and the city of New London are seeking artist proposals after receiving $126,000 from the Department of Economic and Community Development for the creation of downtown murals.
The money was part of the department’s “City Canvases” program and will be used to fund four new murals as part of the project “Wall to Wall: The New London Mural Walk.” These artworks will be added to the outer walls of , , and the Hygienic Art stage as well as the side of a water-facing tower at the .
According to the Department of Economic and Community Development, City Canvases is a one-time initiative to enhance public spaces by bringing “mural-based public art into downtown spaces throughout the state of Connecticut.” The cities eligible for funding were Bridgeport, Danbury, Hartford, Middletown, Milford, New Britian, New Haven, New London, Norwalk, Stamford, Torrington, and Waterbury.
“It was an opportunity that we couldn’t let go by,” said Vincent Scarano, president of Hygienic Art.
“We fully understand that it is the arts community that has been the economic driver, particularly for downtown,” said Mayor Daryl Finizio at a press conference held outside the whale mural created by Mark Wyland at a building on Eugene O’Neill Drive.
The plan calls for the creation of a six-block walking tour to and from Parade Plaza that will include nine existing downtown murals as well as the new art. The new murals will be face Eugene O’Neill Drive and complement the whale mural. The parking garage will feature a fifty-foot high trompe l’oeil, creating a three-dimensional effect, and will be within view of passengers arriving in New London by ferry and train.
Scarano said the budget includes costs for resurfacing the walls in preparation for painting as well as scaffolding, lighting, and other materials. The artist fees to be paid will be $28,500 for the Homeward Bound Treasures building, $20,000 for the parking garage, $17,500 for the Caruso Music building, and $12,500 for the Hygienic stage.
Caruso currently has a small mural on it which may or may not be painted over. Scarano said artists will also not be limited to paint and may propose the use ceramics or other materials.
The , Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut, City Center District, OpSail 2012, SailFest, and the New London Parking Commission also partnered with the city and Hygienic Art in supporting the effort. A public relations team will promote the project.
The deadline for artists to apply to work on Wall to Wall is March 30. Application information is available at the Hygienic Art website. The creation of the murals is expected to begin by April 16.