After a vehicle accident in the winter of 2016, and subsequent repair of the Lachenauer fountain, the City of Watertown has once again asked the North Country Arts Council to facilitate a competition to accept new designs for the fountain to be reinstalled in Summer 2017.

The City of Watertown will provide materials for the project.  Designs must be submitted to the NCAC by no later than June 4th.  NCAC will narrow down the applications to four designs and submit them to the City Council for final consideration during their June working session.

Further information will be forthcoming over the course of the next few weeks as we learn more about the process and the expectations from both NCAC and the city.

This opportunity can be an exciting time for an artist to leave their mark on Downtown Watertown where thousands of people will see it a day passing by the intersections of Coffeen and Arsenal Streets at the “American Corner.”

Here is a statement made by Jeff Rule, the fountain’s previous artist, with wisdom for the future artists:

“Painting the fountain downtown remains one of my most favorite memories. It was a big job in every sense; a real challenge to produce, and long hours. But I met many nice people and made a few new friends around that project. And I hope whomever ‘wins’ the next contest has a similar experience. This post is intended for that artist.
Hand painting more than 200 square feet of this fountain is not the same thing as sketching on a piece of paper or noodling around in photoshop. This will take a bit of patience, a little talent, sound planning and a lot of time. Finure in a steep learning curve if you haven’t done a project like this before. (Learning is a good thing- but learning on the job can be stressful.)

And regarding the comment of ‘becoming a part of history,’ the natural result of being a fountain will wear away at your work: weather, water and time conquers all. Even using hard enamel paints and a clear coat of automotive urethane, my painting needed retouching after only four years. And inevitably, minerals in the water itself will streak and discolor the finished piece. There’s an old saying that ‘art is long and time is fleeting,’ but they weren’t talking about fountains as canvases!

So dear friend, do your best, persevere, witness your work finished and then let it go. A true artist would agree that creation is infinitely more interesting and exciting than it’s final end result. Happy painting!” ~ Jeff Rule

Lachaneur Fountain during 2010 while Jeff Rule was working.

Design Specifications and Submission Rules:

Provided by the City of Watertown

Dimensions of the panels

There are 6 panels, each is 5’x7′ with another approximately 8-10 square feet around and over the top – about 45 square feet total per panel, or 270 square feet for the total fountain.

The primer used on the fountain is Chem-Bond supplied by Sherwin Williams. The color was gray.

Please submit your designs in PDF format (ready to print), along with a brief explanation of the design and its execution, to fountain@nnyart.org by no later than Sunday, June 4th.

Good luck!