Public Call to Artists for New Residence Hall Installation

In conjunction with Percent for the Arts Program
The Louisiana Percent for Art Program is seeking artists to submit qualifications to design and implement interior and exterior, site-specific sculptures or installations of original design for the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts (LSMSA), a public residential high school offering advanced instruction for high-achieving students. The school, which is located in Natchitoches, Louisiana, offers unique exterior and interior space within its new residential hall facility.

A multidisciplinary committee, headed by Chris King, lecturer of visual arts at LSMSA, has proposed that the art installations should both celebrate and applaud the many educational disciplines represented by the life and work of Caroline Dormon, a Louisiana native that made monumental contributions to the conservation and protection of the state’s natural and cultural resources.

“While researching public art in Louisiana I searched for new ideas and discovered a void that was very obvious to me, becoming the catalyst for this project,” said King of Dormon’s selection as inspiration for this installation. “What I found is a lack of historic women represented in public art in the US, especially in the deep south.”

A passion for plants and old-growth forests – coupled with a strong kinship with Native Americans – shaped Dormon’s life and work, which spanned across many disciplines including visual arts, humanities, and life sciences. A former educator, writer and researcher, Dormon was the first female employee of the United States Forestry Service and was instrumental in the creation of the Kisatchie National Forest. She is now considered Louisiana’s first true conservationist.

LSMSA is open to a wide variety of artist styles, including traditional statuary and contemporary art.

The school asks for an exterior piece that complements a well-designed outdoor social area that includes seating, walkways, lighting, and landscaping and is intended to be a place that can provide learning opportunities for students and the community at large. A second piece in the main lobby of the building should serve to welcome guests into the new living area of campus.

The commission, with a project budget of $260,000, is open nationally to professional artists and artist teams aged 18 and over with a minimum of five years of demonstrated professional visual art experience. The budget is intended to be all inclusive of costs and commensurate with the intended scale of the work.

The deadline to submit proposals is September 5, 2020. The full Call to Artists, complete with submission requirements, guidelines, scope and eligibility, can be found at Inquiries should be made to Scott Finch, director for Percent for Art Program at 225-342-8176.

Both the installation and new residence hall building will sit adjacent to Northwestern State University’s Watson Library, which houses the official archives of Dormon’s work.

The Percent for the Art Program was enacted as law in 1999 and provides that any state building project of more than $2 million have money set aside for public art installations on the grounds of the new building. This program is administered by the Louisiana Office of Cultural Development’s Division of the Arts in the Department of Culture, Recreation, and Tourism of the State of Louisiana, in collaboration with the Division of Administration and the Office of Facility Planning and Control.

3 thoughts on “Public Call to Artists for New Residence Hall Installation

  1. Caroline Dorman is a true Louisiana treasure. She had a strong friendship with Cammie Henry, matriarch of Melrose Plantation. I am a part-time tour guide at Melrose (when we are fully open and operational again) and we focus on three other historic figures, women, including Ms. Henry, and only on occasion can we mention something of Ms. Dorman, usually because of a question from a guest. I am also a professional forester by training, and formerly by trade, so I have a very healthy appreciation for Ms. Dorman’s contribution to forestry and to Louisiana’s conservation movement.

    As I said, Caroline Dorman is a Louisiana treasure whose life and accomplishments deserved to be remembered and recognized.

    • Sharon, they are probably from the NSU Archives. Though the one of her with the typewriter on her lap can be found on various websites.

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