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The Rush is On: El Paso’s Art-Buying Spree Ends Feb 14!

El Paso Public Artists Strike Gold!

El Paso Public Artists Strike Gold!

The city of El Paso is looking to build a public collection of artwork by local artists to be displayed in City buildings, and they’re in a hurry. Approximately $200,000 is available to purchase existing artwork from professional artists over 18, living and working in El Paso, who are invited to offer artworks for sale to the city by February 14, 2013 for consideration in the city’s forthrightly-named 2013 Purchase of Artwork Program.

Despite its stunning simplicity, or because of it, El Paso’s approach begs explanation, which the City’s press release supplies, in bureaucrat-ese: “The El Paso Public Art Program is to promote and encourage private and public programs to further the development and public awareness of, and interest in, the fine arts and cultural properties, to increase employment, opportunities in the arts, to encourage the integration of art into the architecture of municipal structures for the City of El Paso, and to provide for the citizens for the City high quality, publicly accessible works of art, which contribute to the urban landscape and symbolize the City’s sense of place.

Then, of course, there’s the fine print: artists can submit 3-6 artworks (all wall-hung) which must be larger than 11″, smaller than 80”, and weigh not more than 25 pounds; they must have been created in the past five years, and should be appropriate for a public setting, etc. Applications will be accepted online via the CAFE system, and reviewed by panels of of artists and arts professionals, City staff, and community members appointed by the Public Art Committee.

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