City calls on local artists to design riverfront benches

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) A series of wooden benches that have been planned to be installed along the downtown riverfront could have an artistic flair.

Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry and Artlink Contemporary Gallery are inviting local artists to submit design ideas for ten wooden benches that will be installed along the downtown riverfront. Designs will be accepted now through Nov. 1, with winning artwork selected through a jury process.

Each winning design will earn the artist a $500 honorarium.

Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry said the benches will be a highlight of the planned promenade.

“We continue to make great progress in our efforts to create a downtown riverfront everyone can enjoy,” said Henry. “We are moving forward in three areas – promenade design, programming and riverbank maintenance – in order to establish a regional destination that will be a source of pride for residents.”

Amber Foster, executive director of Artlink Contemporary Gallery, said introducing art in the public space is important.

“Public art is an integral part of creating interesting places that people want to visit,” said Foster. “This project will showcase local talent and contribute to our region’s quality of life.”

The benches were previously used at Citilink bus stops and will serve as the canvas for artwork that pays tribute to the outdoors and to the community’s recent revitalization efforts.

The city said experienced artists living in any of the 11 counties of northeast Indiana (Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, Kosciusko, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, Wabash, Wells and Whitley) are invited to submit designs by the deadline.

Designs will be chosen by Dec. 1, and will be revealed at the Kickstart Festival on May 14, 2016. The benches are expected to be installed by summer 2016.

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