Event will challenge artists to create installations that fit in a downtown parking space

photo by: Kathy Hanks

Rex Sandquist, an associate architect with Hoke Ley Architecture and Design, stands in a vacant metered parking spot on New Hampshire St. on May 16, 2019, showing how much space the temporary installations for the city's first Park(ing) Day event will be allowed to take up. The event will be held in Lawrence in September.

Story updated at 2:46 p.m. Monday

A local architecture firm will be giving artists an unusual challenge this fall: creating a temporary installation that fits in a downtown parking space.

Anyone in the Lawrence community who might want to create something in a 9-foot-by-18-foot parking space is welcome to submit a proposal for Lawrence’s first Park(ing) Day event, which is being organized by Hoke Ley Architecture and Design. The installations won’t be on display until Sept. 27, but applications must be submitted by the end of the day on June 21.

Those interested in applying can learn more about the process at an informational meeting at 3 p.m. Saturday in meeting room C of the Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vermont St.

Rex Sandquist, an associate architect with Hoke Ley Architecture and Design, said that the local Park(ing) Day event is just one part of a global movement to temporarily reclaim public space for the people. The world’s first Park(ing) Day event was held more than a decade ago in San Francisco, he said, and events are now held annually on every continent except Antarctica.

For Lawrence’s Park(ing) Day, certain parking spaces on Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont streets will be blocked off as people set up their temporary installations, which will be displayed throughout the evening on Sept. 27.

Sandquist suggested a few possibilities, including building a tiny house, landscaping the parking space or building some type of play space using recycled or repurposed items. Entries do have to follow some basic safety rules, he said — installations may not contain open flames, spinning elements or sharp objects.

The list of requirements for Park(ing) Day entries can be found at the Lawrence Park(ing) Day website. Associates with Hoke Ley Architecture and Design will choose which entries get to take part.

The event is being funded through a City of Lawrence Transient Guest Tax Grant and a Lawrence Community Arts Grant, Sandquist said. A stipend of up to $250 to pay for supplies will be given to each project.


Correction: A previous version of this story contained incorrect information about the city’s involvement in the event. The city provided grant funds to support the event. Hoke Ley Architecture and Design is organizing the event.

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