Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Calling all artists, Airlie Garden’s announces theme of annual art exhibit: Squirrels [Free read]

Twiggy the water-skiing squirrel. (Port City Daily/Christina Haley)

WILMINGTON — Every year Airlie Gardens hosts a contest for artists to decorate items around the park for their annual exhibit. Last year, it was gnomes; this year, visitors to the gardens will be greeted by 10 fiberglass squirrels — and right now artists in the area are invited to submit their designs for the chance to decorate one of the oversized rodents.

Starting July 1 — Oct. 31 the squirrels will be on display around the park but initial design submissions are due at the end of the month.

“In preparation for the exhibit, Airlie Gardens invites artists, or teams of artists, to decorate, paint or otherwise adorn one of 10 over-sized, fiberglass squirrel models. These squirrels will be placed throughout the grounds for guests to enjoy as part of their garden experience. Artist designs will be selected based on creativity, craftsmanship, use of materials, the ability to appeal to all age groups, outdoor sustainability and durability. Artists must submit an application by February 28, 2020, to be eligible,” according to Airlie Gardens call for artists.

Anyone hoping to apply to be a squirrel decorator must complete an application, complete a full-color rendering of the design, and provide examples of previous artist work.

Below is a timeline for the artist process:

  • Artist Application Deadline – February 28, 2020
  • Artist Notification/Commision – March 20, 2020
  • Fiberglass squirrels available for pick-up – April – specific date TBD
  • Deadline for return of finished squirrels – June 15, 2020
  • Exhibit opens to the public – July 1, 2020
  • Online auction of squirrels – September 15 – October 31, 2020
  • Exhibit closes – October 31, 2020

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