The commissioning of public art brings a community together in a unique way. The selection process for the artwork fosters discussions that explore the collective visions of what a given community represents. Often, when in a school setting, this vision remains in the form of permanent artwork that becomes the focal point of discussions for students who interact with it throughout their time at any given school.
With this in mind, the Maine Arts Commission is making a call to all artists living in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and New York, with a preference for Maine artists, to submit proposals to design, create and install artwork at the new Hampden Academy, a 9-12 high school located in Hampden, Maine. The total project budget is $43,500 and the submission deadline is January 19, 2011.
Hampden Academy will be moving into its new facility in the fall of 2012. The existing National Historic Landmark building, the original Academy built in 1843, will be preserved for future use. Hampden, Winterport, and Newburgh, the three towns that comprise the school district, have been enormously supportive of the new school project. They have generously supported a referendum to provide $6.2 million in local funds for a state of the art performing arts center and a larger gymnasium. Citizens are also raising private funds to commission a life-size bronze sculpture of the school mascot, "the Bronco," by sculptor Forest Hart.
There are several areas that have been identified as potential sites for artwork. All areas of the main lobby and dining room floors may be addressed. The plans for this area are to have ceramic tile, but artists would be able to incorporate flush tile or other material elements into the existing plans. Other internal areas include the library skylight, exterior windows, grand stairs and wall spaces.
Exterior spaces include the 3-story brick wall facing the sports field, to the left of the windows of the multi-purpose room; the metal wall facing the sports field end of the fly tower, and two stair towers on the southern elevation.
The full prospectus, including all images and floor plans, can be found on the Maine Arts Commission’s Website, MaineArts.com.