Blending Public Artwork with Renewable Energy
Willimantic, CT — The Institute for Sustainable Energy at Eastern Connecticut State University is partnering with the Willimantic Whitewater Partnership (WWP), the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) Office of the Arts and the Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI) to sponsor a design competition to create a new work of public art along the Willimantic River. The art piece must generate clean energy and will be built on the newly remediated plot of land adjacent to the river owned by WWP.
WWP envisions the site functioning as an urban green space connecting residents and visitors to the river and trails for recreational use. According to WWP President Jim Turner, “After the successful completion of a long remediation process, the site is now ready for the next step toward becoming a community asset. We are thrilled about the partnership we’ve formed with ISE, the state Office of the Arts and LAGI, and about the support we’re received from the town of Windham.
“The design competition promises to generate exciting new ways to think about the river and its role in town life. This project will highlight Willimantic as a place whose history and future are linked to renewable energy.”
The goals for the project include creating a striking visual place-making emblem (like the Frog Bridge) that generates its own power; providing a welcoming hub for hikers and cyclists; and drawing people and commerce to downtown Willimantic.
The design competition encourages a multi-disciplinary approach, soliciting entries from teams of architects, artists, engineers, graphic designers, scientists, landscape designers and students. Entrants have the opportunity to make innovative contributions to the ongoing recreational plans to connect the community to the river and be part of the overall economic revitalization of Willimantic.
An optional informational meeting will occur on Oct. 11, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in the Paul E. Johnson Sr. Community Room of Eastern Connecticut T State University’s J. Eugene Smith Library. The meeting will also be video-recorded and posted online.
Responses to the “Request for Qualifications” form are due by Nov. 10. Three teams will be selected to submit a detailed concept design due Feb. 12. Each selected team will receive a $10,000 stipend. One of the three design concepts will be selected and built. For more information and for the Request for Qualifications form, please visit http://www.landartgenerator.org/lagi-willimantic.html.