Toe River Arts with the Town of Burnsville desires to hire 3-4 artists to design images that can be adapted for laser cut fabrication for metal traffic signal pole wraps at 3-4 major gateway intersections on Scenic Highway 19E.  The public art opportunities at Burnsville’s three major gateways into downtown were identified in the Burnsville Public Art SmART Vision Plan created by artist Jack Mackie with the community.  The gateways into Burnsville are a part of the NC DOT road widening project along this major corridor.  Funding by the National Endowment of the Arts and the North Carolina Arts Council have been secured for this project. 

Previous experience producing CAD files or working with laser-cutting is not required to be eligible for this RFQ.  The Town of Burnsville and Toe River Arts welcomes submittals by artists of all mediums.

We are now accepting applications for the next phase of the
SmART Initiative project – Signal Pole Wraps

Download Full RFQ!

Deadline: February 14, 2019.


Designer and national known public artist/planner Jack Mackie, who has worked closely with the Toe River Arts Council, the NC Arts Council, NC Department of Transportation (DOT) and the community, is working with local artists to fabricate glass elements. Implementation of the project on US Highway 19E will began on the fall of 2017. The Gateway project is a key part of the NC Arts Council’s SmART Initiative for Burnsville that focuses on arts-driven economic development strategies to build stronger economies and communities.

The proposed artworks will showcase the work of local resident, regional, and national artists that will tell the story of Burnsville and reveal its treasured inventiveness, artistic heritage, rural mountain setting, and vision. The artwork will highlight our community’s unique characteristics: its artists, the Dark Sky designation, its minerals and stone, the seven of the mountain peaks east of the Mississippi that are over 6,000 feet, and Burnsville’s and Yancey County’s history, culture, and people.

The art will be both beautiful and practical. We envision artist designed benches, beautiful walkways and lighting, and other streetscape elements as well as dramatic artwork that will draw visitors and residents to our Town. Also, art and aesthetics will positively impact the economy and the community. We foresee a stronger and more vibrant downtown with more restaurants, galleries, increased entertainment options, and more downtown residents. Working with Healthy Yancey, the artistic vision will encourage walkability and more physical activity. We will build a strong arts market that will increase income for both Yancey and Mitchell County artists.

Toe River Arts, in collaboration with the Town of Burnsville and the NC Arts Council SmART Initiative, has partnered with Yancey County, NCDOT, Yancey County Economic Development Commission (EDC), and many community partners, businesses, and residents.

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