Making Your Own Opportunities with Public Art

Why Public Art?

Durham is growing and stepping onto a national stage as a city of foodies, sports and, more and more, the arts. As the attention of both locals and the tourist market is captured by large-scale, public art there is a growing need to develop the next generation of local artists who can successfully create these works. 

Long-lasting art careers require professional support and development that extends beyond the selection of materials. Artists seeking to move their work from the personal scale to the public scale require training in the business and planning skills necessary to work with civic groups, architects and municipal leaders in order to bring their work to our public spaces. 

The Momentum 360: - Making Your Own Opportunities with Public Art course provides emerging Durham artists with the tools they need to succeed as public artists in our community and around our state.

What You'll Learn

  • How to identify which art calls are right for you.
  • How to develop your professional support materials (CV, slides, image list, references, letter of interest)
  • How to perform your due diligence (site visits, phone conferences, email inquiries, budgeting, accessibility studies and more) via in-class case studies
  • Budgeting, cost evaluations and financial aspects via case studies
  • Behind-the-scenes insights from public arts professionals (architects, engineers, arts administrators, vendors)
  • 'What Not To Do’: business school-style case studies of successful and unsuccessful projects
  • PLUS complete a real, live public art call with the support and assistance of the instructors!

About the Program

This full 6-week course will be delivered live in a virtual classroom and will include interactive elements. Participants will also receive one-on-one mentoring and peer-to-peer connections.

The class will also include optional in-person field trips and site visits.

Photo by Discover Durham

A mural at the Durham Food Co-op


Apply here.

Don't wait! Applications are due Sept. 5th. Applicants will receive an update about their status by Sept. 12th. 

Meet the Instructors:

David WilsonDavid Wilson: David Wilson is a Durham-based public artist who employs his background in design, sculpture, and creative placemaking, to create site-specific work that explores the social, historical, and functional context of a site, as well as the architectural and urban phenomenology of a space.

Through collaboration, he embraces his role as a creative facilitator that helps shape an understanding on how art connects with community, as an urban space and how its territory, trajectories, and interpretations combine to separate it from surrounding non-urban environments.

Wilson has served as Lead Artist for multiple high-profile public commissions in Durham, Charlotte, Raleigh and Gastonia. Learn more about David's work on his website.

He brings his decades of experience and his love of mentorship to this program. He is assisted in course preparation by Cynthia Deis.

Cynthia DeisCynthia Deis: Cynthia Deis is a Raleigh-based artist, writer and educator with experience in a variety of mediums. Her background as a production jewelry designer and retail store owner provides her with an artist’s understanding of business and entrepreneurial issues. Certified in REAL Entrepreneurship and REAL Craft courses, she also teaches and consults on email marketing and pricing with artists and craftspeople. Cynthia lives in a small house in Raleigh where the animals outnumber the people and there are more paintbrushes than tea spoons. 

Learn more about Cynthia's work on her website.

The City of Durham is proud to partner with:

Triangle Art Works logo_new_Sept 2020