Downtown Bellefonte Inc. (DBI), is seeking qualified artist(s) for a large-scale mural project. In the summer of 2023 DBI will install one large mural in Downtown. Artists are invited to submit their qualifications for consideration. The artist application is posted on DBI’s website, and the deadline for artists to apply is July 23, 2023.
The theme of the mural will celebrate our community. Downtown Bellefonte Inc. has worked with community members to develop a creative brief, which highlights community assets, tells Bellefonte’s story, educates visitors about Bellefonte, and celebrates Bellefonte. This document will act as a tool to inform and inspire the design for this mural project.
“A dedicated group of volunteers has worked to make sure this project encapsulates what many generations love and want to honor in Bellefonte,” said Ellen Matis, a DBI board member. “As an organization, we know that public art at this scale plays a huge role in community development and placemaking.” This 1,000 square foot mural will attract visitors, locals, and tourists, and DBI hopes that this project will be a catalyst for more investment in the arts.
“Murals activate public spaces, reinventing their use and purpose, and by creating a cultural destination, we engage an audience while visitors move from business to business within a community,” states Alexandra Hall, A H Public Spaces Consulting. “This is a country-wide request for qualifications, and we hope to see interest from artists in the region as well as artists from around the country.”
"Murals activate public spaces, reinventing their use and purpose, and by creating a cultural destination, we engage an audience while visitors move from business to business within a community"
- Alexandra Hall, A H Public Spaces Consulting
The Bellefonte Art Museum has served as a partner in this project.
“This mural will not only breathe life and energy into our downtown but will also add color and vibrancy to an otherwise dull or neglected structure,” said Lori Fisher, Deputy Director of the Bellefonte Art Museum. “Statistics show that public art promotes a sense of community — it brings people together and encourages community gatherings. It also stimulates tourism. People want to visit towns that express vitality and creativity. Engaging in public art generates excitement and ultimately leads to increased foot traffic.”
Funding for this project was allocated during the Wilds Are Working: Remote Lifestyle Experience initiative in partnership with the PA Wilde Center for Entrepreneurship. Funded through an Appalachian Regional Commission grant, the initiative has helped over the course of almost two years to provide resources and make public improvements that will attract a remote workforce.
“Amy Debach, a longtime volunteer of Downtown Bellefonte Inc. and champion of the arts in our town, has been dreaming up this project for a long time” Matis said. “We’re excited that her long-term vision is coming to fruition in a way that will showcase what makes our rural community so special.”
“This mural will not only breathe life and energy into our downtown but will also add color and vibrancy to an otherwise dull or neglected structure"
- Lori Fisher, Deputy Director of the Bellefonte Art Museum
"My long term perspective for this project started in 2018,” Debach said. “As an avid traveler who enjoys public art in other small towns, it's refreshing to see this vision finally coming to fruition. Bellefonte is the perfect mix of historical, classic, and modern pallettes and this as well as other public art pieces in the future should incorporate pleasantly. I'm hoping this sparks creativity and action in others to also propose public art projects to the community without jeopardizing our historic vibe."