[Sponsored Listing] The City of Woodstock, Illinois, seeks artists’ proposals for the North Benton Street Mural as part of an outdoor dining and entertainment area in its historic downtown district. The commissioning of a new mural in the historic district is part of the City’s ongoing efforts to give residents and visitors opportunities to engage with the arts.
The mural will be attached to the exterior, west-facing facade of a privately owned building at 220 North Benton Street. The proposed mural site is located on a street adjacent to the historic Woodstock Square and within the historic district. During summer months, the street is closed to vehicular traffic. It is used as an outdoor dining and entertainment space by several nearby restaurants. The site has high visibility and a significant amount of pedestrian traffic.
Residents and visitors come to the historic Woodstock Square to attend performances at the Woodstock Opera House and private music and movie venues, as well as numerous special events throughout the year. The award-winning Woodstock Farmers Market, locally owned shops, and popular bars and restaurants attract people to the Woodstock Square in large numbers.
Enter by: 25 Feb 2022
- Finalists selected: By March 4, 2022
- Design submissions: By March 25, 2022
- Mural agreement available: By April 15, 2022
- Project completed: By July 15, 2022
There is no submission fee. Artists may submit more than one proposed concept. Designs must be the artist’s own work and must not violate any copyright restrictions. Any artist with previous mural design and installation experience is eligible to submit a proposal. All correspondence and contracts are part of the public record. By submitting materials you are (1) consenting to the release of those materials by the City in response to requests under the Public Records Act and (2) agreeing to indemnify and hold harmless the City for release of such information.
Artists shall submit the following for consideration:
- Artist Application
- Link to portfolio
- One to two paragraph narrative describing design concept, including substrate
City staff will review applications for completeness and eligibility. The City Council will determine final project award and contract terms. Designs may also be subject to review by the City’s Historic Preservation Commission and the City’s Arts Commission. After review by an art advisory group, finalists will be selected and notified to submit a full-color design for consideration. A $500 design fee will be paid to those artists not chosen as the finalist.
Proposals will be evaluated based on:
- Artistic excellence, vibrancy, and originality of the artist
- Appropriateness of the design for its site in Woodstock’s entertainment district
- Documented experience of the artist in completing similar projects
The mural will be mounted to the west-facing brick façade of a historic building. The space available for the mural is approximately 30 feet by 12 feet. Permission from the building owner has been secured. It is clean and in good condition for an installation. The wall abuts the sidewalk; there are no obstructions. The City will work with the selected artist to accommodate requests for access to power and water as well as overnight storage of materials. The mural should be installed to withstand weather and other site conditions for a term to be agreed upon by the selected artist and the City in the mural agreement. The mural is subject to removal by the City at any time during or after the agreed upon period.
- The selected artist must show proof of liability insurance prior to beginning mural installation. The City of Woodstock, Benton Street LLC, and any other parties participating in installation must be named as additional insured entities.
- Proposed designs remain the property of the artist unless the design is selected by the City. The selected design and installed mural will be the property of the City of Woodstock. As such, no royalties or fees, beyond the initial artist’s fee, will be attached to its ongoing use by the City.
- Any unapproved substitutions or deviations from the approved final design or proposed materials may result in termination of contract, removal of imagery, and non-payment of any amount due. City staff will monitor mural installation.
North Benton Street Mural Artist Benefits
The artist stipend is $12,000. This amount must cover the artist’s design fee, supplies and travel. The City of Woodstock will pay for the substrate and equipment necessary to complete the project onsite. One-third of the amount will be paid when the mural agreement is signed; one-third at the project mid-point; and one-third when the project is completed.
Woodstock prides itself as McHenry County’s epicenter of artists, creative entrepreneurs, and those who appreciate imaginative expressions in an area rich with visionaries. Located in a collar county, Woodstock is a commuter rail stop away from Chicago and acts as a uniquely urban city surrounded by rural amenities such as agri-tourism farms, designated scenic drives and conservation areas nestled within glacial topography.
Woodstock’s rich history and vibrant sense of community provide a far-reaching opportunity for interested artists to express themselves, spark conversation, and capture the essence of a modern place rooted in its rich past.
Interested artists will find that Woodstock’s far-reaching marketing and recognizable Real Woodstock brand, along with community support for the arts, is tailor-made to propel commissioned works to the forefront of national awareness. Coupled with City support through its newly formed Arts Commission, artists commissioned for inaugural exhibits will be featured prominently as the public arts program continues to gain momentum through well-curated 2-D and 3-D art installations.
About the City of Woodstock, Illinois
Woodstock is the arts and culture focal point of McHenry County, Illinois. The Historic Woodstock Square is home to the Woodstock Opera House, Stage Left Café, and numerous other arts and entertainment venues. In its most recent downtown development plan, the City identified the creation of public art in the Woodstock Square Historic District as a goal.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, recognized as a Distinctive Destination by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and named a Preserve America Community by the White House, Woodstock is a community unlike any other. The Historic Woodstock Square offers many shops and retail establishments in a unique and nostalgic atmosphere.
Throughout the year, Woodstock is host to many events, festivals, and fairs, from Fair Diddley Art Fair, to Summer Band Concerts, award-winning Farmer’s Market, to HarvestFest, and Groundhog Days–celebrating Woodstock’s starring role as Punxsutawney, PA in the 1992 Bill Murray classic movie Groundhog Day. The beautiful Gothic style Opera House serves as the cultural entertainment center of Woodstock, featuring plays, concerts, and performances throughout the year, including the Midwest Mozart Festival each summer.
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J + K Isacson announce a call for artists for Heaven and Hell, a national fine arts exhibition in Woodstock, IL, northwest of Chicago. The exhibit will be in the Old Courthouse Arts Center, a 5,000 sq ft gallery located on Woodstock’s historic square. Heaven and Hell is a juried exhibition that explores the concepts of good versus evil and the idea of a link between our experiences during life and after death.
Deadline: 31 May 2020
Jury fee is $30 for up to 5 images.
Artists are encouraged to submit work that explores:
- heaven or hell
- either good or evil
- good versus evil
- heaven or hell as a metaphor
- your hopes, fears, beliefs, and feelings relating to either
All mediums will be accepted for consideration. Installation, 2D and 3D submissions welcomed. No hanging fee.
Exhibition date: August 2020.
Artist awards valued at $1,500 USD. Additional virtual exhibition online. Accepted artists will be eligible for video interview promotional feature for exhibition. Awards will be presented opening night. Awards will be given for 1st Place & Honorable Mention and an additional 2 Blue and 1 Gold artist management prizes sponsored by Biafarin Artist Management designed to further empower winning artists to sell their artwork. Combined value of prizes is valued at $1,500 in US dollars.
Exhibition videos: In addition to promotional videos created for the exhibition, for this show, accepted artists will be encouraged to submit video of themselves talking about themselves, their process, and artwork for an online video version of the exhibition.
“Wonderful show…Kathleen Isacson and Joe Isacson did a BRILLIANT job curating and pulling this show together. Highly recommend…” – YB, artist
“The members of FAM would like to send out a huge thank you to Joe and Kathleen Isacson for sending the exhibition If You Only Knew to the Freeport Art Museum. Without their hardwork, creativity, and dedication, this exhibition would not be possible. As their brainchild, If You Only Knew reflects their outstanding talent and professional acuity in the realm of curating and exhibitions. By organizing the work of exceptional artists, Joe and Kathleen have allowed for unique stories to be heard and wonderful pieces to be shared with the larger community. Your work does not go unrecognized!”
– Public announcement from staff, Freeport Art Museum
“I have been in two shows and they both were fabulous! I am already getting repeat business! Kathleen and Joe Isacson are just a fantastic couple…very supportive and well organized.” – DL, ceramacist
About J + K Isacson
J + K Isacson have curated and produced over 100 fine art exhibitions and events for over a decade. Their partnerships include a variety of galleries, museums, and art centers. As fine artists themselves, they relate to what artists find important and, as curators, have a focus on providing a platform to genres of artwork that are under represented.
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Old Courthouse Arts Center, Woodstock, IL, announces a call for artists for Women’s Works 2020, a juried fine art exhibit celebrating women artists. Women’s Works provides an opportunity to showcase the creative artwork of women artists in North America and internationally. This year will mark the 33rd Anniversary of the show.
Deadline: 26 Jan 2020
Women’s Works 2020 is open to all women artists in all media. There is a $40 application fee, but no further fees if accepted.
This year’s show will be judged by fine art photographer, Helen Smith-Romer. Romer works with collaged color photography using a repetition of human features to create bright, surrealist portraits and settings contrasted against a dark background. Romer states that her current body of work, “investigates the paradoxical beauty and mysticism of assemblages and the process of doing imagery.” Her work can be found in various collections across the country, including the University of Minnesota and the Chicago Historical Society.
Women’s Works 2020 Artist Benefits
Women’s Works has been a showcase for women artists from around the world for decades. It enjoys excellent visibility in the greater Chicago area and is viewed by visitors from over the course of its 6 week run.
The gallery hosts over 30 exhibits a year, with new exhibits opening every 2-4 weeks. This ensures a steady flow of repeat visitors and buyers who visit the gallery to view each show.
Accepted artists will have their work judged by local noted artist Helen Romer-Smith. Artists will have a chance to meet with Helen at the gala reception which will be held on Saturday March 14th.
The show also awards prizes worth over $1500 in cash prizes: First prize: $500; 2nd Prize: $300; 3rd prize: $200. 3 Artistic Merits ($100 each) and a gallery award of $250.
About Old Courthouse Arts Center
The Old Courthouse Arts Center is housed in the historic old McHenry County courthouse dating back to the 1860s. With over 5000 square feet of gallery space, the gallery presents over 30 different exhibits each year in its 4 gallery spaces, with new exhibits opening every 2 weeks. The art center also offers weekly life drawing, art classes, and workshops.
2020 marks the 30th anniversary of the Old Courthouse Arts Center. It is one of the longest-lived institutions on the historic Woodstock Square. The Art Center – and it’s parent organization the Northwest Area Arts Council (which was founded in the mid 80s) – are also two of the older art organizations in the greater Chicago area.
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J + K Isacson announces a call for artists for Curiosity, a five week national fine art exhibition focused on exploration of the unusual and the human need to discover. Art can be a journey of exploration into the unfamiliar, or unknown, and has the power to introduce us to the new and unusual.
Deadline: 20 Nov 2019
Artists are encouraged to submit work that explores their own personal curiosities about themselves and the world or artwork that is, itself, an unusual curiosity. All mediums are welcomed for submission. As an artist, what intrigues you? Is your artwork a journal for your new experiences and obsessions? Show us how you have explored new experiences or ideas through your artwork. Exhibition curated by J + K Isacson in partnership with the Old Courthouse Arts Center.
Curiosity Artist Benefits
Best in show & Honorable mention awards presented opening night. Artists/artwork from the exhibition will receive promotion online and via promotional videos sent to mailing lists and shared on social media. Artists from exhibitions that go on to a museum location are encouraged to be in invitational versions of the exhibition. Steady foot traffic throughout the week. There is good traffic flow during this exhibition due to Woodstock’s Groundhog Day festivities, which brings in tourism.
J + K Isacson intentionally curates for inclusion. Some themes expressly highlight artists whose voices have not been heard, including artists from different ethnicities, psychological disorders, religions, gender identity, and sexual orientation. They seek to give a platform to artists whose style of artwork or whose personal characteristics have provided them with limited opportunity to show in all our exhibitions.
About J + K Isacson
J + K Isacson works with emerging, mid-career, and museum-exhibiting artists. J + K Isacson are curators for the exhibition, working in partnership with the Northern Area Arts Council and the Old Courthouse Arts Center in Woodstock, IL. It overlooks historic Woodstock square, which you may recognize from the film Groundhog Day.
The Old Courthouse was constructed in 1857, a classic brick structure designed by one of the country’s most prominent architects, John Mills Van Osdel. The adjoining Sheriff’s House & Jail was built 30 years later. After 115 years as the focal point of McHenry County government, the county outgrew the buildings in 1972 and the complex was to be demolished for a parking lot. It was saved from the wrecker’s ball by Woodstock residents Cliff and Bev Ganschow. The Ganschows bought the buildings and began an extensive renovation program completed for American’s Bicentennial in 1976. Because of the buildings’ architectural and historical significance, both the Old Courthouse and Sheriff’s House & Jail are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
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Old Courthouse Arts Center announces a call for artists for Real People 2019, a national juried fine art exhibition celebrating the arts through faces and figures. Submitted work must depict the human form or face in some manner that is recognizable. Real People made its debut in 2000 at the Old Courthouse Arts Center in Woodstock, Illinois, located outside of Chicago, Illinois.
Deadline: 7 Jul 2019
The Real People exhibition has become a much-anticipated area event which enjoys excellent media coverage and exposure. Works previously shown at the Old Courthouse Arts Center are not eligible for entry.
Artists will be notified by Sunday July 14th. There is a $40 fee to apply. Artists may submit up to three images for consideration. There is a $10 discount available to artists who applied to either Real People 2018 or Women’s Works 2019. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to receive a discount code.
The Old Courthouse Arts Center is very excited to have Joyce Polance as the Judge for this year’s show. Joyce Polance is primarily known for her figurative oil paintings – both expressionistic portraits and large, painterly groups of nude women which explore emotion and relationships. Polance has exhibited internationally and is the recipient of multiple grants and awards including six Chicago CAAP grants, a George Sugarman Foundation grant, two Judith Dawn Memorial grants, and a Cliff Dwellers Artist in Residence award.
The exhibit will run from Wednesday, August 21st through Saturday, September 28th, including an artists’ reception gala on Saturday September 14.
Real People 2019 Awards
Cash prizes totaling $1,500.00 for the First, Second, Third Place, Gallery Award, and Three Artistic Merit Awards. In addition, the online artist management platform Biafarin, has donated 2 Gold one year memberships and 2 Blue one year memberships as awards.
About the Old Courthouse Arts Center
The Old Courthouse Arts Center was built in the 1860s. It is on the national registry of historic buildings. The entire second floor has been converted into an arts center, which houses four separate gallery spaces. The Old Courthouse Arts Center runs 30 shows each year in the space, with new shows opening on average every two weeks. This brings in a constant flow of repeat visitors from the area and a broader audience for gala openings. The Old Courthouse Arts Center has been operating for 29 years. It is run by the Northwest Area Arts Council which has been operating in the area for over 30 years.
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Woodstock Artists Association and Museum (WAAM) announces a call for artists for Far and Wide. Artists are invited to submit up to five works that are innovative in form and content or that have been created within the parameters of traditional genres but nevertheless break new ground. Open to artists living and working in the United States.
Deadline: 17 Mar 2019
Juror: Kimberly Camp, former President and CEO of the Barnes Foundation. She has had a distinguished career in the arts, both as a museum administrator and practicing artist.
Far And Wide Artist Benefits
Applying to Far and Wide will bring your work to the attention of an important curator. Exhibiting your work at the Woodstock Artists Association and Museum will put you at the center of an important arts renaissance happening now in the historic Hudson Valley just north of New York City. Exhibitions are well attended and our opening receptions attract hundreds of visitors. Shows are covered in the regional press and online media.
Win one of the following awards:
- The Arthur Harris Best in Show Award ($500)
- Nicholas Buhalis Award for Artistic Excellence in Abstract/Figurative or Figurative Work ($500)
Far and Wide is one of WAAM’s most important exhibitions of the year. It will be heavily promoted through print, social media, email, and their website. Visitors to WAAM will experience a unique national survey of the art currently being created across the country.
About Woodstock Artists Association and Museum
The Woodstock Artists Association and Museum (WAAM) is located in historic Woodstock, New York. They are celebrating their 100 year anniversary this year. Visitors will visit Woodstock in especially high numbers this year due to the 50 year anniversary celebration of the famous Woodstock music festival. WAAM’s own centennial celebration will feature many special events honoring the continuing importance of the historic Woodstock Artist Colony.
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