ANALOG SCROLL - CALL FOR WRITERS
The Westmoreland Museum of American Art is seeking to commission four writers from southwestern Pennsylvania to propose site-specific text to be added to the public art project Analog Scroll on the North Main Street Bridge in Greensburg over the course of the next four years. Each selected writer will be commissioned to write an original, site-specific poem/text for the bridge that will be on-site for a one-year period. Commissioned writers will receive $1,000 for their work and the complete poem/text will be published on the Museum’s Bridging the Gap website.
DESCRIPTION Located on top of a hill, The Westmoreland Museum of American Art (WMAA) connects to downtown Greensburg via the North Main Street Bridge. The WMAA reopened in 2015 after a two-year expansion and complete renovation to the 60-year-old building. The museum’s redesign prompted the WMAA to reconsider how the museum as an institution and its physical location, interacts with and connects to downtown Greensburg. The North Main Street Bridge is a concrete vehicular and pedestrian bridge that spans a set of railroad tracks. The bridge’s lack of aesthetic appeal, yet importance in linking the WMAA to the rest of the city, made it a prime location for a public artwork. The goals for the commissioned piece were to enhance the physical appearance of the bridge, and encourage community interaction.
With the assistance of a National Endowment for the Arts Our Town grant, the WMAA, in partnership with the City of Greensburg, commissioned Analog Scroll, a public work of art designed by artist Janet Zweig. On view until 2027, Analog Scroll reimagines the possibilities for how Greensburg residents can view the bridge to connect and collaborate with the museum. The piece lines both sides of the bridge on an anchored aluminum track. On each track, three dimensional aluminum letters spell out lines of original, site-specific text.
The first poem written by Jan Beatty, Pittsburgh, was installed on the bridge in 2017. Jacob Bacharach wrote the poem for year two, and Michelle Stoner’s poem for year three is currently scrolling on the bridge.
The selected writers will work with WMAA staff on the requirements for each text so that it aligns with the goals of the project. The commissioned texts will relate to either:
- the site (specifically or to southwestern Pennsylvania);
- the concept of bridges or bridging;
- the idea of “bridging the gap” between downtown Greensburg, the Museum, and the neighborhoods up the hill, or bridging metaphorical gaps such as between classes, neighborhoods, or communities.
Each commissioned writer will be responsible for writing a text that will be displayed sequentially, moving forward at least once a month over a period of one year, for the North Main Street Bridge. Exact format requirements, including a template for texts, will be given to the selected writers. Writers will work closely with the artist to make sure that each text works as planned.
APPLICATION To apply for this opportunity, please submit the following:
- A one-page letter of interest that describes the writer’s interest in the project, other collaborative writing projects, and their connection to southwestern Pennsylvania.
- Three to five writing samples that best demonstrate the writer’s work (no longer than 6 pages in total).
- Current CV.
- All application materials must be submitted to Bonnie West at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To apply, please fill out and submit your application materials to Bonnie West at email@example.com.
Application deadline for Phase I is October 28, 2019.
Four writers will be selected and receive notification in December 2019. The first piece will be scheduled to go on display June 2020. The second June 2021; third 2022; fourth 2023.
Contact Bonnie West at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.