Art All Around Competition

International public art competition in Maine gives artists the broadest canvas imaginable

The Maine Centre for Creativity, in collaboration with Sprague Energy Corporation, is calling on artists from across the globe to enter designs to be considered in a once in a lifetime open design competition - with a difference.

The Art All Around project is a juried design competition for a major public artwork using Sprague Energy Corporation's 16 above ground storage tanks as canvasses. 

Artists are asked to provide designs for the walls and tops of the tanks. There is no entry fee for the competition, and cash prizes total $70,000.

From land, sea and air, the Sprague tank farm is a prominent feature on the Portland Harbor, an unmissable landmark for visitors to the area, and a familiar sight to residents. 

The Art All Around project invites entrants to submit a graphic vision for painting eight entire tanks (tops and sidewalls) and the tops of an eight additional tanks within the Sprague tank farm. 

Sprague tank farmAccording to Jean Maginnis, Executive Director of the Main Centre for Creativity, the competition has already generated international interest within the global arts community:

'We are receiving submissions from many different countries and would like artists, architects and designers in Northern Ireland to hear about this important and unique collaboration between arts and industry. 

'There is no fee for entry and the cash prizes, as well as opportunities for publicity, are significant.'

The Maine Center for Creativity asks each entrant to submit four JPG images, which represent photographic views of the tanks. 

All entrants must download the same 4 JPG images of the tanks to alter to present their design entry. There are a limited number of commercial paint colors to use. (See the Maine Centre for Creativity website for submission requirements).

Five semi-finalists will be selected from Stage 1 of the competition. Stage 2 brings the five semi-finalists to Portland for a site visit and a more in-depth study of the Sprague tank farm site. 

The 5 semi-finalists submit a comprehensive design presentation showing how their design will apply to all 16 storage tanks. 

Although Stage 1 of the competition does not involve submitting designs for all of the tanks to be painted, all entrants should be aware of the fact that the separate tanks will need to work together as an aesthetic whole.

Only one winner will be selected from the five semi-finalists. The winner will receive a monetary award of $30,000 and his or her design will be used to paint the tanks. 

As a result, there will be no multiple winning designs for different tanks and there will be no combining of designs after submission. 

Note that the winner will not physically paint the tanks or supply the paint for the project. Rather, the winner will only provide the graphic design and specifications. 

Entrants should be aware that industrial painters ultimately applying the paint to the tanks will not be able to reproduce graphic designs that are too intricate.

Visit the Maine Center for Creativity website for further details.