Pittsburgh Creative Corps: Artist Roster

To support the rapid deployment of public art projects and programming, the Pittsburgh Creative Corps is developing an artist roster. The Artist Roster is a list of artists who have previously submitted information about themselves and their artwork, and which have been reviewed to pre-qualify them for potential public art opportunities. The structure of the Artist Roster allows the project partners to quickly mobilize to implement public art projects and artist-led programming as Pittsburgh reopens throughout 2021 and beyond.

The Pittsburgh Creative Corps Artist Roster is open to artists throughout southwestern Pennsylvania.

Hiring a Pittsburgh Creative Corps Artist

The Pittsburgh Creative Corps intends to make the Artist Roster available as an online resource for use by municipalities, organizations, businesses, and individuals who are interested in commissioning artists in southwestern Pennsylvania for public art opportunities. In the meantime, those interested in commissioning an artist from the Pittsburgh Creative Corps may contact OPA Project Manager Derek Reese at dreese@pittsburghartscouncil.org to set up a consultation.

About the Artist Roster

The Pittsburgh Creative Corps acknowledges that the artist application process can be difficult to navigate, particularly for artists who have not had access to academic training or professional development resources. Application processes can benefit a privileged few, resulting in a lack of inclusion of the multicultural realities of our communities in public space, including but not limited to a lack of public art by Black artists, Indigenous artists, artists of color, disabled artists, and LGBTQIA+ artists. This lack of inclusion results in a less interesting, less engaging, and less equitable city.

To begin to address these barriers, the Corps is currently using two processes to develop the Artist Roster:

  1. An annual Open Call for artists
  2. A Nomination Process

The development of these processes is informed by the Pittsburgh Creative Corps Advisory Group, a working group of the region’s arts and culture leaders who are consulting with the initiative.

Open Call for Artists

In December of 2020, the Pittsburgh Creative Corps released an Open Call for artists to be considered for the Artist Roster. The Open Call application asks artists to submit information about themselves, their experience as an artist, and work samples or images of their artwork. Applications to the Artist Roster Open Call are maintained for a minimum of two years. As public art opportunities are identified, staff and Advisory Group team members review the applicant pool to identify artists who may be considered for the projects. Applicants may receive invitations for temporary and permanent public art projects managed and/or commissioned by the initiative.

Nomination Process

In addition to the Open Call, the Pittsburgh Creative Corps has created a Nomination Process to specifically identify artists from communities that have been historically excluded from public art opportunities. As potential projects are identified, staff works with the Advisory Group to identify short lists of artists for each opportunity, using both the applicant pool from the Open Call and inviting additional nominations from Advisory Group members. Artists who have been nominated are invited to submit information about themselves, their experience as an artist, and work samples or images of their artwork in order to be considered for the opportunity. Nominated artists are considered alongside applicants to the Open Call process.

We continue to learn from our practice and strive to create more inclusive and equitable processes. As the Pittsburgh Creative Corps evolves, we anticipate that these processes will also change and evolve. Please stay tuned for updates.

If you are an artist interested in learning more about how you can become part of the Pittsburgh Creative Corps Artist Roster, please contact OPA Project Manager Derek Reese at dreese@pittsburghartscouncil.org.