From the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities
, a "Call for Artists
" went out earlier this month to "design and create a suspended public art installation along the main concourse of the new Washington Nationals baseball stadium
. The goal of this public art project is to provide an exciting arts enhancement to the interior of the ballpark while celebrating the spirit of our national pastime. The work will be visible along the main concourse, across the field from Baseball Plaza, and from street level on the south side of the ballpark." (In other words, by the grand staircase near 1st and Potomac
.) And, my favorite part: "The selected artwork must be durable, safe, weather resistant, and require minimal maintenance." Total budget, a mere $200,000. Deadline for submissions is June 18, and it is expected that the selected artists will be announced in September. Of course, even art for the stadium is not without controversy, as seen in my December post
about how money being set aside by the arts commission to fund stadium art is considered by the CFO to come under the requirements of the dreaded $611 million cost cap on stadium spending. But in January, a deal was apparently brokered
where the arts commission would in essence "implement a public arts project at the ballpark, using taxpayer dollars, without the cost of a single painting or sculpture showing up in the stadium construction budget. At no point would the sports commission or the Nationals take ownership of the art" (basically leasing the art to the stadium). Public funding sleight-of-hand at its finest!