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City of Vancouver commissioning artists to reflect challenges of COVID-19

The city is looking for art in a 2D or video medium that presents strong ideas reflecting complexities created by the current pandemic
Vancouver public library GettyImages-1147402263
The Vancouver Public Library is where some of the art commissioned by the City of Vancouver's "Platforms: We Are Here, Live" program will be presented.

The City of Vancouver is looking for artists to create works that reflect the challenges of the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and they’ll pay you for it.

The city program is called “Platforms: We Are Here, Live” seeks to commission up to 20 artists who are engaged in and grappling with the issues revealed by COVID-19. According to a recent release the art should present strong ideas that reflect the complexities of current circumstances and encourage critical dialogue and engagement. Emerging artists and those new to working in the public realm are encouraged to apply.

“COVID-19 has magnified and deepened all of the social, health, and economic inequities of our society, and art-making is an important way to respond creatively to this moment,” the release states.

Artists will be paid $5,000 which can be applied to all expenses, editing, and design of the artwork and high-quality digital files.

In terms of eligibility, the city is looking for Vancouver-based artists and artists from the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-waututh) Nations. Artists should have:

  • Completed basic academic training in art or an apprenticeship with an accomplished practitioner or 
  • Maintained an artistic practice and has publicly shared an independent body of their work for at least two years, or
  • Be recognized as an artist by peers within their community

The selected artworks will be displayed on one of the following platforms:

Billboards (number and location to be determined)

  • Light box at šxʷƛ̓ exən Xwtl’a7shn Plaza 
  • Banners at Vancouver Public Library, Central Branch 
  • Glass wall at City Centre Canada Line Station 
  • Transit shelter posters 
  • VanLive! video screen, Georgia St and Granville St
  • Digital display boards

The deadline to determine eligibility is June 3 and the submission deadline is June 9. The artwork will be presented for one year starting in November 2021.

For more information on how to apply, check out the City of Vancouver’s website.