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NRCA, Ward Acres Community Garden Announce RFP

The New Rochelle Council on the Arts, in collaboration with the Ward Acres Community Gardens Arts Committee and the New Rochelle Department of Parks and Recreation, has announced an RFP for the creation of a new public art installation to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the garden. The RFP asks for artists to submit their proposals for a sculpture or 3-D art work that will serve as a focal point within the perennial garden at the WACG entrance.

“The idea behind this project is to celebrate the success of the community garden,” says Maggie McGovern, one of the WACG founders. “We also hope this public art will provide the opportunity for dialogue between the artist and visitors to the garden, and, of course, we hope the finished work will be aesthetically exciting and enliven the setting.” In addition to McGovern the WACG steering committee includes Joe Rogot and Stephanie Tomei.

The selected artist will receive $1,000 for creation and installation of the piece, plus a $1,000 stipend. Work in any medium will be considered, with preference for aluminum or tin (traditional 10th anniversary materials), and the medium must be weather resistant and designed to last in a permanent outdoor site. Submissions will be accepted starting April 16th  and ending on June 1,st  2018, with the work expected to be installed by October 1st. Complete details are available on line at www.newrochellearts.org.

Nestled in a meadow of Ward Acres (the entrance is near the intersection of Quaker Ridge and Broadfield Roads), the Ward Acres Community Garden was created in 2009 with the idea of “Building Community from the Ground Up.” Starting with just 36 10-by-12-foot plots it has grown to 88 plots that are distributed on a first come, first served basis at the beginning of each season. (Cost is $50 per plot, or $25 for a half plot.) Two of the plots contain vegetables which are planted and then harvested and donated to H.O.P.E. Community Services Soup Kitchen, and another plot is used by the Ward Elementary School for educational purposes. The mission of the Ward Acres Community Garden is to help build community, follow organic and ecologically sustainable principles, share knowledge and help feed the hungry – but in the process friendships have been cultivated and neighborliness nurtured: Several fun events for all ages are held throughout the growing season.

“Happily, our garden reflects the richly diverse community that makes up the City of New Rochelle,” says Stephanie Tomei. “Our gardeners are a mosaic of the ages and people from the Queen City of the Sound.”

In 2011the WACG worked with NRCA on another piece of public art, a mosaic seating area titled “The Meeting Place,” that was created by children from the Boys and Girls Club of New Rochelle working under the direction of ceramic artist Judith Weber. “We are delighted to be working again with the Ward Acres Community Garden,” says Theresa Kump Leghorn, President of the New Rochelle Council on the Arts. She explains that the New Rochelle Council on the Arts has a commitment to sponsoring public art and creating collaborations with other city organizations to create projects which enhance its mission. “The NRCA has been a leader in creating public art for New Rochelle, from one of the first mural installations downtown – Steal Away by Jeff Schlanger, which was unveiled at 41 Lawton Street in 2008 —  to the Fleur-de-Lys project in 2014,” she adds. “NRCA believes public art is important because it enhances quality of life and brings art into the every day experience of the entire community, while demonstrating civic pride and defining a positive sense of identity.”

For more information please contact the New Rochelle Council on the Arts at [email protected].