ecember 5, 2005

Press contact: Douglas Rice

Executive Director, ARTWalk


cell 917-224-2347


ARTWalk announces an Open-Call for Area Artists

Artistic bus shelters to enhance “interactive outdoor museum”

Rochester, NY, December 9, 2005 - Today ARTWalk and the Rochester Genesee Regional Transportation Authority (RGRTA) announced a collaborative "Artistic Bus Shelter" project at the Gleason Works, 1000 University Avenue.

ARTWalk is an interactive outdoor museum connecting cultural institutions in the Neighborhood of the Arts (NOTA) on University Avenue. The project grew out of a cooperative effort between residents and city officials. Some of the features will constantly evolve and change, while permanent elements, such as a wide decorative sidewalk stamped with local artists’ designs, will guide pedestrians along the way.

Joining in today’s announcement of artistic bus shelter design opportunities were project funding partners the Hon. William A. Johnson, Jr., Mayor, City of Rochester; Mark Aesch, CEO, RGRTA; Hon. James Alesi, Member of the New York State Senate; Marjorie Searl, Chief Curator. Memorial Art Gallery; Sarah Lentini, President and CEO, The Arts and Cultural Council for Greater Rochester; James Gleason, Chairman, The Gleason Corporation along with ARTWalk Chairman Thomas Anderson and other dignitaries.

Various organizations providing in-kind services include Bergmann Associates, Attorney George Parker, Jensen Engineering, the South East Area Coalition, ARTWalk and Fabrics & Findings,

The three shelters will be located along University Avenue westbound at Gleason Works, 1000 University Avenue; 822 University Avenue at the corner of Elton Street; and the Memorial Art Gallery, 500 University Avenue.

The $186,000 budget is funded by $93,000 from the City of Rochester's "Sector Targeted Funding Initiative" monies, $45,000 from RGRTA, $20,000 from Senator James Alesi, $10,000 from the Memorial Art Gallery, $3500 from a "Culture Builds Communities" grant (funded by the City of Rochester, Citibank, and the Arts and Cultural Council for Greater Rochester), and $2000 from Gleason Works.

The "Sector Targeted Funding Initiative" monies were awarded after review by NBN Sector 7 and sector 7 chair Moira Lemperle. This initiative was created to provide resources to give neighborhood groups the ability to accomplish the “Renaissance Plan” through a sector-supported economic development or physical improvement project.

"Taking the bus to or from ARTWalk will never be the same again" says Doug Rice, Executive Director of ARTWalk. "We expect a great level of interest from area artists and believe these shelters will become destinations in and of themselves."

The project was conceived in 1999 at the early planning stages of what is now ARTWalk, an outdoor museum along University Avenue, which connects arts organizations in the Neighborhood of the Arts (NOTA) with an artistically enhanced trail.

"RGRTA agreed to make available federal Transit Enhancement funds towards the shelter replacement project, and is very supportive of creating three unique artistic shelters, consistent with the districts' arts identity" according to Paul Kramer, an ARTWalk Trustee. "Mayor Johnson and City Hall stepped up to really help bring the dream to fruition."

"RGRTA provides 55,000 customers with quality public transportation every day. ARTWalk allow us to participate in working with the community to serve the community. We are thrilled to bring such an exciting project to our customers," said Mark Aesch, Rochester-Genesee Regional Transportation Authority.

Three designs will be selected, and each selected artist shall receive up to $44,000 in commission for each completed shelter. Six runner-ups will each be awarded a $500 preparation honorarium. A jury of nine will select the commissioned works.

The complete Request for Proposals (RFP) and other information is available at www.rochesterARTWalk.org, or by calling (585) 234-6670.

Artist orientation meetings will be held on January 21, 2006 at 1:00 pm, March 15, 2006 at 7:00 pm, and May 20, 2006 at 1:00 pm. Each meeting will be conducted at different location to be announced at a later date.

The Hon. Louise Slaughter, Member of United State House of Representatives recently secured $1.6 million to extend ARTWalk to reach more arts organizations in NOTA.