Mill District Public Art Trail
Located in the capitol city of Columbia, South Carolina, the Mill District is comprised of historic mill neighborhoods of Olympia, Granby, and Whaley. The Mill District was a traditional working-class mill neighborhood surrounding two large textile mills. Like many typical mill districts of that time, the neighborhood was self sufficient; they had their own community center, churches, company store, and traditional saltbox houses. The decline in the textile industry resulted in the closure of Olympia’s mills; they have since been transformed into residential apartments. 701 Center for Contemporary Art is located in the 701 Whaley building which once was the community and recreation center for the mill community. The mill closures, the closing of the neighborhood schools, the departure of families who had lived in Olympia for decades, the influx of new residents and the encroachment of new development are among the factors that have affected the sense of shared identity and community. At the same time, the mill district is now a diverse neighborhood racially, socio-economically and generationally, albeit with a still strong working-class component. The Mill District Public Art Trail project seeks to celebrate the district, from commemorating past history and current life to anticipating the future, and encourage the growth of the mill district neighborhoods with a permanent art trail.
Through a partnership with the Central Carolina Community Foundation, 701 Center for Contemporary Art was awarded a national grant from the Knight Foundation to create a public art trail that would run through the historic Mill District, located in Columbia, SC. Once complete, the art trail will bring public art work to those living in and visiting the Mill District, attract visitors, and foster a stronger sense of community. 701 CCA will create a brochure with map for the trail to guide people and highlight the connections between the artworks and neighborhood and will coordinate with neighborhood groups and organize a grand art festival to officially open the public art trail upon completion.
701 CCA is issuing a request for proposals from individual artists or artist teams to design and install a permanent sculpture in (one location to be decided) to be included on the mill district public art trail. Artists selected to create the artworks for the trail would reflect the diversity of the Mill District, taking cues from its history as a textile mill village, its current character and anticipated future, its residents old and new, its streets and street names, the railroad tracks running through, and its vintage architecture. The proposed public work must be able to withstand varying temperatures, humidity, and all other outdoor elements.
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This application is open to professional artists or artist teams, with priority give to artists living and working in Columbia, South Carolina. Artists should have past experience in creation of public works that is represented in your examples of previous work (see below).
Applications must include the following: artist statement, CV, at least one example of previous public work, sketches/drafts of the concept for the sculpture, a written description of how the project relates the Mill District and the Mill District Art Trail project, a timeline for the completion of the piece, and an estimated budget. (The timeline limits 6 months for the project.) The budget should include, but is not limited to, the cost of materials, transportation, possible labor expenses, etc.
Note that if you are applying as a collaboration, all parties involved must submit their own artist statement, CV, and examples of past work as part of the selection process.