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Artists wanted to beautify downtown

Applications from talented artists are being accepted this January for a public art project that’s set to beautify downtown Suffolk this spring, pending approval from the city.

With help from a generous donation by the Suffolk Foundation, the SPARC Initiative is arranging its latest public art project, which will start in March and be completed in early April.

SPARC stands for “Suffolk’s Prime Arts, Retail and Culinary” initiative. Projects they’ve completed thus far include the pop-up murals around town, which were done in partnership with Suffolk Art League and Keep Suffolk Beautiful.

“Part of SPARC’s mission is to create and foster public artwork downtown, an effort in direct conjunction with Suffolk’s Downtown Master Plan, which calls for both public artworks and the eventual establishment of an arts/cultural district,” SPARC Initiative Executive Director Carolyn Phillips wrote in an email.

The project is still pending approval from the city, according to Phillips.

Pre-existing metal planters and trash cans will be painted in the immediate vicinity of the Washington Street and Main Street intersection, including Courthouse Park. These planters and trash cans will be moved to a secure outdoor location for painting. Painting can be done individually or in groups.

All painted surfaces must be appropriate for public viewing, and all supplies for the painters will be provided. This artwork will be viewable by more than 20,000 drivers daily, in addition to several hundred people walking by them daily, Phillips wrote in reference to traffic data from the Downtown Master Plan.

The SPARC Initiative will promote this project, and participating artists may appear in media releases or marketing materials.

According to Phillips, three applications for artists have been submitted as of Dec. 28. Those eligible include professional as well as talented, emerging artists. Painters can already be affiliated with the SPARC Initiative, but do not have to be.

Those interested should email Phillips at carolyn@sparcva.com by Jan. 31, or until budgeted funding is fully allocated for this project. Applicants should include their qualifications that are related to this project, and along with the project’s basic idea and details like color scheme and imagery.