Beautifying Barriers: Open Call for Public Art on Seating Infrastructure

Feb 15 2018

Open Call Details

The Lower East Side Partnership is inviting visual artists to submit conceptual designs for public seating infrastructure that utilizes jersey barricades. While typically used to separate lanes of traffic in busy roadways, this application will repurpose barriers so that they become specially tailored seating that includes areas for plantings.

The seating is currently in a pre-fabrication phase. Prior to full assembly, we seek the installation of pattern-based artwork on each barrier. The barrier will be free from obstruction during the painting process.

We are most interested in colorful designs that add visual impact to this seating infrastructure that will be placed in highly trafficked pedestrian plazas throughout the Lower East Side including Straus Square and Division/Canal Streets. 

Applicants are asked to familiarize themselves with these locations and to create artwork that is inspired by the surroundings. Our community panel will select three to five artists to design seating artwork that will then be installed in each plaza space. Each selected artist will be designated a seating configuration where their bench designs will be placed. The location of each bench is still being finalized so please keep this in mind when conceptualizing your designs.


Timeline and Process

The Open Call is now live and we will be accepting submissions through Friday, March 16, 2018. At the conclusion of the open call, participating artists will be selected by our community panel to translate their designs onto the assigned seating configuration. Each artist will receive $1,000 per barricade, with some configurations containing two to three barricades. This amount includes both supply cost and artist stipend. Please note that all paintable surfaces will be primed prior to installation.



Dimensions for individual barriers and configurations are detailed below, submissions should include designs that could be applied to either of the bench configuration types. We have also included a drawing of the front and side of the barrier. Please format your artwork to fit these drawings.

For the artwork itself, artists should be inspired by their surroundings and aim to come up with creative that has a connection to the neighborhood. When considering submission concepts, please focus on pattern-based art due to the fragmented nature of the visible portions of the barricades. Please also note that the artwork will need to be installed prior to final fabrication of the seating infrastructure and physical painting of artwork will take place at our fabricator’s warehouse in New Jersey. Selected artists will receive notification on the decision by the end of March.

To Apply

Please fill out this form, which includes an option to attach a PDF. In your PDF, we would like for you to include the following:

– Artwork/pattern example
– Description of how the selected artwork relates to the neighborhood
– Rendering featuring your artwork on the front and side-facing jersey barricade drawings