The City of Auburn’s Auburn Art Wall Project will be unveiled at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 24, with artists individually revealing and speaking on behalf of their own panel(s) of artwork.
Following the unveiling, there will be a celebration in Festival Plaza in Downtown Auburn. The celebration will feature music by Down East Brass and refreshments.
In May of 2011, the City of Auburn and L/A Arts made a call to artists statewide to submit their original work of the “Natural World” to potentially be displayed on the 700-foot wall, located on Main Street in Auburn. Of 38 submissions, eight artists were selected to have their work digitally reproduced on 14 different panels attached to the masonry wall adjacent to the sidewalk.
The artists selected are: Gary Cooper of Fayette, Penny Hood of Farmington, Denis LeBlanc of Auburn, Kristin Malin of Georgetown, Ellen Rawding of South Paris, Duncan Slade of Norway, Lois Strickland of Pownal and Steve Traficonte of Oxford.
The Auburn Art wall is a unique public art project. Instead of commissioning artists to create new pieces of work, a call to artists was made to submit digital reproductions of two-dimensional work of any medium of the “Natural World.” Artists generously donated reproductions of their work to be shared with the Auburn community.
The Auburn Art Wall consists of 14 aluminum-framed sections that will house the printed images: nine 4 ft. x 24 ft. panels and five 4 ft. x 4 ft panels. Each of these panels will highlight the work(s) of a single artist: the 4 ft. x 24 ft. panels consisting of a grouping of four to seven images from an individual artist, and the 4 ft. x 4 ft panel each consisting of a single image by a selected artist. The work presented on this wall is expected to last for five years; it is dynamic in the sense that as the city changes, the wall too will change.
A panel of five was responsible for the final selection of artists and artwork. The panel, consisting of Jean McGuiness (Maine Center for Creativity), Robyn Holman (curator for the University of Maine), Ray Berube (City Councilor), Patricia Chandler (local artist) and Odelle Bowman (executive director of L/A Arts), had reviewed all work before a final decision was made.
During a two-day process, the panel first examined all of the artwork, reviewed Art Wall submission criteria, spoke on each individual piece and voted for their selections independent of each other on criteria sheets. On the second day, the panel looked at all of the artwork once more, and then reviewed each piece that received the most votes; panelists were invited to also speak up about any piece of work they felt was overlooked.
They reviewed and reselected work based on how each piece of work fit within the totality of work, most closely reexamining single images for flow within the larger group. The final order of artists work on panels was determined by Robyn Holman, curator. Once work was selected a request for proposal for actual printing was advertised; Portland Color received the contract.
The Auburn Art Wall Project demonstrates the City of Auburn’s recognition of the arts as a catalyst for further economic development. Through cultivating a creative community, Auburn further attracts new residents, businesses and tourists to the city of Auburn, thus improving the overall quality of life for our residents. The City of Auburn and L/A Arts believe that one of the keys to a strong economy is the enhancement of our community spaces.
Find out about upcoming events, project and initiatives by L/A Arts at www.laarts.org. L/A Arts can be contacted directly at (207) 782-7228 or firstname.lastname@example.org.