Amplify the Signal: Call for Art for a New South End Creative Lab Project

May 18, 2018 3:52 pm

Call for Art Entries:

South End Creative Lab is seeking original artwork from local artists to be featured in a project called Amplify the Signal. This project from artist Laurie Smithwick will transform drab grey utility boxes along the South Boulevard corridor by wrapping them with printed vinyl reproductions of local artists’ works. To celebrate the unique qualities of South End, we are looking for designs which, when wrapped around a traffic signal box, will become a point of interest for visitors and a point of pride for South End residents.

Eight (8) street corner traffic signal boxes along South Boulevard in South End will be wrapped and will be on display for at least 12 months.

Please take a walk or a drive down South Boulevard to understand the local context before submitting your art.

If you are proposing a work for a specific box, referencing a specific location, history or surrounds along South Boulevard, you may note that in your application. Or you may submit artwork for installation anywhere along the corridor.


  • Any artist who lives or works in Charlotte or within 100 miles of Charlotte can apply
  • Any medium of visual art is eligible, including paintings (oils, acrylics, watercolors…), drawings (pen and ink, pencil, charcoal, pastels, chalk…), photography, textile arts, sculpture, woodworking, screen prints, monoprints, etc.

We are looking for a diversity of artists and disciplines, so all are encouraged to apply.

Prize & Recognition

Artists chosen for the program will receive a $350 prize award, installation of a reproduction of their artwork on a signal box cover for at least 12 months, recognition through Historic South End, and an opportunity to participate in a collaborative art show during one of South End’s First Friday Gallery Crawls.

Art Specifications

Final artwork dimensions should be 74.5”W x 27.375”H at 300 dpi. We will enlarge your artwork to fit the actual utility box dimensions. We highly recommend you create your work using these proportions, as they are probably far more horizontal than you may imagine. (See images below, or click for a PDF with dimensions.) For tips on photographing or cropping a segment of a larger work, please see this excellent guidance from ArtPop.

Artwork may not contain any form of advertising.

Work depicting nude subjects or any slanderous creative will NOT be accepted.











Example from Beautiful Utilities installation at South and East-West Boulevard:

























To Apply

Applications are now closed. Winners will be notified by Monday June 11th. If you are interested in future opportunities, subscribe to the Historic South End newsletter for notification about future opportunities in the district.

We will need:

  1. Your contact information – phone, email address, website (if you have one).
  2. A brief artist statement that includes the title of your submission, your medium of work, and a brief explanation of the inspiration behind the work.
  3. Instructions for how you would like your name to appear on the decorative wrap (ex. © 2018 Your Name).
  4. An image of the artwork you have created. Initially this should be a small JPG, exactly 745px wide x 273px high. If you are one of the winners you will then be required to send a high resolution version of your artwork.


Pending approval from the Charlotte Department of Transportation, here are the 8 locations available for this project:

New Bern St./Marsh Rd. (NE corner)

New Bern Utility Box 1

New Bern Utility Box 2












Poindexter Dr. (NE corner – by McDonald’s)










Remount Rd. (NE corner – by the Animal Hospital)



















Iverson Way (NW corner – across from Lowes)











Tremont Ave. (NE side, by Tyber Creek)











Park Ave. (NE corner, by CVS)







Bland St. (NW corner – by the Lance bldg.)



















Carson (SW corner – in front of 1100 South Apts.)


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