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The Williams Visual Arts Building will be the anchor for the College's new Williams Arts Campus.

Lafayette and the City of Easton are conducting an international call for entries for outdoor art installations that will be exhibited during the Art of Urban Environments Festival.

The College and city received a $200,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to host the festival, which will run from April to October 2011. Through a juried competition, up to 16 artists or artist-led teams will be selected to create site-specific, multimedia installations that challenge conventional views of a place.

The winning proposals will be installed in April and displayed during the six-month festival on Lafayette’s new Williams Arts Campus and throughout the City of Easton.

The competition will take place in two rounds. The deadline for the first round is Dec. 10. These proposals will be reviewed and a selection of entries will be invited to a second round.  For the second round, designs will be further developed and a more detailed budget will be submitted with the final proposal due Feb. 4, 2011. To submit an application, visit the festival website.

“The objective is to showcase the city’s urban and natural resources and to make people who live in the city understand that there is beauty in urban space,” says Lucienne Di Biase Dooley, the festival’s administrative curator.  “If people are aware of what they have, they tend to take better care of it.”

Artists from all disciplines are invited to enter the competition, including visual artists, architects, landscape architects, engineers, filmmakers, and multidisciplinary teams, especially from developing countries.  Entrants are encouraged to collaborate with individuals outside their disciplines. Partnering with schools, community groups, or art organizations is also encouraged. College students in the last year of a design-related program of study are also eligible.

“The art of urban environments competition and festival is an exciting, ambitious project to place temporary artwork in public spaces,” says Michiko Okaya, a member of the festival planning committee and director of Lafayette art galleries.  “The installation sites can serve as places for performance, reflection, and discovery.”

The selection jury is composed of residents, artists, experts, and community leaders. It is chaired by Ellis Finger, director of the Williams Center for the Arts. The committee hopes to attract a diverse selection of proposals and has reached out to most of the American embassies throughout the world, including South America, Africa, Egypt, and Europe, according to Di Biase Dooley.

The festival is one of 21 projects recognized by the National Endowment of the Arts to honor the 25th anniversary of the Mayors’ Institute on City Design. The six-month festival will feature a series of events, including self-guided and guided tours of the site installations, lectures, art exhibitions, and music and dance performances.

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