BIRMINGHAM, AL – Create Birmingham, in partnership with the City of Birmingham, invites local artists to submit qualifications for a public art project in the Smithfield neighborhood that will activate the intersection of 8th Avenue West and Center Street.
Last year, the City of Birmingham was one of only 26 cities across the country to receive an Asphalt Art Initiative grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies. The Asphalt Art Initiative provides selected cities with grants of up to $25,000 to fund visual art on roadways, pedestrian spaces, and public infrastructure with the goal of improving street and pedestrian safety, enhancing underutilized public space, and promoting collaboration and civic engagement in communities.
Birmingham’s Asphalt Art Initiative project seeks to activate a critical juncture of mobility, social infrastructure, and history in the Smithfield neighborhood. The intersection of 8th Avenue West and Center Street is anchored by Smithfield Court public housing and the Smithfield Branch Library and its adjacent plaza. Eighth Avenue West serves as a main thoroughfare within the neighborhood and between the neighborhood and downtown, connecting residents to A.H. Parker High School and the city center.
“A growing number of cities are embracing art as an effective strategy to improve safety in their streets through improvements to intersections, plazas, and other transportation infrastructure. The City of Birmingham looks forward to working with Create Birmingham to implement this project and to highlighting local artistic talent to enliven a key intersection in Smithfield,” says Christina Argo, Strategic Projects and Innovation Division Manager in the Department of Transportation for the City of Birmingham.
The Call for Artists is open to qualified artists, aged 18 or over, residing or working in the City of Birmingham. Based on artist statements and portfolios of previous work, three artists will be chosen for consideration by the City of Birmingham and Create Birmingham. A review panel of local residents and stakeholders will make the final artist selection. The selected artist will conduct site research and facilitate community engagement to inform the design, in collaboration with City and Create Birmingham staff.
“Create Birmingham is honored to serve as the partnering arts organization here in Birmingham, “says Meghann Bridgeman, Create Birmingham President & CEO. “The resources provided by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the talent of our local creative sector, the insights of the Smithfield community, and the expertise of the City’s Department of Transportation combine to provide all of the elements of a successful collaboration. Asphalt Art Initiative projects across the country have already demonstrated clear benefits in neighborhoods where vibrant public artwork and enhanced street design have improved pedestrian safety, enlivened public spaces, and engaged communities.”
The deadline for submission is Monday, February 14, 2022, at 11:59 pm. Questions regarding the project can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bloomberg Philanthropies invests in 941 cities and 173 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: the Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation, and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s giving, including his foundation, corporate, and personal philanthropy as well as Bloomberg Associates, a pro bono consultancy that works in cities around the world. In 2021, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $1.66 billion. For more information, please visit bloomberg.org or follow on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter.
Photo featured is from Kansas City Asphalt Art Initiative | Photographer: Adam Vogler | Artist: Alex Eickhoff