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Arts Note: Competition winner will bring new life to Grand Center lot

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 28, 2013 - Two St. Louis institutions are teaming up to revitalize a vacant lot in the Grand Center arts district and encourage new thinking about community development. The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts and Washington University’s Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts have announced a competition for ideas for a temporary art installation at 3713 and 3719 Washington Blvd.

The contest, called PXSTL, is open to emerging artists and designers across the country. Professionals working in the two fields have been asked for nominations, which are due by March 15. Three finalists, whose names will be announced in May, will receive funds for a site visit to develop a proposal for a temporary improvement concept.

The winner, to be announced in August, will receive $50,000 for implementation and a $10,000 honorarium. The project will be completed and available for public inspection in summer 2014.

“PXSTL represents a form of tactical urbanism,” said Leslie Markle, the Sam Fox School’s curator for public art, in a news release. “While the physical project is limited to a specific lot, we are looking for proposals that include a plan for community engagement and that demonstrate an understanding of Grand Center and the existing framework plan for this district.”

“The PXSTL project seeks to open up unexpected avenues for collaboration to inspire you to think about art differently and engage with your community,” said Pulitzer curator Gretchen Wagner, also in the release. “The integrated use of temporary constructions, ephemeral media and the application of unexpected materials is an aspect we look to explore.”

PXSTL is funded by an endowment established by Emily Rauh Pulitzer to support projects between the two institutions.

Nancy is a veteran journalist whose career spans television, radio, print and online media. Her passions include the arts and social justice, and she particularly delights in the stories of people living and working in that intersection.