BEAUTIFYING SOMA: The projected sight of a new asphalt mural in downtown Little Rock.

The Downtown Little Rock Partnership is looking for an artist or artist team to design and implement an asphalt mural in the heart of the SoMa neighborhood. Located near M2 Gallery and Rock N Roll Sushi, the projected artwork will cover the entire four-way intersection of South Main and 13th streets, crosswalks included.

Funding for the project in the amount of $25,000 comes from the Bloomberg Philanthropies Asphalt Art Initiative, which has awarded public art grants to dozens of cities throughout North America and Europe. The focus of their “visual interventions” is on roadways (intersections and crosswalks), pedestrian spaces (plazas and sidewalks) and vertical infrastructure (utility boxes, traffic barriers and underpasses). A total of $15,000 will be reserved for an artist stipend, lodging and transportation costs, and project supplies; the remaining $10,000 will go toward paying finalists, a community celebration, and ongoing maintenance of the mural.

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The first step for those interested in the project is to submit an application to publicart@downtownlr.com by March 25. A full list of requirements and selection criteria can be found here, but the bulk of what’s expected is an artist statement, a resume including prior mural experience and a list of references.

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From those applicants, 3-5 finalists will be given two weeks to pitch an actual design for the space as well as an implementation plan and itemized budget. Each artist will be given $500 for their time, even if if they’re not chosen for the project. The selected artist will be notified in April or May, and the mural will be installed in June.

Any questions about the application process should be directed to DLRP Communications Director Kyle Leyenberger at kleyenberger@downtownlr.com.

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