synerG seeks proposals for new public art project in Greensboro

by Allison Stalberg

Young professional organization synerG is looking for an emerging artist to make a new public art piece in Greensboro.

At the end of 2015, a survey for synerG, a young professionals group associated with Action Greensboro, was released asking them what the group’s project priorities should be for 2016. Public art came out as one of the top initiatives. A budget of $4,500 has been set aside for the project.

synerG is looking for proposals from emerging artists who are current or past residents of North Carolina. Hillary Meredith, the synerG young professional’s director for Action Greensboro, believes public art was chosen because young people identify with place-making.

“There’s a lot more visual connection to a place with public art. So I think they want their city to be beautiful and be something that makes them happy visually and engages them in that way,” Meredith said. “My hopes are that it is something that sparks joy, interest, and also is something that hopefully becomes iconic in the city.”

The co-chairs of the public art committee, Spencer Conover and Laura Maruzzella, both are enthusiastic to see what public art comes out of the project. Their selection team will comb through the proposals for exciting ideas.

“My ideal proposal or piece that we select is something that I can’t even imagine,” said Conover. “It’s so creative and original; it’s something I never even thought of before this artist proposed it.”

“Public art is all about accessibility,” said Maruzzella. “It’s all about community. It doesn’t have barriers that art within a gallery does. It’s out in the community; it’s accessible to people of all ages, all backgrounds and all abilities. I think that’s what makes public art really unique and makes this opportunity really special.”

“The artist is going to be creating art that could be seen by hundreds or thousands of people,” Maruzzella said. “It’s going to be out in the open with no charge to go to see it. There’s no admission or hours that artwork in a gallery setting has to work in-between. I think that is what sets this opportunity apart.”

The location of the art piece will be in Greensboro, but it can be placed in various locations from a grassy field downtown to the top of a building. The medium is flexible.

“If they are technologically savvy and they are into some sort of projection piece that would go on the side of the wall, if they want to do a sculpture or a mural, it’s very open,” said Maruzzella. “I would also encourage people to send us your ideas even if you think they are too out there or too wild, I think that we want to see everything that people have to share.”

As for advice for aspiring artists who are interested, Maruzzella thinks the proposals should be read by many people before turning them in to synerG.

“I would say to have a couple different people read it from a variety of backgrounds. If you only have artists reading it, that’s great, but maybe get someone outside of the arts to read it.”

Conover hopes the project continues and that more public art is on its way to Greensboro. “I think we should have more public art and more opportunities for people creating and contributing and livening up the city into a funky, cool, colorful, imaginative place,” he said. “Things like that are helpful when you try to create memories or lasting impressions of a place.”

The proposal deadline is July 25. The artist chosen will be notified on August 4 the art piece will be installed by Oct. 12.

For more information visit the synerG website.