Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Calling all local artists!

Walkway Over the Hudson and the Hudson-Fulton-Champlain Quadricentennial Celebration committee are looking for 50 professional artists, educators and crafts people to create new "town emblems" for each village, town, and city in Dutchess and Ulster counties. The emblems will be displayed during the Poughkeepsie Railroad Bridge's grand opening on Oct. 3 as a pedestrian park. The celebration, "Walking On Air," will serve as the Mid-Hudson Valley's signature event for this year's statewide Hudson-Fulton-Champlain Quadricentennial Celebration.

Here are the details from today's press announcement:

"We are particularly interested in those artists who show a passion for the history and culture of their locales and the Hudson Valley in general. Artists should be versatile and open to working with a range of cheap and unorthodox materials, under tight budget constraints," said celebration artist Jeanne Fleming, who is organizing the grand opening celebration for Walkway Over the Hudson.

Selected artists will be commissioned to create a unique Town Emblem to be carried in the Walking on Air Parade and Opening Ceremony. Each emblem will function as a "coat of arms" for its town, reflecting the particular connections that tie local communities to the broader history, culture, or ecology of the Hudson River. Artists are encouraged to work collaboratively and seek the perspectives of town officials, local historians, and other community members.

Hudson Valley artists interested in being selected for this opportunity must apply prior to an April 6 deadline by submitting five work samples and a one-page written statement that details past experience working on a community-level project. Each of the 50 artists chosen will receive a $500 stipend. Artists will be expected to display their Emblems before the public at the head of their town's delegation during the Opening Ceremony and Parade scheduled for October 3.

Artists will also be asked to organize and lead a community art workshop to create 25 flags that will adorn a ceremonial rope. Each artist may draw participants from any group or groups within their community-schoolchildren, elders, social organizations, etc. Artists will be asked to attend one of several orientation workshops with processional artists Alex Kahn and Sophia Michahelles, designers of the Walking on Air Parade. These informal, hands-on workshops will discuss the Emblem and Flag projects in greater detail, introduce techniques for using lightweight and inexpensive materials, and provide a forum for artists to ask questions and exchange ideas with one another.

A complete description of the program and an online application can be found by visiting www.walkway.org. For additional questions, contact Michael Asbill by email: michaelasbill @ yahoo.com

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