are expected to be up by July 1.

Applications for both property owners and artists are available on the city's website.

For more information contact Project Specialist Julie Bystrom 955-6707 or visit SantaFeArtsCommission.org.



 

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