After the events of August 12 last year, Bushman Dreyfus Architects sought to address the idea of monuments and memorials in contemporary civic life by creating the BDA Prize design and ideas competition, inviting architects, artists, and designers to come up with works of public art or architecture that would address some of the many issues that last year’s tragedy raised.
“We are hosting this ideas competition because we believe compelling dialogue can occur through design and art,” says Jeff Bushman. “And especially given the events in Charlottesville last summer, we hope that acts of reflective making will open up potential for a new understanding between members of our community. We’re interested in finding and exploring new expressions of Charlottesville’s spirit of place, and the power of public art in the 21st century.”
More than 80 artists, architects, designers, and citizens from 10 countries responded to the BDA Prize call for entries. And it's quite an array of interesting concepts (see them here). There are waterfall walls cutting across the mall, a giant weeping eye, faults built-in the bricks that become water pools, reflection ponds, grassy commons and forests, labyrinths, variations and reinterpretations of the free speech wall, and array of abstract installations meant to address what Charlottesville went through last year and to encourage diversity, public dialogue, and more inclusive historical representations of the past.
Public voting for a Community Choice Award ($1000) will be Tuesday, April 10 from 5:00-7:00pm at the African-American Heritage Center in Charlottesville's Jefferson School City Center. Immediately after, there will be a discussion with a jury of architects, designers and artists (Maurice Cox, Andrea Douglas, Scot French, Beth Meyer, and Brian Wimer) moderated by noted author John Grisham about the issues raised by the submissions. Then the winners of the Grand Prize ($5000) and two Finalist Prizes ($1000) will be announced. This event is presented in association with the Tom Tom Founders Festival and no tickets are required.
The competition entries are on exhibit at the African-American Heritage Center from 10am to 6pm, Tuesday through Saturday, through May 7, 2018.