UPDATE: Morgantown mural in need of artists

Monongalia

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UPDATE (Aug. 23, 2021 6:00 p.m.):

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The City of Morgantown Arts and Cultural Development Department is commissioning artists to create a mural on the Westover Bridge Pier.

Vincent Kitch, director of Arts and Cultural Development for the City of Morgantown, said he is excited about the project and he thinks the project “accomplishes many things”.

Image of the Westover Bridge Pier on the River Side. Courtesy: City of Morgantown

“As you know, the city has been engaged in a lot of efforts lately to increase public art and awareness around it,” Kitch said. “We partnered with Main Street Morgantown and we did three murals downtown as well as, six utility boxes. And so, we are expanding our work in public art and this mural project plays a couple of key roles. One, it provides a great opportunity for an artist to develop, on commission, a new work for Morgantown, is something we’re excited about.”

Kitch continued.  

“It’s also located directly adjacent to the Hazel Ruby McQuain Park that I helped manage, as well as the Walnut St. Landing. And so, this is an area that would really benefit, I think with some aesthetic increase. And it will — it’s an abatement for graffiti and it’s a deterrent for graffiti. And so, I think it’ll just make the riverfront all that much more beautiful and really add a new piece of artwork to our local scene.” 

Image of the Westover Bridge Pier on the Trail Side. Courtesy: City of Morgantown

This riverfront mural is to support public art and act as an addition to Hazel Ruby McQuain Park and Walnut Street Landing. The project budget is $10,000, all-inclusive. It will be dedicated in the spring of 2022.

Those who are interested must submit the following:

  • Samples of Works – Six digital images (jpeg format preferred).
  • Caption sheet identifying each image by title of artwork, medium, dimensions, dates, price (if applicable) and location. Image file names must correspond to the caption sheet.
  • Resume or CV.
  • Three references (including full names, titles, affiliations, and contact information).
  • Letter of interest (1-3 pages).

“It’s, actually, open to any artists and this call went out statewide and regionally, so we’re looking for an artist or a team of artists that want to develop a mural concept for the bridge pier under the Westover Bridge,” Kitch said. “It’s a really specific kind of unique and challenging location for a mural and it’s a $10,000 Commission.” 

Statements on their community engagement, preliminary design ideas, and up to three selections of representative printed materials are also a plus.

Westover Bridge Pier on the Trail Side

Kitch said all submissions are due by Oct. 1 via email, Google Docs, or Dropbox to vkitch@morgantownwv.gov.

Once all submissions are collected, the work isn’t over, Kitch said.

“Then, we’ll go through a whole process of selecting an artist and developing a design, all of which then has to go to the state of West Virginia Department of Highways to get approval before we can even start to put a mural on the actual pier support for the bridge,” Kitch said.

So far, Kitch said, he has received at least one response from artists, which is “encouraging”.

The public feedback he has received has, also, been encouraging because “everyone is excited”.

“Everyone is really excited about all the public art and the opportunities that we’re providing,” Kitch said. “We’re, also, working on other grant opportunities to fund many more projects in the downtown and in the city itself. And so, it’s, just, been exciting to see the development of public art and murals.”

Westover Bridge Pier on the Trail Side

The city is dedicated to beautifying spaces with public art, Kitch said, and that’s why it’s working on “a number of other projects”.

“And I think this is just one of many murals and public art projects that you’re going to see evolve in the community over the next year or two as we move forward together.”

Visit https://bit.ly/BridgeMural for more information.

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