Austin Launches $660,000 Public Art Bonanza Seeking Local and National Artists

Austin Launches $660,000 Public Art Bonanza Seeking Local and National ArtistsSource: Unsplash / russn_fckr
Ryan Anderson
Published on December 05, 2023

Austin's got a big bag of cash up for grabs, and it's not chump change either. We're talking about a cool $660,000 dedicated solely to public art. The city's Economic Development Department is on the prowl, calling all pro artists and artist gangs who want to give Austin some new eye candy. But you better get moving; the clock's ticking, with a December 19 deadline to toss your hat in the ring, according to City of Austin Official Website.

"Art has the power to shape the soul of a city, reflecting its essence and weaving together the diverse threads of its identity," explains Sylnovia Holt-Rabb, Austin's Economic Development Department Director, who chose to describe the mission of the Art in Public Places Program. And the city's not just throwing dough at random projects. They've got a trio of gigs with a pay range that'll make you want to seriously reconsider your day job—from $70,000 to a whopping $400,000.

First on the list is a gig for Austin's own—a $70,000 project for a Family Violence Shelter & Protection Center. The artwork should mirror the shelter's mandate, blending in with a trauma-informed design to craft a place of healing for women and kids in crisis, per Austin's announcement. Local hands get to shape the heart of a joint that stands for more than just walls and a roof.

Next, local Texans get a crack at a $190,000 project aimed at expanding the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center. They're in the middle of a growth spurt and want to seriously double down on celebrating Mexican American, Native American, Chicano, and other Latin American cultures. This is about more than paint and sculptures; it's about making culture stick, explained officials from the city.

Last, but not least, national artists can shoot to bag a fat $400,000 project at Palmer Events Center. This isn't your average art piece—we're talking high-tech, touchy-feely, and maybe even a good chuckle or a story at the 2nd level main entrance. Picture this: nature vibes with a digital twist. Want in on building a piece of Austin's heart and humor? Check the deets from the horse's mouth over at  the City of Austin Official website.