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ARTscapes - Main Street Building Project/Omak

A collaborative project of Methow Arts Alliance and NCW Loan Fund

ARTscapes is a creative response to economic hard times. It transforms empty storefronts and vacant space into dynamic points of interest through artistic energy and enterprise, making towns in Okanogan County stronger and more active. The Main Street Project is the first project to launch.

Located at 7 South Main Street in downtown Omak, the project will soon welcome Riverside artist Bruce Townsend Cook into the space in a temporary artist studio/store. Working with the downtown business community, the new space will often be open to the public for viewing of glassblowing and art creation by Bruce. Additionally in conjunction with the newly launched Main Street Market Gallery, the space will hold regular Friday evening receptions open to the public. Bruce is a reputable metal and glass artist who often uses recycled objects in his creations. He is a teaching artist in the Methow Arts Alliance - Arts Education Programs, working with students in grades K-8.

The project works with artists, realtors, and property owners to activate empty storefronts with art and creative enterprise. Projects will take place in participating towns throughout Okanogan County. The project is based on Spaceworks Tacoma, a successful model that revitalizes downtown Tacoma with art.

PROPOSALS are currently being accepted for an ARTIST RESIDENCY/Studio Space Project in the Main Street Building in downtown Omak, the first project of ARTscapes. It is an initiative of Methow Arts Alliance in conjunction with NCW Business Loan Fund, property owner of the Main Street Building.

Space is free to artist/artist teams. The Artist Residency Space Project is a form of open-studio for artists, who work in the space creating pieces while the public watches and, occasionally comes in and meets the artist/s. The selected artist will design/submit proposal for a plan for a studio space in the Main Street Building in downtown Omak for a 3-6 month period. See details below.

Artscapes is seeking artists or artist teams who:

  • Can successfully and fully activate a vacant space, 24 hours/day
  • Have experience as an artist and are looking for a unique place to create and display artwork
  • Can create an enticing visual display and artist studio space for passersby
  • Can host art receptions, interact with public and maintain a captivating and tidy studio space

BACKGROUND

ARTscapes is a creative response to economic hard times. It is a project of Methow Arts Alliance which provides innovative ART Programs throughout Okanogan County. The goal of ARTscapes is to transform empty storefronts and vacant space into dynamic points of interest through artistic energy and enterprise, making towns in Okanogan County stronger and more active. The project works with artists, realtors, and property owners to activate empty storefronts with art and creative enterprise.

How ARTscapes works: Property owners donate their vacant spaces and program participants transform them into dynamic points of interest with site-specific installations, artist residencies, creative retail and pop-up events.

The ARTscapes Project offers dedicated practicing artists the chance to pursue projects and develop work in any discipline. The project will offer three different types of projects: 1. Window Installations; 2. Artist Residency Space, a form of open-studio for artists, who work in the space creating pieces while the public watches and, depending on the situation, comes in and meets the artists; 3. Creative Spaces/Enterprise Opportunities. The Main Street Building is the first project of this initiative and offers Artist Residency Space. Additional applications will soon be available for other spaces throughout Okanogan County. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and are reviewed as spaces become available.

THE MAIN STREET BUILDING PROJECT/OMAK

The Main Street Building Project/Omak is the first project of ARTscapes. It is an initiative of Methow Arts Alliance in conjunction with NCW Business Loan Fund, property owner of the Main Street Building.

Project Timeline:

  • April 20 – Deadline for Proposals from Artists
  • Week of May 1 – Selection of Participants
  • May 6-May 13 – Artist move in/set up
  • May 15 – Open Reception for Artist to Public
  • May 15-August 15 (possibly longer) Artscapes projects on display
  • August 16 (or later) – De-installation of projects

ARTIST REQUIREMENTS & DETAILS

This Request for Proposal/Main Street Building Project asks for proposals for Residency/Studio Space. With this in mind the space should be used for the creation of artwork and designed to be viewable by pedestrians and the public from the storefront window. For this project integrating local agricultural is a preferred but not mandatory element. Email questions: Amanda@methowartsalliance.org

ARTscapes RESIDENCY participants will have access to a space for three to six months, dependent on space availability and project success. ARTscapes RESIDENCY projects are open to the public on occasion and are observable through the storefront window at all times. If products are to be sold, participants must hold appropriate City of Omak and State of Washington licenses and permits. Selected artists and/or artist teams will be required to hold set business hours as agreed upon between Methow Arts Alliance and NCW Business Loan Fund.

We encourage the space to be used to create and display original work and site-specific projects, but also regularly present existing work.

Projects may include video projections or other light elements, but be aware that successful proposals will engage passers-by both in daylight and in darkness.

Residency Space is offered for 3 – 6 months. Artists must be willing to vacate the space within 30 days if the property is sold/leased or rented.

BACKGROUND

ARTscapes is a program designed by Methow Arts Alliance to activate vacant storefront spaces in various neighborhoods by providing temporary space to artists, creative businesses, organizations and community groups. The program is based on the successful model SPACEworks in Tacoma.

ELIGIBILITY

Individual artists, arts groups, or arts businesses located in Washington State who are 18 years of age or older may apply. Arts groups are not required to have 501(c)3 status.

SCOPE OF WORK

If chosen for an ARTscapes project, you will receive access to a vacant space. Although there will be no occupancy fee, the property owner may ask for a utilities cost share. The property owner or Methow Arts Alliance will provide liability insurance. The artist will sign a formal contract.

Selected participants in the ARTscapes program must agree to the following:

  • Enter into an agreement with Methow Arts Alliance regarding the terms of use
  • Host an opening reception for the public and agree to additional hours that are open to the public
  • Agree to occupy the space regularly to create work
  • Be willing to de-install the piece and give up the space if the property owner finds a permanent tenant within the negotiated timeframe
  • Present high quality artwork and/or service activity
  • Partner with ARTscapes to market and promote events and activities
  • Comply with all federal, state, and local laws

WILL I GET TO CHOOSE THE SPACE AND SCHEDULE?

This proposal is specific to the Main Street Building/Omak. However generally the ARTscapes panel and staff will pair applicants with available spaces, based on the needs of the applicants. The application will ask you what you need to do your work – please be specific so that if approved, we can match you to an appropriate space.

APPLICATION DEADLINE

APRIL 20, 2013. No application fees.

SELECTION CRITERIA

  • All applicants will be selected based on the following criteria. The review process is competitive and the review panel will be looking for a diversity of offerings.
  • Artistic quality
  • Innovation and engagement with the idea of empty retail space
  • Capacity to be successful (i.e. to accomplish what you are proposing)
  • Benefit to the community and appropriateness for the public realm (please remember that these installations are viewed by audiences of all ages and MUST be G-RATED)
  • High level of engagement with the street and passers-by
  • Ability and desire to interact with public

A project integrating local agriculture preferred but not mandatory (please direct questions to Amanda L. Jackson, Amanda@MethowArtsAlliance.org, 509.997.4004

SELECTION PROCESS

Proposals to the ARTscapes program are reviewed by a panel of arts professionals, representatives of neighborhood groups, and commercial property owners. Artists will be notified of the decision by the first week of May.

NOTIFICATION OF RESULTS

Applicants will be notified of their acceptance or rejection by early May, 2013.

CONTACT: Please contact Amanda at Amanda@MethowArtsAlliance.org, 509.997.4004.

(Artwork in photo by Steve Ward, Laura Karcher, Barry Stromberger and Jessica Dietz.)

arts partners: Methow Arts Alliance

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