PITTSBURGH- The successful partnership that brought COVID-19-fighting art and amenities to Pittsburgh’s downtown riverfronts and public open spaces is looking for more artists to join the initiative.
Riverlife and the Office of Public Art announced today the establishment of a roster of artists that can quickly mobilize to implement future public art projects and temporary amenities. Interested artists are invited to apply to the roster now through February 22, 2021.
The partnership program between the two organizations, known as Pittsburgh Creative Corps (PCC), was launched earlier this summer in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. A primary goal of the program is to provide economic opportunity to southwestern Pennsylvania artists and creative workers and engage the public realm while helping prevent the spread of infectious disease. The newly announced Pittsburgh Creative Corps Roster is a list of pre-qualified artists who are eligible to receive invitations for temporary and permanent public art projects managed and/or commissioned by the PCC initiative.
“Having a roster of artists who have been prequalified for projects will help make project implementation more responsive to both current events and the reopening process that we anticipate for spring and summer of 2021,” said Sallyann Kluz, director of the Office of Public Art. “The PCC Roster will also provide a great resource for other organizations and businesses who may want to commission artists for projects, but are not familiar with artists selection processes.”
“We saw a great response to the first Pittsburgh Creative Corps project, the comic book-stylized handwashing stations that popped up on the riverfronts and public plazas throughout Downtown this fall,” said Matthew Galluzzo, Riverlife president and CEO. “By assembling this roster of talent, we can continue to rapidly and creatively respond to new opportunities to improve these spaces and help keep people safe and informed.”
The PCC Roster is open to both emerging and established artists with varying degrees of past experience in implementing commissioned or collaborative works of public art. Interested applicants are asked to use the online portal to submit their biographies, samples of work, and other requested materials. A panel of art and design professionals and community stakeholders will review applicants’ work samples and applications after the February deadline and select a varied list of artists who will join the roster and be pre-qualified for future projects via the PCC.
The online portal for artists to submit their applications to be considered for the Pittsburgh Creative Corps Roster can be accessed at https://pittsburghartscouncil.submittable.com/submit. An online information session about PCC Roster will be held on Tuesday, January 26, 2021 at 4:00 p.m.. Registration for the information session is required, and can be accessed via the link above. The deadline for submissions is Monday, February 22, 2021. The PCC Roster selections are anticipated to be announced in March 2021.
In addition to the information session, the Office of Public Art will present a Winter Intensive: Demystifying the Public Art Application Process in January and February in order to help artists prepare applications for this and other opportunities. This three part series is an in-depth look at different steps in applying for public art commissions. Artists at any stage of their practice will gain understanding of the process and learn how to prepare stronger applications. Learn more about the Winter Intensive and register on OPA’s website at opapgh.org/events.
Funding and resources for Pittsburgh Creative Corps are provided by the Richard King Mellon Foundation, Riverlife, and Office of Public Art.
Since 1999, Riverlife has worked to create, activate, and celebrate Pittsburgh’s riverfronts, connecting people through exceptional places and experiences. Riverlife has been a leader in building a community vision for over 15 miles and 880 acres of Downtown riverfront parks, trails, and public open space. RiverlifePGH.org.
About the Office of Public Art
The Office of Public Art (OPA) envisions a region in which the creative practices of artists are fully engaged to collaboratively shape the public realm and catalyze community-led change. OPA builds capacity for this work through technical assistance, public programming, artist resources, and civically engaged public art projects. Located at the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council, OPA serves the thirteen county region of Southwestern Pennsylvania. OPApgh.org.
Stephan Bontrager, Riverlife
Top photo: CAPA students look at a temporary gallery of art and poetry under the Fort Duquesne Bridge as part of the 2017 iteration of Riverlife’s #tbd” program. Photo by Maranie Staab.