LAKE GEORGE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The Lake George Arts Project is looking to add something new, alongside the natural beauty of Lake George. Artists are being sought to paint the village – just in time for the busy summer season.
The group is working with the Village of Lake George to start the “Power Up Lake George” project. Artists are needed to bring new life to traffic signal cabinets at four locations around the village, all along Canada Street.
The project is similar to one in Glens Falls last year, where artists painted electrical boxes around the city. That project, part of the Glens Falls Arts District initiative, adds something eye-catching for anyone who walks or drives by a painted box on Glen, Bay or Warren streets. In Lake George, though, the audience for public art will always be far larger in the busy seasons.
“That’s one of the things about Lake George that’s unique,” said Tanya Tobias, Executive Director for Lake George Arts Project. “In Glens Falls, you might not have hundreds of thousands of people walking by them every single day. In Lake George, you will.”
Two of the cabinets sit with the lake itself in the background. Tobias hopes that artists will think about landscape and surroundings when proposing what to create at those sites.
Four artists will be chosen. Each will be paid $1,000 for their work – $500 upon selection, and the rest once the painting is done. The planned timeline includes meeting with selected artists on May 12; a preparation and priming period from June 13-16; and painting and finishing from June 23-29. The goal is to have everything done before the village’s 4th of July weekend.
Artists who want to try their hand at painting a piece of Lake George can submit applications until April 15. Templates of the boxes’ dimensions can also be found online. Applications are limited to artists living within a 50-mile radius of Lake George. Tobias is encouraging variety and creativity, but submissions do have to follow a set of guidelines enforced by the New York State Department of Transportation.
“They’re like, ‘We are not here to judge the artistic quality of these projects. We’re not here to make decisions about that. We just want to make sure they fall in line with New York STate’s ideas about what should be represented on them,'” Tobias explained.
It’s expected that many proposals may be inspired directly by Lake George, but the community of artists in the area makes Tobias think there might be many more abstract offerings as well. In the Glens Falls project, some electrical boxes show things like different types of dogs or plant life, while others are a canvas for colorscapes.
Regardless of what art style someone brings to the table, the challenge of painting on a signal cabinet is a unique one, from utilizing the dimensions to keeping clear of vents and keyholes. There are plenty of reasons to try it out, over a more traditional canvas.
“Some artists are always looking for a challenge,” Tobias said. “It has to be done outside. Even though we have the timeline set up so that there won’t be full-force visitor traffic all the time, there will still be people around you, and that presents its own challenge for artists. Because artists have the opportunity to sign their work, too, it’s kind of like a permanent exhibition.”
The village came to the Arts Project group with the idea. Village and town both have been strong supporters of the arts in the Lake George region, and Tobias says it’s possible that a project like this could lead to more public art in the future.
“I feel like this does help open the door for arts projects. We’re really open to people who have ideas for what they want to see happen. I think there’s so much potential for boosting up the arts and culture in Lake George in general.”
Artists can apply, and find guidelines, directly through the Lake George Arts Project website. Meanwhile, the Glens Falls Arts District continues this year, as the city hunts for its own roster of artists to create murals on walls downtown.