Making Your Own Career with Public Art

Why Public Art?

Today more than ever, art is an essential part of our culture and our economy. Since the COVID-19 shutdown, our cultural attention has shifted toward our public spaces, creating a growing need for local artists who can create public works. Yet, the business side of art is often left out of the conversation. 

A long-lasting professional art career requires support and development that goes beyond selecting the right materials. That means allowing these artists to gain the business and planning skills they need to work with civic leaders and architects to succeed. If you are an emerging artist ready to move your work from the personal to the public, then Momentum 360's Public Arts course is for you!

The City of Durham has partnered with Triangle Artworks to create a 6-week Public Arts program where independent artists can join a cohort of instructors and peers for collaborative learning! The course will be delivered hybrid style, with in-person and virtual options, and will also include 1-on-1 mentoring from the instructor.

The course will run from January 12 - February 16, 2022.


Photo by Discover Durham

A mural at the Durham Food Co-op

What You'll Learn

  • How to tell which art calls are right for you
  • How to develop professional support materials (CV, references, letter of interest, etc.)
  • How to perform due diligence (site visits, phone conferences, email inquiries, budgeting, accessibility studies and more)
  • Financial skills (budgeting, conducting cost evaluations, etc.)
  • Best practices and common mistakes to avoid
  • Behind-the-scenes insights from public arts professionals

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Applications are now closed. 

If you submitted an application, you'll be notified of your status by December 20th.

Return to this page to find updates about current and future Momentum cohorts!

Meet the Instructors:

DaviDavid Wilsond Wilson

David Wilson is a Durham-based public artist who employs his background in design, sculpture, and creative placemaking, to create site-specific work that explores the social, historical, and functional context of a site, as well as the architectural and urban phenomenology of a space. 

Through collaboration, he embraces his role as a creative facilitator that helps shape an understanding on how art connects with community, as an urban space and how its territory, trajectories, and interpretations combine to separate it from surrounding non-urban environments. 

Wilson has served as Lead Artist for multiple high-profile public commissions in Durham, Charlotte, Raleigh and Gastonia. Learn more about David's work on his website.

He brings his decades of experience and his love of mentorship to this program. He is assisted in course preparation by Cynthia Deis.

Cynthia DeisCynthia Deis

Cynthia Deis is a Raleigh-based artist, writer and educator with experience in a variety of mediums. Her background as a production jewelry designer and retail store owner provides her with an artist’s understanding of business and entrepreneurial issues. Certified in REAL Entrepreneurship and REAL Craft courses, she also teaches and consults on email marketing and pricing with artists and craftspeople. Cynthia lives in a small house in Raleigh where the animals outnumber the people and there are more paintbrushes than tea spoons. 

Learn more about Cynthia's work on her website.

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