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Durango offers paid opportunities for artists

Art Brigade provides funding for public art projects around town
The Durango Art Brigade boosts local creative economy through public art projects.

It’s time for Durango’s artists to freshen up their paints: The Durango Art Brigade is offering paid work opportunities this spring.

The collaborative group has at least 18 art projects available for local artists and youth volunteers. The goal is to beautify spaces with temporary projects while stimulating the city’s creative economy as it recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Public art fosters community pride and a sense of belonging,” said Hayley Kirkman, executive director of the Durango Creative District, in a news release. “This can be a powerful tool to be more inclusive in art displays while providing an equitable and intriguing way for people to experience it.”

The Durango Art Brigade is a public art initiative that launched last year in response to the pandemic. It’s a partnership between the city of Durango’s Creative Economy Commission, Durango Creative District, Dumpster Beautification Project, Local First and the Durango Business Improvement District.

Businesses have listed project options around town, like indoor hanging installations, outdoor murals, green spaces with live plants in downtown bump-outs, chalk art and trailer paintings.

Artists of all experience levels can apply for a project. For example, last year, high school students painted murals on Durango Telegraph boxes. Another group assembled a “Community Art Kitchen” with mixed media. An improvisational quilting group teamed up on a large window display to encourage people to vote in the presidential election, according to the art brigade’s news release.

The full site list is available at www.durangocreativedistrict.org/brigade; the deadline to apply is 5 p.m. Friday.

Artist stipends and materials reimbursement will be determined based on project types. The selection committee will offer $50 to $500 for artist stipends plus up to $400 in materials.

During fall 2020, the brigade successfully funded 11 public art projects.

Although the initiative started as a temporary art project, some projects are still available to see, such as a large hanging sculpture along the Animas River Trail from artist Jeff Wise. The sculpture depicts crows flying from a woman’s mouth as well as a swimmer appearing as though they are diving into the Animas River.


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