City of Asheville issues nationwide call for new public art piece above Aloft Hotel parking garage exit


Here’s pertinent info from the City of Asheville:

51 Biltmore Public Art Project

The City of Asheville is seeking to commission a qualified artist or team of artists to create a permanent exterior public art feature above the parking garage exit at the north side of the Aloft Hotel on Aston Street. The Aloft Hotel at 51 Biltmore Avenue in downtown Asheville is a visible landmark in the skyline, set apart by its contemporary architecture and vibrant color scheme. 51 Biltmore is the shared address of the City of Asheville’s new parking complex which is the site for the public artwork. The 51 Biltmore Public Art Project is intended to enhance the sense of local identity in downtown Asheville, as well as compliment the architecture of the Aloft Hotel and is part of the City’s Percent for Art mandate.

This is a nationwide call with preference given to all qualified local artists/teams of artists who currently live in North Carolina in Buncombe, Yancey, McDowell, Rutherford, Polk, Henderson, Madison, Haywood, Transylvania, Jackson, Swain, Macon, Graham, Clay and Cherokee counties (proof of residency will be required).

Artists’ qualifications will be accepted electronically through October 30, 2013 at, also known as CaFÉ™. Project specifications and instructions on how to apply are located at For information about the call for artists, contact Basil Punsalan at 828-259-5552 or

The City of Asheville Public Art Program oversees Asheville’s public art collection with assistance of the Public Art & Cultural Commission. The collection includes the popular Urban Trail, a historic walking tour of downtown Asheville; along with other prominent works in the downtown area including but not limited to the Pack Fountain, Energy Loop, Deco Gecko and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial.

You can also go to and get the information about Asheville’s new public art project call.


Arts Admin September 22, 2013 - 11:37 am

To answer Kim’s question above: This is a public call because this project falls uner the percent for art program, which is a city/state/federally-mandated program that stipulates that a percentage of a public building’s construction costs (in this case – the city -owned garage portion of the building, not the hotel, and not anything but construction cost such as design fees…) must go toward purchasing art for the public good/the building. Though it is a national call (again, mandated equal opportunity to artists across the US) – there is sub-stipulation that artists within the region are given preference, and again, that stipulation is standard.

Stephen Lange September 18, 2013 - 5:50 pm

Why not have an artist that already has work in every room? The world’s best tape artist that weaves 4D holographic magic out of recycled plastic, glass and metal already lives here and has a studio in the RAD.

Asheville Artist September 20, 2013 - 11:40 am

Could you give us this person’s name and encourage him or her to submit his or her credentials? As I understand this “call,” it’s not for a specific proposal, just to submit one’s background, experience, and other info. Do others understand this the same way?

rad artist September 21, 2013 - 1:37 pm

He’s talking about himself. *le sigh

Murphy September 18, 2013 - 1:26 pm

The entire West facing exterior wall desperately needs some sort of enhancement… especially since the “affordable, workforce housing” which is/was supposed to be part of “Phase 2” to be built there by Public Interest Projects has (as far as I know) been postponed indefinitely …

Asheville Artist September 21, 2013 - 8:37 am

Maybe someone will propose something other than a painted mural. A sculptural or ceramic installation? A constantly changing video projection?

jtroop September 23, 2013 - 12:15 pm

Absolutely! the west wall is very stark….

Joshua Marc Levy September 18, 2013 - 8:04 am

This is GREAT!

Roscoe September 18, 2013 - 12:27 am

Are we finally over some grace period that they may now accept submissions? Oops, my bad, I was thinking of the conspicuously vacant piece just South of there.

Kim Roney September 17, 2013 - 10:13 pm

Wow, a national call? Don’t we have nationally/internationally/locally acclaimed artists in town? Sure, they can’t just do everything in site, but these come to mind:

Gus Cutty
Dustin Spagnola
(my dearest) Nathanael Roney

I get where the process is at, and I understand they would now need to apply. I’ve learned from up-and-coming masters in the arts that you should commission folks you want to do the art, not just put out a blank call.

Hmm… (thinking…)

It seems like they want a mural there. Gus did a great job giving props to street and graffiti artists in the WNC Best Of this year. I’m looking forward to seeing what comes of this.


SuckItMcGee September 17, 2013 - 9:15 pm

Because I’m not an artist, so I have no idea: do these types of installations pay any sort of decent monies? Is this public info?

Asheville Artist September 19, 2013 - 7:11 am

Here’s the info from the call for artists:

Once a final artist is selected their budget for this project is $25,000 on a turnkey basis. The budget includes all costs: i.e., proposals, materials, the hiring of engineers/ inspectors, fabrication, installation, artist commission and travel. The finalist or finalist team will be required to invoice the city for payments needed.

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