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LAND Studio seeks artists for next phase of Red Line rapid transit art project

CLEVELAND, Ohio - The nonprofit LAND Studio is seeking artists for a new round of its project to turn the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority's rapid transit Red Line into a rolling museum of contemporary art.
In the first phase of the project, called Inter|Urban, painters and photographers spruced up the Red Line in 2016 in time for the Republication National Convention by producing a dozen large-scale indoor and outdoor murals along the Red Line.
In the new phase, LAND Studio, which continues to spearhead the project, announced today it’s seeking 25, local, national and international artists to create artworks that will be installed on windows of 25 Red Line train cars.
Artists selected for the project will each receive $1,500 to create designs for artworks capable of being digitized, printed on vinyl, and affixed to the windows of a rapid transit Red Line car.
To be considered, artists must submit portfolios of previous work by 5 p.m. April 30 through the competition's online portal, or by contacting LAND Studio's Joe Lanzilotta at with subject line: INTER|URBAN RFP.
The Cleveland Foundation, which helped fund the initial project in 2016 along with the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency, has provided $185,000 for the new phase.
As with the first phase of Inter|Urban, artists will be asked to interpret works by winners of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards, a literary prize administered by the Cleveland Foundation that is designed to "recognize books that contribute to our understanding of racism and our appreciation of diversity," as awards website states.
The new project will involve adorning each of five Red Line cars with responses by five artists to one of five literary passages taken from the work of an Anisfield-Wolf winner.
The five train cars will be repeated five times throughout the Red Line system, presenting 25 responses to the five individual literary passages by five writers. Excerpts from the writings will also be displayed on windows in the respective train cars.
The new project is in part a response to critiques of the first project in 2016, which gives transit riders glimpses of an artwork as they roll by, which is not enough time to contemplate how the work might be related to the Anisfield-Wolf awards.
"What we're trying to do this time around is to let the artists be more explicit about creating works of art in response to five pieces of Anisfield-Wolf literature," said Tiffany Graham, a project manager for LAND Studio.
The passages to be interpreted by the artists will be chosen from:
-      "The Negro Speaks of Rivers," by Langston Hughes.
-      "The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration," by Isabel Wilkerson
-      "The Fortunes," by Peter Ho Davies
-      "Far From the Tree," by Andrew Solomon
-      "The Gay Revolution: The Story of the Struggle," by Lillian Faderman
Graham and Lanzilotta said the new artistic competition would have fewer professional and logistical requirements than the mural project in 2016, which required artists to demonstrate the ability to install a large-scale outdoor mural, and the capacity to complete the project in Cleveland on a tight deadline.
"We really wanted to make this as open to as many artists as possible," Graham said.
Also, as with the first round of Inter|Urban, LAND Studio plans to select roughly half of the artists from Cleveland and Northeast Ohio.
Karen Long, who manages the Anisfield-Wolf awards, called the Red Line project "an unusual and beautiful opportunity to marry the visual and literary in Cleveland."
"I couldn't dream of a better way to encapsulate the mission [of the Anisfield-Wolf awards] which is the make the world a more just place through literature," she said.

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