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South Hills

TJ Arts extends Thomas Jefferson mural proposal requests

| Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017, 11:00 p.m.
A rendering shows the concept for the atrium of the new Thomas Jefferson High School.
A rendering shows the concept for the atrium of the new Thomas Jefferson High School.

TJ Arts, the nonprofit that supports the arts for 3,000 West Jefferson Hills students has extended its request for qualifications for an area artist to paint a large-scale portrait of Thomas Jefferson for the $95 million district high school set to open next year.

The art work will be a two-dimensional and made of five panels to be installed on the interior atrium wall of Thomas Jefferson High School. The atrium will serve as a main conduit to all areas of the school and the artwork be visible from the building's three levels.

According to the proposal, the piece will be 42 feet, 8 inches wide and 6-feet tall and is intended to appeal mainly to high school students.

Karen Suszynski, chairperson and founder of TJ Arts, said the decision to extend the deadline application to Dec. 1 was simply to enlarge the applicant pool. Artists who have already sent in their proposal don't need to reapply, she added.

“We are looking for a regional artist within a 150-mile area so there will be an ease of going back and forth,” said Suszynski, who hopes to have semi-finalists selected by Dec. 13.

TJ Arts will pay the winning artist a $10,000 commission, which includes a budget for supplies of up to $2,000. Semi-finalists will receive a $500 stipend for TJ Arts.

The nonprofit wants the winning artist to create a piece that honors the achievements of Thomas Jefferson, his words, academic pursuits and achievements.

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