Waterfall Arts and Our Town Belfast are joining forces to plan and organize “Please Be Seated!”, this summer’s “Eco-Motion” project that will rejuvenate the downtown streetscape for 2011. This is an opportunity for at least 20 creative individuals or teams to design and build single or multiple-seating structures to be placed within the Our Town Belfast boundaries between June and September.

“Please Be Seated!” puts a new economy-of-motion twist to the previous years’ projects by combining a walkabout to find the sites; and an invitation to sit down, relax and enjoy Belfast.

From artists, creators, sculptors, welders, carpenters, inventors or simply those interested in giving it as go; families; or teams of friends who like a challenge, Waterfall Arts and Our Town Belfast are asking for design submissions for single, multiple-chair or bench ideas. A photo gallery of ideas can be found at belfastecomotion.org.

Whether creating from scratch or decorating, rehabbing, adding-to or embellishing an already made chair or bench, the paramount element to keep in mind is safety. Safety is critical from a weight-bearing or sturdiness point of view and also from the elimination of hazardous protrusions or sharp edges or small parts that could become dislodged. This also includes designing a way of securing the seat to a sidewalk or in a park setting.

The second most important factor is weather-worthiness — will it hold up in wind and rain? And, third, will it endure wear and tear from June through September in an outdoor, public setting? All submissions will be reviewed carefully for these issues.

Artists will be paid $250 for a single seat, $500 for a multi-seat arrangement. All installations will be auctioned off in September for the benefit of next year’s streetscape installations.

The organizers are looking for fun, fanciful, whimsical, creative, thought-provoking or theme-based seats. There are two categories of chairs or benches, original and business-sponsored. Category 1 is open to one’s own interpretive ideas, whereas Category 2 will be a collaboration with the businesses that sponsor a seat (same payment schedule applies).  All seats will be reviewed by a committee for adherence to public art guidelines.

Those who plan to participate are asked to e-mail their intentions to 2011@belfastecomotion.org. Name(s), address, phone number, e-mail contact information and category of participation must be included. The deadline is Friday, April 8.

Submission of design information by description and sketches in two (duplicate) hard-copy documents must be mailed to or dropped off at Waterfall Arts, 256 High St., Belfast, ME 04915 by 5 p.m. Friday, April 22.

Submission guidelines, specifications and forms can be found online at belfastecomotion.org or via the link at waterfallarts.org; or outside the Our Town Belfast Office in the High Street Mini-Mall.

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail to dernest@villagesoup.com.