New London – As the new Center of Maritime Excellence is being built along the riverfront of the US Coast Guard Academy campus, the Academy’s Alumni Association is on the lookout for works by large-scale art for the interior of the building.
The association is soliciting submissions from muralists and artists interested in creating art for two interior walls, both of which are 40-foot by 16-foot spaces. There is a spot above the entrance on the north side of the building. The other is on the corresponding south wall.
The deadline is December 3 for artists or an organization such as a graphic arts company to submit their CV and some examples of their work.
Robert McKenna, vice president of alumni development, said the plan was for the committee overseeing the artwork to interview several finalists and then make a decision. The committee can choose an artist to make the two walls, or they can choose two, each making a wall.
Once that happens, McKenna said, the committee will discuss the project with the artist, “sharing our vision for the building and then hearing from the artist what his interpretation is.”
Although the association does not request that a particular event be represented, it does have a theme in mind. The idea is to build on the historic murals that already exist at the academy and continue to tell the story of the Coast Guard and the academy. The Academy class of 1962, for example, sponsored a series of murals depicting the history of the Coast Guard from World War II to September 11.
While the existing Coast Guard Academy murals have a range of styles, from WPA 1930s realism to traditional 2000s realism, the Alumni Association is not asking for MCOE art to be in a particular style. .
In a press release, the association said: “This does not preclude the use of more modern and contemporary styles using multimedia and graphics to describe the service today and its direction in the future.”
McKenna says the walls of the Maritime Center of Excellence where the artwork will be placed “really lends itself to further celebrating the history of the Coast Guard as well as the potential for interpretation and looking to the future of the Guard.” coastal. We therefore seek that art supports the vision of the building. As people step into these spaces, (they can) get a sense of our history as a service, as an academy, and with the potential to anticipate what our future might be.
A main part of the vision for the center itself, said McKenna, “was to instill a taste for the sea and its traditions, which is fundamental to the mission of the Coast Guard Academy. We wanted to offer something to our waterfront that created a focal point for our teachers, cadets and staff to come to the waterfront, use the facilities and also serve as something that will also be open to the community. The nickname we give it is that it becomes the academy’s maritime gateway.
McKenna said the architecture of the center is reminiscent of the early days of the Revenue Cutter Service, which merged in 1915 with the US Life-Saving Service to create the Modern Coast Guard. The interior, for example, evokes a wooden shell.
“The exterior of the building is somewhat interpretive – whether it’s a sail or the hull of a boat itself – but its shape is certainly more tilted forward. (It) involves looking to our future, ”McKenna said.
McKenna said the overall MCOE budget is $ 23.5 million and the association is still looking to raise a few more million for that total.
The 20,000 square foot center, slated for completion in October 2022, will have a scientific and technical innovation lab including a 3D printing workshop, a wood and metal fabrication workshop, and a test tank. stability. Other features of the center include a seminar space for up to 150 people, spaces for vessel maintenance, offices and an atrium.
The building will be the academy’s first LEED-certified project (Leadership in Energy and Environment Design), meaning it is certified as a green building.
It was designed by the architectural firm SmithGroup and the construction contract was awarded to A / Z Corp. from North Stonington.