There may be controversy over where the stations will be located on the Red Line through downtown Baltimore, but the Maryland Transit Administration wants to make sure artists are lined up to adorn them.
The transit agency has issued a call for applications from artists interested in creating works of art for stops along the 14.1 mile route from Woodlawn to Bayview.
The deadline for artist applications is the end of this week (June 13). Follow-up proposals are due in August. Commissions will be awarded starting this fall.
The work promises to be a bonanza for creators of public art in Maryland. The $2.64 billion Red Line is the biggest public works project in Baltimore’s history. Under the state’s Art in Transit Program, a percentage of the budget has been reserved for art in and around the stations. The budget for individual artworks may be up to $350,000.
According to the state’s official Call for Artists released recently, the MTA “is seeking artists and artists’ teams to create site-specific artworks and artistic enhancements for the future Baltimore Red Line Light Rail Line.
“There will be art opportunities at approximately 23 major locations, including five underground stations, fourteen above ground stations, one pedestrian connector, two portals, Route 40 bridges, and other infrastructure elements.”
Art for Fences, Bridges, Walls, Pylons
The call for artists is being issued, the state says, “to create a roster of artists and designers of all types, including 2D and 3D artists working in a variety of media to create integrated public artworks for the stations, environs and connecting infrastructure.”
As stated in the Call for Artists, the purpose of the Art in Transit Program is “to enhance the travel experience, to promote travel use, and to engage the community. Possible opportunities for artworks and artistic enhancements include feature walls, ground planes and plazas, streetscapes, light installations, fences and railings, portal walls, functional objects, bridge enhancements, retaining walls, pylons and other possibilities.”
Up to three artists may be selected for each station or other major location,. There is no geographic restriction on the artists, but applicants need to demonstrate experience creating public art. More information is available from Jo Schneider, Art in Transit Manager for the Red Line. Her address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
With neighborhoods and developers pushing state officials to relocate planned station stops (in one case succeeding), the chosen artists might want to incorporate references to the political provenance of the structures they’re enhancing.
Say a larger-than-life bust of John Paterakis?