Towering over a prominent intersection, the 55 foot tall by 28 foot wide digital media wall wrapping the corner of Limestone and Winslow streets is the first of its kind in Lexington. Strategically situated on one of the University’s most downtown and community facing corners, attached to a large parking structure where the majority of campus visitors park, and associated with the University’s new marquee esports and innovation space, the Cornerstone digital media wall poses many opportunities for UK.
One such opportunity is the ability to support public art, community, diversity, and inclusion. The media wall offers us an opportunity to reflect our community – it’s triumphs and challenges – as well as celebrate the ability of art and images to activate and enliven public spaces. In order to feel belonging, we all must be able to see ourselves in a space and in a community. The University will have no more visible tool to reflect our entire community and create that belonging than the digital media wall.
This inaugural call seeks entries in each of two themes:
Black Lives in the Bluegrass:
In 2020, we have seen renewed public outcry against systemic racism and calls for social change. In cities and towns across the state, protesters have taken to the streets to assert that Black Lives Matter. This call seeks images that acknowledge the deep legacy of racism in our country; recognize the pain it inflicts upon our communities of color; protest systemic injustice and represent a desire for change; underscore black liberation and joy; and celebrate the ongoing vital contributions of our black and brown citizens to life in the commonwealth. They may include, but are not limited to: photographs of protests, scans of posters, images of murals, portraits of black leaders, and works that point to a more just future.
Kentucky Confronting Covid-19:
During the global pandemic, Kentucky has rallied together to fight the disease, keep essential services available, and help our community stay strong. This open call seeks digital art that celebrates the contributions of frontline workers, mourns the loss of loved ones, and addresses the complex array of feelings attendant to social distancing, economic hardship, and systemic inequities that the pandemic intensified. This series aims to show moments of struggle, strength, and resilience in the face of the challenges that the pandemic has presented to our community. Works displayed in this series may include portraits of essential workers, scenes of daily life under quarantine, and illustrations that capture moments of togetherness despite the necessity of social distance, among other possibilities.
An individual artist may submit one still image to each of the two open call series. Along with their image(s), they will be asked to submit their name, work title, work description, and contact information. Submission deadline February 8, 2021.
Selection, Recognition, and Awards
The works selected for this juried series will be displayed on a newly installed large-scale digital media wall on the corner of Limestone and Winslow. A jury of UK faculty, staff, and community members will select finalists in each of the two open calls series. All finalists will be displayed in a slide show that runs daily throughout the spring semester.
Generously funded by Coca-Cola, ten cash awards of $1000 each will be awarded for artistic excellence (five in each open call series) in the following categories:
- UK Student Award
- UK Faculty & Staff Award
- Kentucky Community Award (eligibility limited to non-UK students, faculty, and staff)
- Equity & Inclusion Award (eligibility limited to persons of color)
- People’s Choice Award (online voting mechanism to select winner)