Huntingdon Landmarks Inc. is accepting submissions to create a mural on its building at Fourth and Penn streets in Huntingdon Borough.
Individual artists or groups of artists are welcome to submit their proposals by Friday, June 16, with final selection chosen by the Huntingdon Landmarks Inc. board shortly afterward.
The building, which dates back to the 1790s, was acquired by Huntingdon Landmarks in 2021 and renovated through a Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development grant.
As a 501©(3) organization, Huntingdon Landmarks Inc. is a nonprofit that maintains the historical value of Huntingdon through efforts such as building preservation and events like Art Walk Huntingdon.
The artists are free to use any style they wish, as long as the design is centers on highlighting the rich history of Huntingdon County and is reflective of the existing public art installations along Penn Street.
“We’re looking for an individual with some past experience, or willing to break into designing a mural that reflects what Huntingdon Landmarks values,” said George Drobnock, Huntingdon Landmarks Inc. board member.
To Drobnock, a quality submission might highlight “the importance of the river, the events that happened in Huntingdon and the significance of the Juniata Valley.”
A representative artwork of this nature, according to Drobnock, is Thomas Moran’s 1864 oil painting The Juniata, Evening. The English artist, who is most known for his series of large landscape paintings depicting the Rocky Mountains and the area that would become Yellowstone National Park, produced a number of striking paintings highlighting the natural beauty of central Pennsylvania early in his career.
Each submission must include: concept drawings and a descriptive narrative, project budget, projected timeline, sample work from the artist’s portfolio and a maintenance plan.
The usable mural space is an approximately 8-foot by 20-foot section of unobstructed wall on the eastern side of the building, so submissions should ideally fill the entire area.
The $6,000 budget for the project comes from the Pennsylvania Tourism Office Grant Programs for Destination Marketing, which is to be used for art materials and the artist’s salary.
Submissions will be judged by the Huntingdon Landmarks Inc. board on artistic merit, artist’s sample work, projected budget and support for the project.
Upon selection, the artist must prepare a design and installation proposal to be presented to both the building owner and the borough of Huntingdon.
Since the Huntingdon Landmarks building is in the heart of downtown Huntingdon, Drobnock said that having a welcoming work of public art, like the mural, will give visitors a positive first impression of the town.
“Around 6,000 to 7,000 cars pass by every day, and every car can usually hold up to six people … it makes it more visual for the community,” Drobnock said.
Drobnock said he hopes that the new mural will help promote the cultural, economic and historic value of Huntingdon.
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