There are many delightful aspects of living in Laramie, and perhaps one of the most charming is the public art visible throughout the city. Laramie’s murals not only draw in tourists, but also spark joy among residents.
In this grand tradition, the Albany County board of commissioners is seeking to commission an artist or artist team to install artwork in the interior of the Albany County courthouse North entrance.
The Albany County Courthouse was designed in 1931 by architects Wilbur Hitchcock and William Dubois, and erected in 1932. In recent months, it has been undergoing renovations at its North entrance.
The main purpose of these renovations is to improve ADA accessibility, as well as upgrade building security and solve structural issues. When budgeting for the project, commissioners included space for a public art display.
“It’s really exciting that our local entities think about incorporating public art when working on projects like this. It speaks volumes about the kind of place Albany County is,” said Laura McDermit, the executive director of Laramie Public Art Coalition, otherwise known as LPAC. This organization is aiding in the search for the artist or artist team.
McDermit added that one of the best things about public art is that it is readily accessible to everyone. One need not go to a gallery or exhibit to experience it. It also has direct impact on the shared visual experience of the community, and instills civic pride.
Public art gives artists an opportunity to engage with the excitement and uniqueness of a community. There is plenty of pride to capture and build upon in Albany County. Public art is also an economic driver because it encourages tourism.
The qualifications for the future courthouse artist are currently open-ended. While murals are one of the most common types of public art, the space allows for all different types of displays, including two dimensional or three dimensional pieces. The most important thing is that it is experiential and interactive, and generates civic pride in Albany County.
The selection process will include a panel that is comprised of community members and courthouse staff who will evaluate submissions based on artistic merit, an artist’s history of completing large-scale work, and the ability to create statement work for Albany County.
Three finalists will then be selected to prepare proposals, who will state their case to the selection panel and Albany County Board of Commissioners. While the project is open to artists across the United States, priority will be given to artists who are Wyoming residents. The budget for the project is $44,000.
To access the artist call, visit laramiepublicart.org/opportunities. Deadline to apply is Mar. 1, 2021.