Wanted: Mid-Missouri artists to create art on a downtown traffic signal box

Thursday, January 15, 2009 | 5:45 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — The Office of Cultural Affairs is looking for a mid-Missouri artist or team of artists to make art out of a traffic signal box at East Broadway and Hitt Street.

The project is the second since artist David Spear painted a traffic signal box at Broadway and Ninth Street in 2007.

“The pilot project was very well received, so we decided to do a second one," said Marie Nau Hunter of the city's Office of Cultural Affairs.

In 2007, Officer Tim Thomason of the Columbia Police Department brought the idea forward as a way to combat graffiti in downtown Columbia after he saw examples of its success in other cities at a National Crime Prevention Institution.

Thomason said the idea is to deter graffiti while contributing to the attractiveness of downtown. Spear said he thinks the project is a good way to find and develop new artists. 

The selected artist will receive $1,500 and an allowance for materials of up to $500. Applicants must submit a resume, contact information for two professional references, a design proposal on the template provided on the Office of Cultural Affairs' Web site and a design statement to City of Columbia, Office of Cultural Affairs, P.O. Box 6015, Columbia, MO 65205. Express mail and hand-deliver submissions are also available to City of Columbia, Office of Cultural Affairs, 1 S. Seventh St., Columbia, MO 65201.

All applications must be postmarked by Feb. 16.

The city’s Standing Committee on Public Art, including artists, community representatives, arts professionals and project staff, will evaluate applications based on the proposed design as well as artistic and technical quality. Hunter said the Office of Cultural Affairs will notify the winner in April or May and the box should be completed by October. 

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