After vandalism, new artwork proposals sought for immigrant business center in Fargo
The artwork's theme "Together, we are stronger united as one," has a total budget of $8,000, and could feature one artist, or a range of different artists.
FARGO — The International Market Plaza is soliciting proposals from local artists for a permanent public mural or art installation after dealing with white nationalist vandalism touting a hate group.
The plaza has partnered with North Dakota State University, the Plains Art Museum and local artisans to create the mural on the building's side at 1345 Main Ave.
The artwork's theme "Together, we are stronger united as one," has a total budget of $8,000, with proposals due by noon on March 1.
In early September the plaza, a center with more than a dozen immigrant business owners, was vandalized with the words "Patriot Front" spray-painted or stenciled on the building's Main Avenue side
Since then volunteers and the local community have been collecting funds to imagine a new mural, according to Anthony Ferris, a gallery coordinator with NDSU.
The Patriot Front is a white nationalist hate group that formed after the deadly "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil rights nonprofit that tracks hate groups.
Local artist Sesen Ajang created a stand-in mural in October to ensure the wall would not remain empty. The artwork featured the phrase "Together, we are stronger united as one," which was translated into five languages, Ferris said.
Up to $8,000 has been set aside to compensate local or regional artists to design a mural based on the current theme. A review committee made up of the artist, designers and community members will choose the winning proposal after a short interview with each artist.
"By this summer, the art installation will be on the wall," Ferris said.
Depending on the proposals, the final artwork could be one artist, or a range of different artists, Ferris said. Ideas can include traditional painting ideas to three dimensional art pieces, he added.
The International Market Plaza will pay for the materials, including scaffolding and other necessary items, and will also work toward treating the surface prior to installation by applying a sealant and coating.
Anyone interested in participating should contact firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 912-224-8296 to discuss the project.