Art Opportunity Alert: Free Application And $500 Award For Fort Worth Public Art

Forth Worth Public Art is seeking local artists to beautify some boring traffic control boxes in the Texas city, with an apparently artist-friendly process.

Right off the bat, the application is free. As I’ve touched on before, I’m generally wary that having artists pay to submit work encourages only a narrow, pre-established and/or privileged group of working artists. A free application dodges that problem. FWPA will also consider artists in all mediums and those who don’t already have public installation experience, which isn’t very surprising considering they’re looking for 2D images to place on the traffic boxes, not sculptures or murals.

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Fort Worth traffic control boxes will become public art canvases. source:

Winning artists will be paid $500 for their images. I’m generally glad to see a number bigger than 50 next to “Artist Compensation,” or the words “Artist Compensation” at all. The artwork will also remain on display for a relatively significant amount of time for temporary public art: five years, per the expected lifespan on the vinyl they will be fabricated from, according to FWPA.

FWPA specifically seeks local artists; the call is open to artists who reside in Tarrant County, Texas. I wasn’t initially going to write up what seemed like a hyperlocal art opportunity, but then I remembered that this is Texas. Tarrant County’s population is 1.9 million, making it bigger than 14 U.S. states.

The application deadline is Jan. 7. Artists should submit digital renderings of their work – up to eight images – as well as a one-page artist’s statement. As usual with government-led streetscape beautification projects, artists are asked to stick to a handful of kid-friendly themes, in this case:

  • Transportation (bus, pedestrian, bicycle, train, airplane)
  • Library (i.e. reading, research, education)
  • History of Fort Worth’s East Side, including Route 66, Bankhead Highway, landmarks, music halls
  • Schools on Fort Worth’s East Side
  • Recreation
  • Environmental Stewardship

The full application guidelines and submission link are posted here.