slice of life

Believe in Syracuse to produce first public art piece for city

Ally Moreo | Photo Editor

Community members are encouraged to share their ideas with the committee, ultimately making the art something the community wants.

UPDATED: March 20, 2017 at 9:50 p.m.

Believe in Syracuse announced at its 4th Birthday Party that it will install its first public art display in the city of Syracuse by the end of the year. It anticipates making its request for proposal available to the public within the month.

Believe in Syracuse itself is a nonprofit working to promote the positive qualities of the city and revitalize the current community. They created a committee, which is currently finalizing the request for proposal, a document that will be sent to the community, said John DeSantis, executive director of Believe in Syracuse.

The proposal, which has a tentative release date for April 1st, would request feedback from community members as to what they want to see in the mural and would call interested artists to apply for actually creating the piece.

“It’s really a community competition to see who comes up with the best idea,” DeSantis said.

The idea for the mural came form Paul Colabufo, president of the board of directors, who saw that public art projects were one of the major efforts happening in central New York. He was inspired by the Connective Corridor, and how it’s invested millions of dollars into public art.

DeSantis said they want to create the mural to improve the visual appearance and skyline of Syracuse. The committee chose the Salina Street corridor downtown because of the historical and cultural significance it has for the community.

“It’s a cross section of people from all different walks of life,” DeSantis said. “People will be seeing this mural and we want to let them know that we believe in them and we hope they believe in themselves.”

As part of the effort to celebrate the community, the committee will reach out to local artists in addition to hosting an open application. DeSantis said that the organization isn’t going into the project with a model for what the mural should look like or what it should say. The chosen artist will have artistic license and all they ask is that they stick to the core message of the organization.

“Believe in yourself and believe in each other,” he said.

He anticipates they will receive dozens of submissions. DeSantis is pushing to promote the mural completion to all of the communities of Syracuse so they receive ideas from “all walks of life.”

The organization aims to complete the mural between August and September, but October at the latest to avoid Syracuse’s infamous cold and snowfall.

CORRECTION: In a previous version of this post, the timeline for Believe in Syracuse’s proposal was misstated. It anticipates making its request for proposal available to the public within the month. The Daily Orange regrets this error.


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