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Pennsylvania Convention Center upgrade to be finalized by art competition

Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority (PCCA), working with a broad-based coalition of art leaders from across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, announced a 60-day “Open Call” competition to acquire more than $1.2 million in original works by Pennsylvania artists.

“This is an opportunity for us to add the finishing touches to our beautiful, expanded facility and to showcase this architectural wonder in the heart of Philadelphia to the world,” said Gregory J.

Fox, chairman of the board of directors, PCCA. “We have been working hard to fulfill the promise of the expanded Convention Center and have booked more than $350 million in new business since May of this year. Now is a great time to add this artwork so that our new and repeat customers can enjoy the incredible work of our Pennsylvania artists.”

PCCA has formed an all-volunteer Expansion Art Committee comprised of prominent members of the Pennsylvania arts community to oversee the effort to collect paintings, photographs, sculpture and other fine art that will become permanent installations.

To qualify, artists must have their primary residence in Pennsylvania at the time their work is purchased or commissioned. Their work must be of a scale, quality, and durability deemed by the Expansion Art Committee to be appropriate for long-term exhibition in the Convention Center. A separate jury of art experts will complete the initial project review and make recommendations to the Expansion Art Committee.

“The Pennsylvania Convention Center is a showplace for the Commonwealth and we commend this open call for submissions by Pennsylvania artists to a juried process selecting works for long-term exhibition,” said Jeanne Gleason, chair of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA), the state arts agency. “The paintings, photographs and sculpture chosen will be seen by millions of visitors to the expanded facility, and represent the breadth and depth of talent of Pennsylvania’s diverse arts community.”

The Expansion Art Committee includes:

  • Margot Berg, public art director; Office of Arts, Culture, & the Creative Economy with the City of Philadelphia – Philadelphia County
  • David Brigham, Ph.D., president and CEO; Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) – Philadelphia County
  • Chelsea Guzowski, director of economic and strategic initiatives; Governor’s Budget Office – Philadelphia County
  • Curlee Holton, director of Experimental Printmaking Institute and David M. ’70 and
  • Linda Roth, professor of art; Lafayette College – Northampton County
  • Philip Horn, executive director; PCA – Dauphin County
  • Germaine Ingram, independent performance artist and dancer/choreographer – Philadelphia County
  • Anne Lampe, executive director; Demuth Museum – Lancaster County
  • Renee Piechocki, director at Office of Public Art; a Partnership between the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council and the City of Pittsburgh Department of City Planning – Allegheny County
  • John Vanco, director; Erie Art Museum – Erie County
  • Ahmeenah Young, consultant and past president and CEO; Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority (PCCA) – Philadelphia County

“The money for this expansion art acquisition project was authorized by the Commonwealth as part of the Convention Center building expansion project, which increased our meeting space by 62 percent to over 1 million square feet of saleable space,” said John J. McNichol, president and CEO, PCCA.

The $787 million building expansion made the Convention Center the 14th largest facility in the nation with the ability to hold multiple conventions simultaneously and to host much larger tradeshows and exhibits. Additionally, it provided Philadelphia with the largest ballroom in the Northeast.

Pennsylvania artists may go to http://www.paconvention.com/the-center/Pages/arts.aspx to learn more about the “Open Call” opportunity and how to submit their work for consideration. Artist submissions will be accepted through March 2, 2015, 11:59PM EST.

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