Bloomberg Philanthropies has named the city of Spartanburg as one of four recipients of a public art grant worth up to $1 million. The collaborative, neighborhood-based art project, called “Seeing Spartanburg in a New Light,” will feature the work of light and digital media artist Erwin Redl. It is curated by Mark Sloan of the Halsey Institute for Contemporary Art.
The project, which will install site-specific art in minority neighborhoods generally cut off from traditional cultural institutions, is meant to “enhance community policing and public safety efforts aligned with the annual National Night Out program,” according to a press release. “Its artistic objective is to provide residents and visitors with unique and dramatic aesthetic experiences of light breaking free of a purely functional role, to redefine public spaces, reduce crime, re-energize neighborhoods, educate and foster greater pride of place.”
Nearly 240 cities, large and small, responded to an invitation by Bloomberg Philanthropies issued in October of 2014. Other grant recipients are Los Angeles; Gary, Ind.; and three New York cities, Albany, Schenectady and Troy, which applied jointly.
“My role as artistic director/curator is essentially to facilitate the process of meeting with community leaders, police and city officials to determine the best locations for art interventions,” Sloan said. “Erwin Redl and I will be working together to evaluate a variety of factors from all of these sources. I will act as the liaison and mouthpiece for the artistic dimension of this large project.”
For more information about the public art initiative, go to http://publicartchallenge.bloomberg.org/.