The Perot Museum and African American Museum are taking submissions to design this staircase. Here, it's decked out for the exhibition "Journey to Space." Perot Museum

Visual Arts

The Perot is Looking for a Local Black Designer to Transform its Staircase

The Perot and the African American Museum, Dallas are collaborating on a design contest, open now.

The Perot Museum of Nature and Science and the African American Museum of Dallas are searching for a North Texas-based Black designer to create an image celebrating African-American leaders in science for the Perot’s outdoor staircase. There is an open call for artist submissions, and the winning designer will be awarded $5,000 and have their image recreated on the staircase facing Field Street this winter. 

The museum is looking for a vibrant, site-specific concept that pays tribute to Black STEM leaders and can translate to the unusual canvas. The image will be printed on weather-proof vinyl and professionally applied to the museum’s multi-story outdoor staircase. 

Submissions opened on Wednesday and the deadline to enter the design contest is October 30. Find directions to submit a design here

The African American Museum compiled a list of suggested figures for applicants to get inspired by, including innovators like George Washington Carver, NASA’s Mary Winston Jackson, and Charles Drew, the pioneering Black surgeon. Designers can venture off the prescribed list, but it’s recommended to include a mix of historical and modern figures, as well as men and women. The submission prompt also suggests incorporating the figures’ memorable quotes and scientific discoveries.

The contest is open to African American creative designers and artists who live in the Dallas region, are 18 years of age or older, and are a U.S. citizen at the time of entry. Collaborations of two people are allowed, and the winnings may be split (you will have to choose a “lead entrant” to be the spokesperson and submit a W-9 form for payment). 

A juried panel of experts in the arts, education, and STEM will judge the entries and crown the winning design. The panel includes UNT program coordinator and assistant professor, Interdisciplinary Art and Design Studies, Lauren Cross; deputy director and COO of the African American Museum of Dallas, W. Marvin Dulaney; president and CEO of Big Thought, Byron Sanders; CEO of the Perot, Linda Silver; and Arthur Simmons, quality systems management, and processes and analytics at Texas Instruments. 

The winner of the contest will be contacted no later than December 1, 2020, and the image is expected to be installed within 30 days of the winner’s notification, weather permitting. 

Late submissions will not be considered, so make sure to have your application in by Friday, October 30, 2020 by 11:59 p.m.

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