Call for entries for new Lexington Avenue public artwork

Press release from the city of Asheville:

A new public artwork will come to downtown Asheville, thanks to a collaboration between the Asheville Downtown Association Foundation and the City’s Public Art & Cultural Commission.

The Lexington Avenue Public Art Project is intended to reflect the neighborhood identity of Lexington Avenue and to celebrate the community’s century-old storefronts and architectural treasures.

A Request for Qualifications outlining the project’s scope and artist selection process is posted on the City of Asheville website. The RFQ contains information on how to apply. The deadline for application is midnight June 9.

The Asheville Downtown Association Foundation raised $40,000 to the City for this project. In October 2016, Asheville City Council authorized the City Manager to accept the donation for this public art project. “This project is a great way to honor the initiative and drive of so many individuals in our community, including John Lantzius, that got together and saved this part of downtown,” said Adrian Vassallo, Chair of the Asheville Downtown Association Foundation. “Lexington Avenue would not be what it is today without the efforts of our citizens.”

Where will it be put and why on Lexington Avenue? The public art is designated for installation at 65 N. Lexington Ave., a spot adjacent to several retail establishments, near Downtown Books & News and Shady Grove. You can view the location here.

Lexington Avenue was chosen because of its designation in 2016 by the American Planning Association (APA) as one of five great streets on the organization’s annual Great Places in America list. The Great Places in America program recognizes streets, neighborhoods and public spaces that demonstrate exceptional character, quality and planning. To honor and celebrate the story of the neighborhood’s preservation and to reflect its current eclectic and vibrant culture, the City of Asheville in partnership with the Asheville Downtown Association Foundation is requesting artists, architects and design professionals to submit qualifications for creating and installing a permanent exterior public art feature on North Lexington Avenue.

And yes, people will have an opportunity to weigh in on the final selection, as noted on the project timeline below.

Project timeline

  • Posting call:  April 28, 2017
  • Closing call:  June 9, 2017 @ 11:59 p.m.
  • Select 3 finalists for proposal:  July 5, 2017
  • Public feedback:  July 21, 2017 (Downtown After 5 Event)
  • Proposals due:  August 30, 2017
  • Public feedback:  September 15, 2017 (Downtown After 5 Event)
  • Select final proposal:  October 6, 2017
  • Finalize contract for project:  October 20, 2017
  • Work fabricated and installed:  Late winter/early spring 2018

Want more information?

For more details on this project, contact Brenda Mills at 828-259-8050 or

The City’s public art collection includes the Urban Trail, which is a walkable tour downtown highlighting the unique architecture, people and historic events of the City and runs through many mediums, including the last piece, called The Daydreamer.  For information about the City’s public art collection, visit the Public Art Program webpage.

About Virginia Daffron
Managing editor, lover of mountains, native of WNC. Follow me @virginiadaffron

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