Call for Proposals – SHIMMER: The Art of Light

National and international artists working across all media and disciplines are invited to submit project proposals for the second annual SHIMMER: The Art of Light, a one-night, free, public event of light-based art and performance spanning Chapel Hill and Carrboro, North Carolina, in conjunction with 2nd FridayArtWalk. The event will be Feb. 10, 2017 from 6 – 10 p.m.

SHIMMER is presented by smArts creative programs & events, Town of Chapel Hill Parks & Recreation, Town of Carrboro, and a host of businesses throughout the region. The event will feature approximately 25 illuminated art installations and sculpture, light projections and performances, and illuminated programmatic components in both indoor and outdoor spaces. Projects will be situated throughout a 4-square-block downtown area where the towns of Chapel Hill and Carrboro meet, transforming the area into a de facto art gallery after the sun goes down.


Proposed projects should involve, interpret or explore light as a medium. Potential sites include walls, building facades, windows, sidewalks, streets and more. Projects may be indoors or outdoors. Proposals may be either new projects or projects previously realized for past sites, commissions or events.

Site-specific and site-independent project proposals will be considered. 

Additional venues that have not yet been uploaded onto our site are as follows (they can be found on Google Maps – more detailed pics will be available soon):

  • Exterior entry to Greenbridge at 569 W. Rosemary St in Chapel Hill, NC- (on the Rosemary side) – 10×10 space
  • Exterior of Kalisher at 403 E. Main St, Carrboro, NC – (Upper deck on left or empty space in front)

SHIMMER reserves the right to make final site assignments. Remote sites (nearby, but outside of, the downtown footprint) may also be used.


A panel of curators and artists will select the final projects according to the criteria listed below. The panel will also select one project as the winner of the “Best Shimmer” Award. A listing of panel members is forthcoming.

Selection criteria include:

  • How a project relates to the theme of light as medium
  • How a site-specific project relates to its site
  • How engaging the project is
  • The artistic quality of the project
  • The logistical feasibility of the project
  • The financial feasibility of the project
  • Collaborative projects are strongly encouraged
  • Projects that viewers can interact with are encouraged
  • Sound and other multimedia components are encouraged


  • All projects must operate on a regular 220-volt outlet.
  • Attending artists are responsible for the installation and removal of their artwork before and after the festival.
  • If artists can’t be present for SHIMMER, they must ship their work (artist responsible for shipping expenses, both ways) and provide detailed installation requirements and unpacking/packing instructions.
  • Additional insurance coverage may be required, to be determined in consultation with SHIMMER before final project acceptance is given. SHIMMER will provide basic insurance.
  • All projects must be installed in a safe and legal manner to be evaluated in consultation with SHIMMER (for example, wiring must meet electrical safety standards).
  • Artists grant permission to SHIMMER to reproduce images and text from artist entries for the purposes of publicity and education unless explicitly noted otherwise on the artist’s application form. Please include complete photo credit information.


  • Mon, Nov 21, 2016: Deadline for project proposal submissions (5 pm ET).
  • Thurs, Dec 1, 2016: Artists are notified of the panel’s decision about project proposals.
  • Wed, Jan 4, 2017: Participating artists are publicly announced.
  • Dec 1, 2016-Feb 1, 2017: Participating artists work on their projects.
  • Mon, Feb. 6, 2017: Deadline for receipt of all shipped artwork.
  • Week of Feb. 6-10, 2017: Installation week. Installation should happen the day of the event (Mar 3), unless special circumstances determined through consultation with SHIMMER require otherwise. Work must be fully functional by 2 pm on the event date.
  • Fri., Feb 10, 2017: SHIMMER is open to the public, 6 pm–10 pm.
  • Fri, Feb 10, 2017: All projects are de-installed starting at 10 pm. All shipped artwork is returned over the following week.


  • A $300 honorarium per project (one honorarium per project to be shared among project collaborators)
  • Production and technical support on a case-by-case basis
  • Access to sites, technical consultation, technical equipment when available, and installation support
  • Recognition and inclusion in all SHIMMER media and promotions


SHIMMER reserves the right to cancel or amend any terms or information in this document.


  • Create a free folder, upload all of your project proposal materials to it.
  • Email a password-protected link to your folder to Artist Coordinator Steve Wright.
  • Application is free!
  • APPLICATION DEADLINE: Thurs., Nov 21, 2016, 5pm ET.
  • By submitting a project proposal and paying the non-refundable submission fee, you agree to all the terms listed under the Call to Artists, and grant permission to SHIMMER to reproduce images and text from the project proposal for the purposes of publicity and education unless explicitly noted otherwise.
  • SHIMMER reserves the right to make a final determination of a project’s site and to make changes to the event’s schedule and budget as necessary.

Only complete project proposals will be considered. A complete proposal consists of:

  • A project description (up to 250 words). Please explain what the project consists of, what the audience experience of it will be like, and how the project relates to the theme of light as a medium. If the project is specific to one of the SHIMMER sites, please indicate which site in your description, and include a second option, in case the first is not available. If your project is interactive, explain how.
  • Up to 6 images to support your project proposal (JPG format, 300 dpi). Include proposed project mockups as well as images of relevant previous work. Include an image checklist with filename, title and site (if relevant), dimensions, media and year for each image.
  • (optional) Up to 2 videos to support your project proposal, supplied as links to live video(s) on a personal website, YouTube, Vimeo or another online repository, with password(s) supplied if necessary. Include a title and year for each link if your destination page does not already do so.
  • A list of technical equipment and components used in your project. Please note that artists supply all their own equipment and are responsible for shipping costs (both ways).
  • A resume/CV and brief artist bio.
  • An estimated, but carefully itemized, project budget.

You will receive an email to confirm receipt of your project materials. Thanks so much for your interest and your initiative!


Please contact SHIMMER Artist Coordinator Steve Wright at with any questions.

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Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art • PO Box 8032 • Statesboro, GA 30460 • (912) 478-5358 • • (map)