Public Art

Muralist Wanted

The Shirt Factory is soliciting proposals from mural artists for the East facing brick wall of the building located at 153 Maple Street, Glens Falls. To be considered, artists should submit sketches of proposed mural along with pictures of prior mural work and a proposed budget by December 1st, 2021. The design must be original work, and may not use copyrighted images or logos. Beyond these restrictions, there are no limits on the design. Below is a picture of the wall, measurements are approximately 40 feet high x 65 feet long.  

Selection of the final design and artist will take place by February 28th, 2022 with work to commence as weather permits in the spring (building owner will supply mutually agreed surface that can include pointing and wall priming), and painting to start in May 2022 with completed mural by the end of August 2022. 

Please read on for answers to many of the questions regarding our request for mural proposals for the East facing wall of 153 Maple Street Glens Falls.

If there are questions that have not been addressed in this, please send an email to management@shirtfactorygf.com 

Artists should submit sketches of proposed mural along with pictures of prior mural work and a proposed budget by December 1st, 2021 to management@shirtfactorygf.com to be considered.

If you are considering submitting a proposal for this project, please read on.

What wants to go on the wall?

A lot of artists ask this or to “Pick something from their portfolio”.  We are looking for something fresh, that the artist has a vision and a passion to put up on the wall. Many folks think that some sort of historical content, a collection of local attractions, or images that might appeal to the vanity of the building owner will be the ticket to a winning submission.  All of those are great topics and there are beautiful murals like these in many towns, but that is not what is desired here. This mural this should be art for art’s sake, it need not have any relation to anything in the local area.  

Submitting a sketch

To know what the artist vision is, some sort of sketch is needed.It does not need to be the exact image that will be on the wall, but it should at least be a rough pencil sketch with enough detail that the idea of what is being proposed can easily be seen.
For example, when Rob Harriman sketched out ideas for the container/trailer project in the Rock Hill Bakehouse & Cafe parking lot, he submitted 5 design sketches.The “space whale” was chosen, based on a sketch of some whales and some planets, it did not have the same level of detail (jellyfish, sting rays, stars etc.) that wound up in the final piece or even a precise layout, but knowing the direction he wanted to go, knowing he was excited about his idea, and knowing what his portfolio of prior work was like (to grasp the artist’s style), one could envision what a final product might look like.(Hannah Williams collaborated with Rob to make the final mural).

“What’s the budget?”

There is no “set” budget. This is a private commission, no grants or outside funding sources used.  The artist needs to budget for what they need to get paid.

Some bids will be more, some will be less, but the final decision will not be based solely on monetary concerns (other than something that is completely unaffordable). The least expensive or even a free bid, does not have a significant advantage over another design. We are not looking for the cheapest option, the design is more important than the cost.

It is anticipated that we will receive multiple proposals on this project and merits of the design as well as cost will be considered in the final decision process, which we have allocated a month to consider.

Location

The sketch is also going to reveal how the final piece may address issues with the building and location. No suggestions are being made here as to a direction for a design, just pointing out things to consider. For example, there is a parking lot that may or may not have cars parked in it.  Does the design incorporate this possibility, or does it simply start 10 feet up the wall?

How does the design treat the windows and other protrusions from the walls, do they get incorporated into the design or does the mural say take place only on the section of the building without windows. There is no “right” or “wrong” answer here, but these will be aspects of the design to consider. How these elements are addressed in the sketch will help visualize how a final mural might appear.

Approvals

After being selected, it is necessary to present to the proposed sketch to the City planning board for approval. Not too long ago murals were not allowed in Glens Falls.  Since that changed, there have been some murals that are either an advertisement for an establishment or the predictable “here is our history” or “here are our events”. We are looking to bring unique, original murals to the town.

This year Rob Harriman’s and Hannah William’s “space whale” piece was the first outdoor piece in a public area of Glens Falls to not have some sort of specific purpose other than to beautify a space, which it did wonderfully.  Since these pieces were not painted on buildings the City did not have any say as to content or design.

The Effect of Art

A function of the “Space Whale” project was to show what how a good mural can change the feel of a location.  This piece will pave the way for public acceptance of a much larger and prominent piece. The mural on the building on Maple Street is the first piece that will be done on the outside of a building in the City that is just art for the sake of art, and certainly it is a large piece.  We want a piece that the artist feels strongly about putting up on a wall, because it needs to be astounding.  Some of the very best work is produced when an artist feels passionate about what they are doing, that passion is reflected in the end result, creating some of the most impressive pieces of art.

That is why there are no constraints, there are no suggestions or demands on what “needs” to be done in terms of art. This should be a piece that people will look at and say “Wow, we need more of that!” 

Getting started

If a more detailed sketch is required by the City to gain approval for the project (believe it or not, elected officials are sometimes not the most visionary people around, more detail may be needed, it could be as simple as coloring in the sketch). Once the city approves the mural sketch, we will pay a mutually agreed amount for the artist’s time, although whatever that amount that is, it should be included in the proposed budget.  

Prep Work

For the prep work, pointing, priming, etc.  the staff here can supply a mutually agreed upon surface read for paint. This could include, pointing of masonry, priming of the wall, removal or modifications of some of the window coverings, etc. We will want to discuss the paint used, and if the paint can be supplied by us for the project.  The desire is for the mural to last a long time, and we are willing to pay and or supply the best commercial or industrial grade paints available for the project if it means greater longevity.  Fortunately, this wall is East facing which is one of the better directions to face in terms of weather exposure. The property owner can supply appropriate man lift, prep work, on site storage of supplies and site fencing.

Future Options

Even if no one else in the City plans to do mural work as a result of this project, The Shirt Factory will commit to doing at least 1 mural per year for the next 10 years in the City of Glens Falls.  The muralists that submit proposals for this project will be on the short list for consideration on these future projects.  In addition, the hope to see more property owners in the area step up to do projects on their properties, we will of course share your contact information with anyone who asks for contact info for muralists (provided you agree to share your info).  We will also share your info with the Glens Falls Arts District who are separately planning public art projects.

 

 

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