DE PERE, Wis. (WBAY) — Definitely De Pere issues a call for artists in the next phase of public art and streetscaping development.
“What we’ve learned from the community is that they want a downtown rich in arts and culture,” said Kim Flom, development services director with the City of De Pere. “We’re not quite at a formal district yet, but we’re on our way, and public art is one way to get there.”
With thousands of people passing through the city each day, the art bench project hopes to give them an excuse to stop and stay for awhile.
“We’re not looking for a bench that you pull off of a warehouse shelf,” said Tina Quigley, executive director of Definitely De Pere. “We’re looking for something that is unique, unique to De Pere.”
The $30,000 project comes from the city’s excess stadium tax funds. That money will cover the costs required for six to ten artistic and functional benches to be placed along George Street and Main Avenue.
“We’re not looking for six artists to to create six different benches. We’re looking for an artist or a team of artists to create. Each bench could be different as long as there is an overall cohesiveness,” said Quigley.
Flom says the public art is just as much for tourists as it is for city residents. She says it encourages people to not only stop and open their eyes but also open their wallets.
“The American Artists Group did a study, and they actually showed that visitors spent twice the amount at cultural and art events than locals do,” said Flom.
The deadline to submit design sketches to Definitely De Pere is April 15. Artists must include a narrative describing the concept behind the design and information about materials, composition, maintenance, and installation.
The Public Art Committee will choose up to three finalists to further develop their concepts before ultimately selecting one on June 15.
Quigley expects benches to be installed no later than September 15.