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Bel Air Downtown Alliance Announces “Hearts of Harford” Public Art Project

The Bel Air Downtown Alliance, in cooperation with the Town of Bel Air, will be sponsoring a public art project entitled, “Hearts Of Harford”.  The main purpose of this project is to enhance the public space in and around Downtown Bel Air, provide visual appeal to the public landscape, establish Downtown Bel Air as an art destination, and honor Downtown Bel Air as the “Heart of Harford”.  The design of the sculptures will be based on the heart used in the logo of the Bel Air Downtown Alliance.  The Bel Air Downtown Alliance is seeking proposals from artists for the sculptures which will be temporarily installed in various locations in and around Downtown Bel Air.


“This is an incredibly exciting project,” reported Scott T. Walker, Executive Director of the Bel Air Downtown Alliance.  “Our Design Committee has been working on this idea for a number of years and we have finally arrived at a point to make the project a reality,” Mr. Walker continued.  He also reported that the final design of the sculpture was created by Adrienne DeRan, a local artist and member of the Town of Bel Air’s Cultural Arts Commission.  Ms. DeRan will construct the blank hearts that will serve as the “canvas” for the artists selected to work on the project.  “Many other cities have launched projects similar to this one and they have had great success with it,” stated Mr. Walker.  “Baltimore had fish and crabs, Elkton had their huge Elk, and Frederick had keys.  The hearts are perfect for us and we can’t wait to see them popping up all over town!  We have a lot of fun and exciting plans to help promote the project and we think the community will really enjoy seeing the hearts come to life,” Mr. Walker added.  He also reported that there are plans for mini-hearts to be decorated by the local shops, boutiques, salons, and restaurants to help bring attention to the project.


The Bel Air Downtown Alliance has selected 15 possible sites for the “Hearts Of Harford”.  The immediate goal of the project is to have 8-10 hearts sponsored and produced by May 2013.  Sponsorships are being offered to local businesses interested in supporting the project.  Once the hearts are installed at a location, they will remain there for one year.  At the end of the year, the hearts will be auctioned off to help raise funds for the Bel Air Downtown Alliance and future public art projects.  Sponsorships are being offered for $1,500.00 or the heart can be purchased by the sponsor outright for $1,800.00.  After the heart is on display for one year, and if it is not been sold, it will be auctioned off to help raise funds for the “Hearts Of Harford” project.  The Bel Air Downtown Alliance has already pre-sold two “Hearts Of Harford”:  one to People’s Bank and one to Katzen Eye Group.  The heart purchased by People’s Bank will be placed at the Bel Air Reckord Armory.  A location for the Katzen Eye Group heart has not yet been determined.


The Bel Air Downtown Alliance has released an RFP to commission artists interested in participating in the “Hearts Of Harford” project.  The first deadline for submissions is Friday, November 9, 2012, in the hope of having the first heart completed and installed by Sunday, December 2, 2012 – the date of the Annual Town of Bel Air Christmas Parade & Tree Lighting.  Submissions will be accepted after November 9 for additional hearts.


For more information and complete details about the RFP process, contact Scott T. Walker, Executive Director of the BEL AIR DOWNTOWN ALLIANCE: 443-823-1797 or swalker@downtownbelair.com.


About the Bel Air Downtown Alliance:  The Alliance is a 501(c)(3) local nonprofit dedicated to creating a vibrant business community and visitor friendly destination in Downtown Bel Air.  The Alliance was founded in 2001 and is one of 26 Main Street Maryland communities.

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