Port of Miami Invites Artists to Decorate Its Campus

See Miami's Five Ugliest Public Art Eyesores.

Public art in Miami has become a topic as volatile as religion or politics. Maybe you hate Britto with all of your being. Maybe you have a genuine love for the seashell-covered menorah and dreidel that pop up on Lincoln Road each December.

Either way, one thing is certain: if you live in Miami, you have a strong opinion about the art on display around your city.

Turns out, PortMiami feels the same way. Collaborating with the Miami-Dade Department of Cultural Affairs and through its Art in Public Places Program, the port has issued a national call to professional artists for their submissions to create works of public art for PortMiami.

Professional visual artists are invited to "demonstrate innovative, contemporary, and creative approaches in addressing permanent, site-specific works." Artists are required to submit 10 images of their previous work, a résumé, and a brief description of their vision for the project. The program will be taking the strength of the artist's concept, design capabilities, and established track record of museum/gallery exhibitions into consideration as well.

Once applications are submitted, Art in Public Places Professional Advisory Committee will evaluate all of the applications and recommend a number of artists to come in to meet and develop sight-specific proposals. That is when guidelines for the project will get more specific.

The project is part of a 2035 Master Plan and massive redevelopment program to modernize cruise terminals, roadways, landscaping, and parking garages that have been constructed to aesthetically greet visitors to PortMiami.

With an estimated project budget of $195,000, the selected artist will create a bollard cover/sleeve design or booth wrapping that will add on to the existing architectural and sculptural features of the port's campus. The designs are expected to reflect a strong aesthetic that reflects the bustling activities of PortMiami. Approximately 1,000 bright yellow bollards that range from approximately 4" to 7" in diameter and from approximately 36" to 60" in height are located throughout PortMiami and function as traffic calming devices and restrict vehicle traffic from pedestrian areas. Other artists will be commissioned to design an artistic wrap that will completely cover the 18 or so parking fee collection and information booths that are located throughout PortMiami.

Last year, PortMiami welcomed 4 million cruise vacationers and is among America's busiest ports. Ultimately, the concept of the project is for the selected artists to develop a world-class experience for the cruise passengers traveling through. "Our port is kind of our face to a lot of visitors that come to Miami -- they literally travel from the airport to the port and never see the rest of our city, so it's a great way for us to introduce art to visitors that would normally never see it", says Brandi Reddick, communications and arts manager for Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs.

Deadline for applicants is set for September 14. Visit callforentry.org to apply. Residents can expect to see the completed project from their perch on MacArthur Causeway traffic by October 2013.

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