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Jacksonville Calls For Artists To Decorate The Elbow; Deadline This Week

Kumar Pictures, LLC for the Cultural Council
A signal box was decorated Michelle Weinberg of Miami next to Hemming Park in Phase 1 of Art in Public Places.

This Thursday is the deadline for artists to apply to decorate part of downtown Jacksonville.

The Downtown Investment Authority is calling for artists from across the U.S. to submit portfolios and short biographies — they’re not asking for project proposals, just for artists to introduce themselves and their previous work.

Mason Martin, project manager of the Art in Public Places program with the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville, says a panel will select which artists will meet with the public this July as they plan specific pieces.  

Main Street Bridge at night with Bay Street in foreground
Credit Mason Martin / Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville
Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville
The area where the Main Street Bridge off ramp meets Bay Street is the focus for Phase 2 of Art in Public Places.

“We’re really looking for artists who are willing to think outside the box and who are willing to incorporate newer technologies — especially sources of energy — into their projects,” she said.

Mason said JEA will be helping artists to use lighting — potentially solar — as part of one project meant to energize the area where Bay Street meets the Main Street Bridge. The entire phase of public art installation will be focused on the Bay Street area, from Main Street to where The Elbow entertainment district intersects with the sports and entertainment district to the east, she said.

In addition to the sculptural lighting project, the city is looking for art in three other categories:

  • Vinyl-wrapped traffic signal boxes
  • Sculptural bike racks
  • Two-dimensional “surface application” work that could be on a crosswalk or other flat surface

Martin said the traffic signal boxes offer the greatest opportunity for those who may not yet think of themselves as public artists.
Because a vinyl fabricator will do the physical wrapping, she said, the artist needs only to provide an image that’s transferrable — whether it’s graphic design, photography or even a photo of a knitted project.

blue ribbon-like bike racks in front of Jimmy John's
Credit Mason Martin / Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville
Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville
D. Lance Vickery of Jacksonville Beach created these bike racks on Laura Street during Phase 1 of Art in Public Places.

“So we’re really looking forward to that being a gateway category for public artists,” Martin said.

The deadline to apply is 1:59 a.m. Friday, May 11, in Jacksonville (That’s 11:59 p.m. Thursday night in Mountain Standard Time because the call-for-artists website in administered in Denver).

Artists or artist teams can apply for single categories or for a combo of categories.

The money being offered for all the categories is a total of $104,718.

Apply here.

Contact Mason Martin at  with questions about the application process. 

Updated: This story was updated with the correct date of the entry deadline. We regret the error. 

Contact Jessica Palombo at 904-358-6315, or on Twitter at @JessicaPubRadio.

Jessica Palombo supervises local news gathering and production, podcasts and web editorial content for WJCT News, ADAPT and Jacksonville Today. She is an award-winning writer and journalist with bylines including NPR, Experience Magazine, and The Gainesville Sun. She has a master’s degree in broadcast and digital journalism from Syracuse University and is an alumna of the University of Florida. A nearly lifelong resident of Jacksonville, she considers herself lucky to be raising her own children in her hometown. Follow Jessica Palombo on Twitter: @JaxJessicaP