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Believe in Bristol and Advance Bristol Foundation Announce Outside the Box Public Art Project

April 19, 2023

Design submissions from local artisans are now being accepted for adding public art to Historic Downtown Bristol

Fillable PDF application available here

BRISTOL, Tenn. — Believe in Bristol and Advance Bristol Foundation are partnering to enhance the look and appeal of Historic Downtown Bristol by giving local artisans an opportunity to submit their original artwork through the Outside the Box Public Art Project.

Selected artwork will be used to create colorful, creative wraps for utility boxes throughout the downtown. The utility boxes will serve as functional pieces of vibrant art that contribute to the attractiveness of the Bristol streetscape, while also providing creative experiences in unexpected public places.

Believe in Bristol and Advance Bristol will each contribute $5,000 toward manufacturing and installation of the vinyl wraps. Eight proposals will be selected for the project, and each finalist will be paid a $500 honorarium for his/her finalized proposal. Winning artists will have plaques inscribed with the artist’s name and artwork information attached to each box.

“This project serves a dual purpose of supporting public art and beautifying the community,” says Cathy Floyd, executive director of Advance Bristol. “By wrapping the utility boxes throughout downtown Bristol, we are promoting the talents and visibility of local artists by providing unique and inclusive opportunities for the public to access and enjoy visual art in non-traditional venues. It is exciting to see the partnerships taking place in the Advance Bristol Downtown Development Task Force, which is comprised of reps from both cities, Believe in Bristol, Bristol Chamber of Commerce, private developers, downtown merchants, and other business and community individuals. We are looking forward to additional collaborative project announcements in the coming days.”

Maggie Elliott, executive director of Believe in Bristol, echoed Floyd’s sentiments: “Believe in Bristol designed this program to focus on community pride and enhance visual aesthetics in downtown Bristol. This project will be a great addition to the artisan culture that already exists here, and the utility boxes will be transformed into functional pieces of public art that contribute significantly to the vitality and charm of our downtown.”

CLICK HERE to obtain an application, list of guidelines, artist agreement, and artwork specifications. Applications are due by 5:00pm on May 31, 2023and must be submitted to Believe in Bristol, 20 6th Street, Bristol, Tennessee, 37620. The project is open to all artists who abide by the project guidelines. Artists may apply as an individual or as a group.

Submissions will be reviewed by the Believe in Bristol Promotions and Design Committees consisting of dedicated volunteers, art professionals, and members of the community. Submitted artwork will be judged on creativity, communitypride, originality, and appropriate regard for the nature of the space and the audience. Once the artwork is selected, artists will be notified via phone or email, along with a formal letter in the mail assigning their utility box location.

Advance Bristol is a non-profit organization consisting of local leaders in the private sector who share an active interest in shaping the future of Bristol, Tennessee/Virginia. In collaboration with Believe in Bristol, Bristol Chamber of Commerce, local governments, and community business and industry, Advance Bristol encourages the private sector to provide financial support and partner with the public sector to execute projects that benefit Bristol’s economic viability and overall appeal. For more information, visit advancebristol.org.

Believe in Bristol’s mission is to foster the collaborative, vibrant nature of Bristol, Tennessee/Virginia by building acommunity of culture, lifestyle, heritage,music, andeconomy. For more information, visit believeinbristol.org.