In the city of Dowagiac, we believe that great art can come from anywhere, and should be available to everyone. To that end, we invite artists of all places and persuasions to submit original artwork for display throughout our downtown area. Artists are urged to answer this call with the ingenuity and openness of the people of Dowagiac themselves; restraint and conventionality are strongly discouraged. Click here to learn more about the city.
Designs should symbolize the spirit of Dowagiac - the city, the people, and the culture - while representing its future. They’ll be rendered in metal panels, back lit and placed strategically around the downtown district to add vibrancy and enhance a sense of place and arrival. We understand that not every submitting artist will have grown up in southwest Michigan. Since we are asking you to become such an integral part of our community, you should get to know us. Stop by for a visit, schedule a guided tour and get to know the area, or if your visit must be virtual, here are a few resources available to get to know our community:
This is a call for design of back-lit metal panels for downtown Dowagiac, Michigan. Artworks of interest may be representational or abstract, functional or non-functional, stationary or kinetic. It must reflect the Spirit of Dowagiac and a sense of place and arrival. It must be durable to withstand outdoor elements and created new or within the last three to five years. It must be safe to the public and the selected artist's work may also be available for sale locally.
Downtown Identity Panel Designs:
Font, design, and metal type/color. See details below for locations, sizes, and quantity. The intent of Downtown Identity Panels should be to clearly identify the entrance, branding, and/or sense of arrival to the downtown district of Dowagiac.
Perforated Metal Motif Panel Designs:
Perforation design/pattern, metal type/color. See details below for locations, sizes, and quantity. The intent of the Motif Panels should be to convey the spirit and culture of Dowagiac in an artistic and consistent pattern.
Each participant will submit at least (1) design per panel type and panel size, up to (3) designs per individual may be submitted. Format to an 11x17 sheet size and provide “to-scale” drawings supporting the design (i.e. provided drawings are at 1/4”=1’-0”, although submitted scale can be different).
Provided dimensions throughout this package should be used as a maximum dimension. Use your individual “artistic license” to make design decisions, written explanations of design intent will be accepted (500 words or less).
As residents and visitors approach from the east, the Gateway Panel Walls will welcome them to downtown Dowagiac. With complimentary landscaping, this interpretive panel wall will act as a retainer for an earthen mound, screening railroad and utility areas from the public eye. The panel wall will display backlit perforated motif metal panels that express the spirit of what makes Dowagiac a special place. This motif will be carried throughout the Division Street Corridor improvements as Downtown Identity elements; see locations below. These locations were chosen for their adjacency and/or access to the downtown district, creating wayfinding and branding for Dowagiac.
Bookending the parking lot improvements will be a small marker at Front and Division and a small panel wall at Pennsylvania and Division, both featuring perforated motif metal panels. At the current post office site will be a panel wall which will be terminated by a modified small vertical marker design that helps shape Beckwith Commons off of Commercial Street. Marking one of the major access points to downtown from the west is the large marker. This marker is the primary element of downtown identity west of the railroad. With three tiers of masonry and concrete located in a landscaped island at the entrance of Commercial Street, motif and identity signage will be framed and easily seen for travelers on foot or vehicle. To complete the corridor enhancement project, Main Street will be represented by a small marker on the corner, as shown.
The large marker is the premier element for the downtown identity and wayfinding piece of the corridor enhancement project west of the railroad. Substantial in height, there will be room enough for both downtown identity on the top tier and motif panels on the middle tier, as shown to the left.
Located at the landscaped island at the termination of Commercial Street at Division Street, brick and concrete will create the backdrop for the panels. Electrical service will be provided to accommodate panel back-lighting. The panel dimensions as shown are a maximum extent for the final design; the design, metal type, and lighting color and arrangement will be up to the artist’s discretion. To cap the markers, a finial will be designed to match the aesthetic of both the architecture of the marker and the winning panel designs.
Designed to match the quality and dimension for the upper portion of the large marker, the small marker will retain the finial, brick, and concrete detailing of its larger brother. Since the small marker has a single tier, only the Downtown Identity panels will be accommodated on this design. (1) Small Marker will be located at Front & Division and (1) will be located at Main & Division.
A smaller, more decorative retaining wall will be added to contain the new earthen mounding and landscape. This retaining wall will display Perforated Motif Panels as shown while retaining the brick and concrete detailing typical to the markers and gateway walls at the Goerlich site. A small vertical marker will be modified to have a base and provide the extra identity to help define Beckwith Commons. This small marker will also display Downtown Identity Panels and all panels will be backlit similar to the other Identity elements described previously.
This panel wall is much smaller and will not have any retaining function. Designed to help enclose the parking lot improvements at Pennsylvania Avenue, this panel wall will match the brick and concrete detailing of the other elements. A Perforated Motif Panel will be accommodated on the Division Street elevation.
As residents and visitors approach from the east, the Goerlich Site improvements will represent the gateway to downtown Dowagiac. With complimentary landscaping, an interpretive panel wall will act as a retainer for an earthen mound screening railroad and utility areas from the public eye. The panel wall will display back-lit perforated metal panels that express the spirit of what makes Dowagiac a special place and should relate to the previously described Identity elements. The panel dimensions provided below are guides, not limitations, to the design intent. Panels should be a minimum of two inches from the face of brick to a maximum of one foot from the face of brick.
See the desktop site for details on locations, sizes, and quantity.
Open to all artists 18 years & older, world-wide, both amateur & professional, working in all styles & schools of thought. This is a nationwide and international artist call. You must apply first in order to be considered.
The City of Dowagiac is now accepting applications for the 2017 - 2018 Downtown Public Metal Art Display. One artist will be chosen. The winning artist’s work will be displayed for an undetermined length of time in multiple areas downtown, acting as public art and downtown signage reflecting the spirit of Dowagiac. If applicable, the artwork may be for sale. The winning artist is allowed to display their name/brand.
All entries must be submitted no later than 5 PM on Monday, July 31, 2017. Artists may submit work as a group or individually. The City of Dowagiac will consider all submissions and notification of acceptance will be provided via e-mail. If mailed, submission packets will not be returned. Only works that reflect the Spirit of Dowagiac will be considered. Only wall art will be juried. No freestanding sculpture. No nudity. No curse words.
The City of Dowagiac will have a jury of board members who will be reviewing all works. The board members consist of local government workers, local business owners, and residents.
The City of Dowagiac reserves the right to photograph and reproduce, in color or black & white, all artworks accepted for this exhibition, regardless of copyright, for educational and/or publicity purposes.
The winning artist will have reflected the City of Dowagiac in the artworks. Once chosen, the winning artist will begin to work closely with the City of Dowagiac and it’s Architectural firm, Wightman & Associates, to develop a production plan. The City of Dowagiac has dedicated financial resources for the installation of the selected artist's work, which will be available for the creation and installation. Portions may be available to offset the selected artist's expenses to oversee the creation and installation. If the artist wants to produce their physical pieces, that must be worked out prior to production. If the artist does not want to personally produce their work, the City of Dowagiac will put them in touch with a local vendor. The City of Dowagiac reserves the right to all final production approvals.
FOR ANY QUESTIONS:
Bobbie Jo Hartline
Secretary to the City Manager