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Sketch by Chris Park, a selected artist in the 2011 iteration of the "Lowertown Sketchbook". Photo courtesy of Springboard for the Arts.

Sketch by Chris Park, a selected artist in the 2011 iteration of the “Lowertown Sketchbook.” Photo courtesy of Springboard for the Arts

Here’s an intriguing opportunity for St. Paul artists: Springboard for the Arts (a Knight Arts grantee) just announced a call for submissions of illustrations for “Lowertown Sketchbook,” paying homage to the city’s storied district (hat tip to Pamela Espeland’s fabulous “Artscape” column over at Minnpost for bringing it to my attention). Three winning designs will be reproduced on drink coasters made available to neighborhood watering holes.

The call reads:

Between the historic architecture, the parks, the farmers’ market and the bustling streets, Lowertown is perhaps the most picturesque urban spot in the Twin Cities. In celebration of the great neighborhood that Springboard for the Arts calls home, we’re commissioning three Lowertown / downtown St. Paul artists to create high-quality, easily reproducible black-and-white artwork picturing Lowertown. Street scenes, specific buildings, landscapes, crowd scenes – anything that looks or feels like the Lowertown you know and love.

Three artists will be selected from the pool of submissions; each will receive a $200 commission for their sketch. The resulting images will be printed on a run of drink coasters which will be divvied up among a number of favorite Lowertown restaurants and bars – including the Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Amsterdam Bar and Hall and Barrio – which will then make them available through 2013 to their patrons while supplies last.

The deadline for entries is June 28; artists can find a submission form and full call for artists online here.

While we’re on the subject of Springboard, there are a couple of other items worth noting. First, the organization recently updated their information for artists looking for help navigating the expanded health insurance options and requirements that will take effect next year when all the new provisions in the Affordable Care Act are fully implemented. Find a handy Q & A to walk you through the basics, entitled “Getting Health Insurance by 2014.” Second, Springboard staffer Andy Sturdevant tells me there are still a few shares of “art boxes” remaining for purchase in the summer 2013 season of Community Supported Art (CSA). It’s not too late, if you’ve been tempted to claim one. (You can read details about both the program and this cycle’s participating artists in a recent post of mine here, on the Knight Arts blog.)

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