Open Call for Artist Proposals: Activate Vacant


Vacant lots are everywhere in our community. Some of them are abandoned car lots, others were intended to be shopping malls but were never built, and some have been empty for so long that it’s hard to tell what was there or what was supposed to be there. Continuing with our goal to think critically about how we use space, we are inviting artists to participate in our vacant lot project titled “Activate Vacant.” It’s a very simple project: utilizing formerly discarded objects from one’s backyard, garage, house, and/or items purchased at yard sales or thrift stores artists will create an installation, sculpture, performance, or playground toy in vacant lots throughout South El Monte and El Monte. The aim is to activate otherwise abandoned objects and spaces. Finished projects can do this by bringing color and creativity to spaces that are considered blight or/and by inviting residents to use their finished projects.

Each vacant lot provides its own particular challenges and opportunities. Click here to check out some of the El Monte/South El Monte vacant lots.

Artists, urban planners, graphic designers, poets, and other creative folk interested in participating should email a short description of a proposed project and resumé to semartsposse@gmail.com by July 13th.

Projects will be selected based on the following criteria:

  • Creative use of discarded items
  • Mindfulness of local community
  • Carefully consideration of the relationship between vacant lot, people, and objects
  • Feasibility
  • Concept
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