Public Art Competition: Kensington Underpass

Public Art Competition: Kensington Pedestrian Underpass
Posted on 07/15/2021

The Kensington Road pedestrian underpass located east of Village Hall was vandalized in the past with racist graffiti.  A resident approached the Village with an idea for an inclusive mural for this area and over the past several months the Village Arts Commission has developed a plan for a mural.    

The Village Arts Commission is seeking entries for an art competition for a mural that would be located at the Kensington Road underpass. The underpass is located approximately ½ mile east of the Arlington Heights Village Hall and fronts on Davis Street and Northwest Highway. The Village Arts Commission is proposing letters that state ‘Arlington Heights’ be placed on each side of the underpass (see linked mockup).  There are 16 letters in the words ‘Arlington Heights’.  The Commission is recommending that 16 different artists create one of the 16 letters with artwork that meets the inclusive theme.  Once the art is completed, an electronic file would be created and a local sign contractor would print the artwork/letters on vandal proof material and install each letter with the artwork within the underpass.   The word ‘Arlington’ will be placed on the west side of the underpass and ‘Heights’ on the east wall.  On each side of the underpass below the mural, ‘City of Good Neighbors’ will be placed.  Linked is a generic mockup of the proposed mural.  The letters may be created by a group or an individual artist.  

Each letter should be inclusive and representative of Arlington Heights.  Each letter will be a mural, but containing any element below to create a scene, story, or vision of community in Arlington Heights.  

Culture - We look for ideas from community members to incorporate an element of culture into the letter mural. Elements can include food, festivals, horse racing, parades, entertainment, music, and traditions. Images of the culture of Arlington Heights.
Landmarks - Include existing landmarks from the village into the letter mural wall art. These landmarks should have significant importance to the public and Arlington Heights.
Nature - Any local iconic landscapes, parks, Arlington Lake, or nature in the Arlington Heights area can be incorporated into the letter mural. 
History - Famous historical people and notable events can be another topic for the letter mural. Arlington Heights has a rich history that can be included as a theme for the letter mural.
Collaboration (Local Artist) - A collaboration with another artist, group of students, family members or organization are welcome to create a mural letter.

Arts Commission Mission Statement: To enhance and encourage art in support of cultural advancement within the Village of Arlington Heights. 

Project Schedule: 
-July 15, 2021 Call for Artists Released 
-December 1, 2021 Submission deadline 
-December 15, 2021 Finalists presented to Art Review Committee 
-January 14, 2022 Notification of Winners and letter assigned
-April 1, 2022 Final artwork due
-June, 2022 - Installation  

Project Budget: 
Each artist is responsible for their materials to create a letter that will ultimately contribute to creating the mural ‘Arlington Heights’.   If selected, the Village Arts Commission will provide the template of the letter and will have the artwork printed and installed within the underpass at no cost to the artist.  

Selection Process: 
The Arts Commission will review all submittals and will select the 16 finalists.  The Arts Commission is comprised of volunteers with varying art backgrounds.  After the 16 finalists are selected they will be required to sign an agreement with the Village regarding the use of their artwork for the mural. 

Selection Criteria: 
1. Artistic merit and how the art relates to Arlington Heights and the theme. 
2. Conceptual compatibility of the design with the immediate environment of the site. 
3. Appropriateness of the work for the site. 
4. Appropriateness of the materials and design (texture, color, line, shape, and value) to the expression of the artist’s concept and theme. 

Site Description: 
The underpass fronts on Davis Street and Northwest Highway with the railroad tracks above.  North and south of the underpass are residential areas.  

How to Submit: 
Provide a completed copy of the online application form, which includes an overview of your proposed art concept; a detailed description of the idea/concept and description of artwork; and a rendering of proposed art/concept on the attached sample letter.

Application Deadline: 
Applications must be received no later than 5 PM on December 1, 2021 via online submission or at the following address: 

Village of Arlington Heights 
Department of Planning (second floor) 
33 S. Arlington Heights Road 
Arlington Heights, IL 60005 

Late applications will not be accepted. 

Open to all area artists. 

If selected as a finalist, the template of the letter will be provided on bond and the artist may elect to use a different paper or canvas.

Size/Other Limitations: 
Each letter will be approximately 42 inches high.  The width of the letters will vary.  Attached is a sample of the letter/font.  Please use the attached sample to demonstrate your concept for your submission.  Please note that if you are selected, you will be assigned one of the 16 letters that make up ‘Arlington Heights’ for your mural concept.     

For more information contact: 
Derek Mach 
Arts Commission Liaison 
Village of Arlington Heights 
[email protected]