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UrbanArt Commission Launches Five Calls to Artists for Memphis International Airport

UrbanArt Commission and MEM logos

The UrbanArt Commission (UAC) is pleased to announce five new commission opportunities for site-specific art installations throughout the re-imagined Concourse B at the Memphis International Airport. These five commissions are part of a $1.5 million art program that will contribute to the modernization and reimagination of the terminal.

Memphis International Airport (MEM) is in the midst of a multiphase, multi-year plan to upgrade its B Concourse and reinvent the Memphis travel experience. The redesigned concourse will provide passengers with a more open and relaxing environment, additional natural lighting and higher ceilings, and improved amenities.

Calls to Artists for the five site-specific commissions are now open on UAC’s website and will close April 6, 2020 at midnight. The projects include:

  • $125,000 wall-bound artwork for the entrance to the new concourse. Possible media include wall-bound sculpture, mural, kinetic and interactive sculpture, and lighting. The project is open to artists currently living and working in Memphis, TN.
  • $350,000 suspended sculpture at the end of the southeast corner of the B Concourse. The project is open to artists currently living and working in the United States. The selection committee has reserved one of three finalist positions for a Memphis-based artist.
  • Three $15,000 2D artworks for restrooms and waiting areas throughout the concourse (design-only). Commissioned artists will create original designs, in any 2D media, that will be printed on translucent glass panes. Fabrication and installation will be contracted separately by UAC. These projects are open only to artists currently living and working in Memphis, TN.

Following the close of the Calls to Artists on April 6,2020, the selection committee will review submissions and invite finalists to submit site-specific proposals for each project opportunity. Finalists will receive an honorarium for their designs based on the total project budget. UAC will host two information sessions to share more about all four project opportunities, and support interested artists in putting together their application materials. An information session about all calls will be held on Wednesday, March 11 from 5:30 – 7 pm, and UAC’s offices will be open for interested artists on Thursday, March 26 from 3 – 7 pm. Please contact A.M. O’Malley-Miller at am@uacmem.org for more information about the information sessions and to reserve time with one of the UAC team members to discuss the projects in greater detail.

The selection committee for all three projects: Darrell Thomas CEO, Thomas Consultants, Inc., MSCAA Board of Commissioners; Pamela Clary Executive VP, ComCap, MSCAA Board of Commissioners; Jim Keras, Owner of Jim Keras Automotive, MSCAA Board of Commissioners; Gregory Fletcher, MSCAA Board of Commissioners;  Richard Lou, Professor and Chair of Fine Art, University of Memphis; Faith Morris, Chief of Marketing and External Affairs, National Civil Rights Museum; Whitney Hardy, Founder of 3RDSPACE; Maggie Russell, Visual Artist;  Lucy Woodson, Founder, Worlds Away; Brenda Duckett, Memphis Community Leader; Metcalf Crump, Owner & Architect, The Crump Firm; Brian Bullard, Owner and Architect, UrbanArch Associates; James Hay, Director of Development, MSCAA; Glen Thomas, Director of Strategic Marketing & Communications, MSCAA; Scott Brockman, President & CEO, MSCAA (non-voting).

If you would like more information about this partnership or the open Calls to Artists, please contact Ebony Archie at 901.290.0955 or ebony@uacmem.org. For more information about the Concourse B modernization, please contact Glen Thomas at 901-922-8301 or GThomas@flymemphis.com.

Pictured: Rendering of re-imagined Concourse B for suspended sculpture

Pictured: Rendering of re-imagined Concourse B for 2d artwork outside of waiting areas for restrooms

Pictured: Rendering of re-imagined Concourse B

UrbanArt Commission (UAC) is a Memphis-based non-profit organization dedicated to creating opportunities for artists and neighborhoods to connect and shape spaces through public art. UAC’s vision is for the arts to be integral to a thriving and equitable Memphis. With 100+ public art projects throughout the city, UAC aims to increase the density and impact of public art in neighborhoods across Memphis, whilesupporting new media and methods for public art. To stay up-to-date on all new projects and existing work in the city, go to uacmem.org.

Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority (MSCAA)owns and operates Memphis International Airport (MEM), as well as two general aviation airports, General DeWitt Spain airport near downtown and Charles W. Baker airport in Millington. Nearly 5 million passengers travel through MEM each year. In addition, thanks to the presence of FedEx, MEM is North America’s busiest cargo airport and the second busiest in the world. MSCAA operates and maintains runways, airport buildings, and other facilities, and is responsible for the security and safety of our customers. There are approximately 300 full-time and 35 seasonal employees at MSCAA.