Norfolk’s first official arts district, NEON (New Energy of Norfolk), is home to long-time cultural institutions like the Chrysler Museum of Art and Harrison Opera House as well as studio-based ventures like d’Art Center and the Rutter Family Art Foundation, all providing artists a place to make, create and show. Within a few short blocks you can see a muralist at work, take in an improv comedy performance at Push Comedy Theater, watch a live glass-working demonstration, shop for unique home goods, get a tattoo or dine out at an eclectic restaurant. Learn more at and follow along on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @neonnfk.

Background and General Information
The NEON District will be lit this season! After a successful first year of custom holiday designs, a new artist will be selected for the 2021 holiday season to create a new vision for the district’s star décor. At the gateway into Downtown Norfolk, the NEON District often provides the first glimpse of city lights, historic buildings and bustling streets to visitors. The NEON Stars adds to the magic of the season spent in downtown Norfolk.

One or more artists will customize pre-constructed templates with designs of their choosing that will be on display in the district for six weeks. An independent contractor will prime, install and de-install the stars. The artist is only responsible for implementing their design on the stars.

Project Location
NEON Stars will be installed in four locations along Granby Street:

  • Retail Alliance parking lot, 838 Granby Street
  • The Plot Garden, 776 Granby Street
  • The Plot Containers, 776 Granby Street
  • Bob’s Gun Shop, 746 Granby Street


  • Artists should submit a design for all four locations; the designs can be a cohesive theme for the entire project or stand-alone designs for each location.
  • Artists are not responsible for installation or de-installation. The artist will coordinate pick up and delivery with the contractor.
  • The stars will be primed in advance of pick up.
  • The stars are pre-fabricated and will require some room to paint.
  • Artists may add additional materials beyond paint to the element, however it must still be light enough to hang or stand.

Materials & Dimensions
All elements constructed of flat birch plywood that will be primed in advance.

Exact specifications and images:

1 large free-standing sculpture with 3 stars on a footprint of 6’ placed on a concrete slab at the corner of Granby Street and Addison Street. Artist should paint all sides of the sculpture.

  • Small star height of 24” (2’)
  • Medium star height of 42” (3’-6”)
  • Big star height of 60” (5’)

1 large free-standing sculpture with 3 stars to be placed in the main planting bed. The sculpture is a total of 7’ in height: 1’, 2’ and 4’ stars included. Artist should paint all sides of the sculpture.

  • Small star height of 12” (1’)
  • Medium star height of 24” (2’)
  • Big star height of 48” (4’)

Flat, two-dimensional stars and star trails hung on the storage containers’ sides at The Plot. Artists should only paint the front of each.

  • 9 stars width of 42”
  • 9 star trails width of 36” x 16”

13 flat, two-dimensional stars hung along the section of the fence between Olney Road and Bob’s entrance. Artists should only paint the front of each.

  • 4 small stars at 18” x 18”
  • 2 medium stars at 24” x 24”
  • 3 medium stars at 36” x 24”
  • 2 large stars at 36” x 36”
  • 2 large stars at 48” x 36”

Project Timeline

  • Open call goes live Saturday, October 16
  • Submittal deadline is Sunday, October 24
  • NEON Public Art Committee Review week of October 25
  • Artists notified by Friday, October 29
  • Artists pick up materials from contractor week of November 1
  • Final product delivered to contractor by Sunday, November 14
  • Contractor install week of November 15
  • Unveiled Saturday, November 20
  • Contractor will de-install week of January 3

An artist honorarium is available for materials, labor and artist fee of $1000.

No fee to apply. Artists may submit up to 8 designs. Artists must provide the following in the application:

  • Basic contact information
  • Brief description of the work
  • High resolution digital files of work proposed

If selected for a project, you will be required to provide the Downtown Norfolk Council a W9 tax identification form and an artist grant application before your work is installed.

NEON District