KERA Arts Story Search

Looking for events? Click here for the Go See DFW events calendar.

Artists! Liven Up Our Cityscape – With Hip, New, Um, Yes, Parking Meters!

by Jerome Weeks 15 May 2014 2:34 PM

We’re gonna make Dallas real purty … with fancy parking meters. In three locations. Done by artists.


shutterstock_45067537Image from Shutterstock

You know, one of those things. It’s hard to imagine anyone actually liking a parking meter, except  the rare one you find that’s still got 30 minutes left on it. They’re like telephone poles, power lines, freeway overpasses or all those dreary-yet-overpricey apartment towers flooding the area around West Village — but smaller, so perhaps we can make some of them marginally less, y’know, blight-like.

That’s where you come in — yes, you, local visual artist or reader with an inflated sense of personal design. The Office of Cultural Affairs has put out a call for submissions for a “Public Art Project” involving the transformation of parking meters in three locations throughout Dallas. The re-do is temporary, though (six to twelve months), so your “creative interventions” are limited to “enhancements” to the exterior of these things (decorative paint, removable graphics, yarn bombing, etc.). No giving the meters wheels, weaponry and a collective robot consciousness. This is about a low-cost pilot project in prettying up the cityscape, not bringing down SkyNet and Judgment Day.

Anyhoo, three teams will be selected for the different locations — Elm Street across from the Majestic Theater, Jefferson near the Oak Cliff Cultural Center and a TBD location in Deep Ellum. Each artist will decorate 10 meters, so bring a lot of yarn. An honorarium of $50 per meter will be available for the “selected Artist/Artist Team.” Design deadline is July 17 at 5 p.m.

Here’s the fine print:


The City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs


One Meter at a Time: A Temporary Public Art Project

Deadline: Friday, June 27, 2014 by 5 p.m.

Overview: The City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs is partnering with the Dallas Police Department to pilot a program of temporary public art that contributes to the visual enhancement of Dallas streets. Using existing parking meters in three locations identified throughout Dallas, selected artists will be commissioned for “creative interventions” such as decorative paint, removable graphics, or wrapping projects (i.e., yarn bombing or vinyl wraps) to enhance the exterior of parking meters. These creative interventions are to be temporary projects, with an expected duration of 6-12 months. After this term, the meter may be removed or repainted by another artist at the discretion of the City of Dallas.

The Office of Cultural Affairs will select three artists (or team of artists) for this project. Each artist will be responsible for a set of meter (10 meters) in the specified location. An honorarium of $50 per meter will be available for the selected Artist/Artists Team.

The locations identified for the project include: Elm Street, across from the Majestic Theater; Jefferson Blvd., near the Oak Cliff Cultural Center; and a location TBD in Deep Ellum.


Project Timeline:

Submission Deadline – Friday, June 27, 2014 by 5 p.m.

Notification of Acceptance – Thursday, July 3, 2014

Design Deadline – Thursday, July 17, 2014 by 5 p.m.

Painting Starts – Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Painting Finished – Tuesday, August 26, 2014


How to Submit Entries:

Please submit the following for consideration, to Jessica Trevizo.

2600 Live Oak St. Dallas, TX 75204 or [email protected]

Entries may be submitted via mail, in person, or via email.

Hand-delivered entries may be turned in during regular hours,

Tuesday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.



Five (5) low resolution images of current artwork (72 dpi)

An artist statement of 100 words or less on what interests you about this project

Completed Artist Entry Form.

Two concept sketches for the back and front of parking meters(See attached templates at the end of this document)


Meter Project Guidelines:

-Meter must be cleaned by artist prior to paint application; however, meter must not be sanded.

-If painting the meter, artist must use an oil-based enhanced exterior paint (such as Rustoleum or similar brand). To protect the art work, a finishing varnish should also be used.

-Once selected for this project, Artists will be asked to provide a sketch for each meter designed (10 meters per artist). We ask that in developing the meter designs, Artists follow these guidelines:

-Do not use language or images that could be construed as offensive, lurid or obscene.Do not depict material political or religious in connotation.Do not include any type of merchant advertising or product endorsement.Do not obstruct meter window or operational decal.Do not paint over meter number, or coin slot.

-Meter “creative interventions” may occur at any time as long as it does not interfere with normal meter operation.

The City of Dallas reserves the right to paint over any meter.


For more information or questions please contact Jessica Trevizo at [email protected] or 214-670-7952. To download application please visit