South Carolina artists invited to apply; deadline is Feb. 29.
Just weeks after the first piece of art was unveiled along the Mauldin Public Art Trail, the application process for the next piece is underway.
The Public Art Trail lines the perimeter of the outdoor amphitheater at the Mauldin Cultural Center. A new work will be commissioned each year to fill the nine bump-outs from the sidewalk along the perimeter. All nine sites will be filled within ten years.
The first artwork, installed in December, was a steel sculpture called “The Depot” and designed by Central artist Joey Manson. It had different parts that reflected Mauldin’s history as part of last year’s theme, “Crossroads.”
This year’s theme has more of a state-wide significance.
“This year’s theme is ‘South Carolina Strong’ in recognition of the tragic events in Charleston and the flooding this summer,” Mauldin Office of Cultural Affairs Administrator George McLeer said. “The goal is for the work we select to reflect the resilience of our state during those times.”
With only South Carolina artists eligible to have their work chosen for the Art Trail, McLeer said any theme in a given year could have ties to the local community and/or state.
“With a new theme each year that’s chosen by our (Mauldin) Cultural Council made up of members of our community, the works of art over the course of time will end up sort of encapsulating major events,” McLeer said. “It becomes a timeline.”
While the weather has either been rainy or cold in the weeks since the first installation, McLeer said “The Depot” has gotten good reviews.
“Everyone really likes the sculpture,” McLeer said. “In the coming weeks, we will be installing a plaque that will have both the artist’s description of the work as well as pictures of how the work was developed.
“We’re looking forward to having another piece. The more we have, the more of an attraction the site becomes.”
The City of Mauldin has opened up a Request for Qualifications and Application on its website for interested artists this year. Artists, and all members of their team if applicable, must be residents of South Carolina during the duration of the project. The deadline for submission is Feb. 29. The selection committee will choose two finalists who will then be asked to develop conceptual designs. The final artist will be selected by mid- to late-April. Total budget for the annual program is not to exceed $15,000.
McLeer said the Cultural Council requested feedback from last year’s finalists on how the selection process was structured and received positive reviews.
“The only thing different is that last year we had essentially 12 months for fabrication,” McLeer said. “This year, we’re still allowing up to 12 months, but we have a target of December to install it to try to get in installed within the calendar year.”
The RFQ and Application are available online at www.cityofmauldin.org/oca. For more info, contact the Office of Cultural Affairs at (864) 335-4862.