Press Release: Art For Manhole Covers

December 4, 2017

Contact: Mae Skidmore, mskidmore@annarborartcenter.org


Ann Arbor, MI (December, 5 2017) – The Ann Arbor Art Center is calling for submissions for original art that will be cast onto manhole covers throughout the City of Ann Arbor. The installations will take place over an approximate six year period and will include three publicly selected designs.

Contracted by the City of Ann Arbor to format and guide a selection process that includes a high level of public engagement, the Art Center invites and encourages artists of all skill levels and ages to submit designs. Submitted designs will be assessed on a wide range of criteria including aesthetics, feasibility of design to be produced in cast iron, and fidelity to the community values and attributes of Ann Arbor.  The public will choose three finalists via online polling sometime in February or March 2018. The three final winners will receive a stipend of $1000 from the City of Ann Arbor.

“This is an amazing project for the City and for the Art Center. Each winning design could be installed for many decades resulting in a great legacy for the artists,” says Marie Klopf, Ann Arbor Art Center President and CEO. “We have been working with the City and an advisory committee to develop a process that is transparent and attracts fun and relevant designs. Manholes are highly visible but also ubiquitous, so often overlooked. We want to change that. We want to make a statement through this unique media that public art can be anywhere.”

The submission period opened December 2, 2017 and closes December 23, 2017. Details about the submission process  are on the Art Center website. Because this project is funded with public monies, the submission process is open to all ages and is not limited to geographic area. Designs submitted will be reviewed, for suitability and feasibility, by an advisory committee of professional artists, community stakeholders and business leaders, and also representatives of the City and the manhole fabricator. Following that review, and pending approval from the City, a recommendation of 4-6 semi-finalists will be subject to the public polling. The three winners will be announced in February  or March 2018.

About the Ann Arbor Art Center

For 107 years, the Ann Arbor Art Center has been sparking creativity in people of all ages and artistic abilities. Our mission is to be a contemporary forum for the visual arts through education, exploration, and exhibition, and to expand perspectives and ignite growth in students, artists, and the community. In this work we aspire to be a gathering place that serves artists and the community in four distinct, yet related ways: Exhibition, Retail, Education, and Community Engagement.