Local artists invited to apply for award to create social justice inspired exhibit

June 17, 2022 | By: Communications Staff

The St. Joe County Public Library invites local artists to apply to design and build the next smART box exhibit at Main Library. The focus will be social justice. Proposal submissions are due online by Friday, July 8.

With funding provided by the Muessel-Ellison Memorial Trust Foundation, the artist will receive $5,000 as an honorarium and up to $1,000 for supplies and equipment. 

The St. Joe County Public Library actively seeks to provide resources that encourage deep thinking and lively conversations throughout the community This project specifically seeks to facilitate thought and dialogue on the topic of social justice. “Our hope is that participants will be immersed in art while also deepening their knowledge on a topic that is central to South Bend,” said Grace Maher, program coordinator for the St. Joe County Public Library who is coordinating the project. “We aim to facilitate community connections and inspire creativity through thought-provoking content that will engage the community in conversation.” 

Using the entire space of the smART box, the local artist will design and build the interactive exhibit to introduce and expand the public’s understanding of social justice. The smART box is the interactive public exhibit space at Main Library, located at the main entrance, making it highly visible and easily accessible. It is a place designed to unleash creativity and explore one’s imagination. A journey into the smARTbox is an ever-changing sensory experience with light, music, textures, and color. Each exhibit—lasting 30 to 90 days—is crafted to inspire. The smART box is open normal library hours except during the installation of a new exhibit. 

The Muessel-Ellison Memorial Trust Foundation supports the arts, culture, and humanities in St. Joseph County and particularly the City of South Bend. 


Submissions accepted through midnight: July 8

St. Joe County Public Library selects the artist: July 15

Initial design including material requests submitted to SJCPL: July 22

Artist works on smART Box: August 10 to 15

Library launches smART box exhibit to public: August 22

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