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Art54 is calling artists from across the City of Cape Town, the country or the world to submit proposals for artwork to be considered for inclusion in a temporary outdoor exhibition. The exhibition will run from the end of 2013 till mid 2014 Ward 54. art54 offers artists a unique opportunity to display the public art they make in the dramatic landscape of the Atlantic Seaboard of Cape Town. Work that promotes new and innovative ways of thinking about art in public spaces, considers their unique landscape, mix of people and character add to the public’s experience of the natural beauty and urban vibe of Ward 54 will be considered favourably. These works will reach a diverse audience of local residents as well as visitors drawn to the Ward’s popular public spaces such as the Sea Point Promenade and the many public steps along the Seaboard.

Temporary artworks in any media suitable for an outdoor exhibition will be considered. Media includes but is not limited to sculpture, mural, land art, photography, digital technologies, performance based pieces, busking or mixed media work. Although the exhibition period is 6 months, the work can be displayed for a shorter duration. The artwork may be ephemeral in nature depending of the context and nature of the work.

No artwork however will be considered that endangers public safety. art54 will assist artists to navigate the challenges of putting artwork into public spaces to ensure that artworks are not dangerous or affect the public’s ability to use public space. Insufficient funding should not prevent an artist to submit a proposal for consideration. Art54 has a limited budget for the implementation of artworks of merit. Proposals that do not have funding will therefore be considered on an equal playing field with those that have funding as far as budget allows. Artworks  that make use of found materials, clever concepts and witty performance rather than needing lots of resources to implement will be most welcomed.

“Public art is valued in Ward 54, says Cllr Schafer, it creates the chance to change space and people. It builds relationships between the two. Some of the benefits of the art54 project is that it contributes to urban regeneration by stimulating interaction between artists, designers, city planners, business owners, residents and developers; It supports the creative industries and encourages inter-disciplinary collaboration, creating opportunities for artists, designers and fabricators; And it moves the experience of art out of museums and galleries and into public space. I am very excited to be initiating such a project in the ward.”

This is a pilot project for Ward 54 supported by Councillor Beverley Schafer who sits on the Tourism, Events and Marketing Directorate.  If successful the idea of having temporary artwork in public spaces for defined periods of time may be implemented in Ward 54 and in other parts of the city on a more regular basis.  The success of art54 will be dependent on the supports and buy-in of all city departments in ensuring that art and creativity can be allowed to happen without the red tape, says Cllr Schafer.