Keys to the City Call to Artists

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The Mayor’s Office in the City of Niagara Falls is seeking submissions from artists in Niagara Falls for the creation of an artistic and unique Key to the City.  A pre-fabricated key (scroll down to see photo) will be used as the template for submissions.  This call is limited to one key per artist and five artists will be selected. Keys will be distributed to the selected artists for completion of the project.  The call is open to all residents of Niagara Falls, Canada.

Keys to the City are given to deserving recipients at the Mayor’s discretion and are not items that are requested by the public.  They are significant, special and unique.  Artists should keep in mind that the work will be presented in public and should be appropriate for public viewing and all ages. 

Artists can use any medium to embellish the pre-fabricated key, so long as the artistic interpretation follows the specifics as outlined below in keeping with size requirements.

Submission Requirements

Please submit your application through our Keys to the City online form by Friday, May 6, 2016 and include:

  • A description of the proposed work (one paragraph)
  • A bio of the artist (one paragraph)
  • A rough sketch of your proposed artistic embellishments of the pre-fabricated key

If you are unable to submit online, please see below for in person submission details.

Specifics of Key Project

The key that you will be using is a rod-iron, pre-fabricated skeleton key that is 12 inches long and 3 inches wide (see photo) 

Once the key is artistically embellished, one side will be adhered with a silicone adhesive product to the fabric inside of a shadow box to be displayed. The City of Niagara Falls will be responsible for purchasing the shadow boxes and adhering the completed key inside.

In order to fit within the space in the shadow box, the key’s artistic embellishments must NOT extend beyond 16 inches vertically and 5 inches horizontally. 

The thickness of the key cannot be changed. It must remain the same thickness so it will lay flat to fit inside of the shadow box.

Selection Criteria

  • Applicants must be residents of Niagara Falls, Canada.
  • Applicants must follow the specifics outlined above when artistically embellishing the pre-fabricated key that will be provided.
  • Community relevance: As defined by the ability of the work to resonate within the regional community and inspire grassroots artistic and community development.
  • Qualities of artwork: Original and innovative; Engaging and compelling; Stimulating to the imagination; Appropriate for public presentation; Multi-faceted in its ability to communicate.

Selection Process and Conditions of Entry

  1. Works will be reviewed by a jury approved by the City of Niagara Falls.
  2. Acceptance may involve your work being photographed, in whole or in part. Images will be used for exhibit promotional purposes and preserved for administration, program development and archival purposes.
  3. The Jury’s decision is final. Artists will be notified of the Jury’s decision by Friday, May 13. No submissions may be withdrawn once accepted for exhibition.
  4. The Selection Committee reserves the right to accept or reject any or all applications and shall not be bound to accept any of them, and reserves the right at any time to cancel the call to artists.
  5. Artist will be paid an honorarium of $100 for their key creation, upon completion.
  6. One side of the completed key will be adhered to fabric inside of a black shadow box for presentation purposes. The key must not extend beyond 16 inches vertically and 5 inches horizontally.  The thickness of the key must remain the same; it cannot be changed in order to fit into the shadow box.

Summary of Dates

  • Open for Submissions: Friday, April 1, 2016
  • Deadline for Submissions: Friday, May 6, 2016
  • Notification of successful entries and keys provided to successful artists: Friday, May 13, 2016        
  • Key’s completed by artists and delivered to Mayor’s Office: Friday, June 17, 2016

All submissions must be submitted no later than Friday, May 6, 2016 by 4:30pm.

Submission Methods

  • Online atKeys to the City Online form
  • In person to: Sarah Conidi, City of Niagara Falls, Mayor’s Office, 4310 Queen Street, Niagara Falls, Ontario
Pre-fabricated key that artists will be given to embellish, in the medium of their choice, per the specifics on this page

Pre-fabricated key that artists will be given to embellish, in the medium of their choice, per the specifics on this page