RISCA to commission public art for Garrahy Judicial Complex 

The free application process is open through Feb. 15  

 The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA) is requesting qualifications for a new public art commission for the Garrahy Judicial Complex parking garage, which is located at 1 Dorrance St., Providence. The deadline is Feb. 15, and the applications will be reviewed by a public art selection panel.  

Without belying the dignity of the court, artwork that is colorful, bright, cheerful, calming and/or soothing would be appropriate. The selection panelists indicated that applicants should consider how the artwork is viewed from both inside and outside the courthouse. The Courthouse is used by approximately 3,500 people daily and has 400 employees. 

Through a competitive selection process, one artist or team of artists will be chosen to create a large-scale temporary mural, which will be on display for 5 years. This is a national call open to all artists. Students are excluded. There is no fee to apply, and the budget has been set at $98,000.  All information and the application can be found online at by clicking HERE

The courthouse is adjacent to the Providence Innovation and Design District, which encompasses land made available during the relocation of I-195, and may change significantly because of its adjacency . Besides visitors to the courthouse, the parking garage mural will be highly visible to residents, visitors, hotel guests, and those employed in the area. The façade is visible from multiple vantage points throughout the city.  For more information, contact Faye Zuckerman.  

“Public art is a proven way to enliven a community. A blank wall is just a blank wall, but put a mural on that wall and it adds visual interest and excitement to a neighborhood or business district. We look forward to commissioning work that will contribute to the Garrahy Courthouse and its surrounding community.” 

  –Randall Rosenbaum
Executive Director, Rhode Island State Council on the Arts

About the RI Public Art Law: Artwork for the Garrahy Judicial Complex will be commissioned by RISCA through Rhode Island’s Public Art Law, which mandates that 1 percent of all state capital construction and renovation funds be allocated to the purchase and maintenance of public art. Through this program the State recognizes that “public art creates a more humane environment: one of distinction, enjoyment, and pride for all citizens.”