Although the request for proposals was circulated beyond the usual channels this year -- the state posted it on the governor's website -- artists were slow to respond.
"We were really worried because we only had two or three the day before," said Councilwoman Mary Jean Davis, chairman of the task force. "They kept coming and coming. The thing I was absolutely amazed about was the talent."
The final tally of 17 was a bit disappointing, Brannon said.
"There weren't as many submission as we'd have liked, but the quality was there. We had a hard time eliminating any."
Bernice Deakins' entry, focused on the West Virginia Woman's Club, didn't fit the theme. But because one of last year's murals along Kanawha Boulevard is fading, she'll be asked to paint it there, Brannon said.
"It shows how important it is for artists to get the clear coat on there. They're exposed to weather. Its not just for graffiti protection." As the final step of their projects, artists are required to apply a city-supplied clear sealant over their murals.
The next step is to assign artists to their piers. "We'll go down to the site and take into consideration the location of the piers, try to separate similar designs.
"There's also the logistics of it. I think some artists will feel more comfortable working close to traffic than others." Piers on the south side of Virginia Street are pinched between the street and an interstate on-ramp.
While jurors were instructed to give preference to artists who had not participated before, only four in this round are new to Peer to Pier.
That's not such a bad thing, Brannon said.
Public art works by artists like Hamilton, Bode and Pierson are popping up all across town, giving Charleston a distinctive flair, she said.
"We have such rich local talent. We want to showcase it."
Artists and their projects include: Charly Jupiter Hamilton (Battle of Charleston); Reaford Walker (John Brown's Raid on Harpers Ferry); Chris Nelson (House Divided); Emma Plagemann (A Capitol Celebration); Geoff Plagemann (State Pride); Rebecca Recco and Isaac Emrick (150); Ian Bode (Montani Semper Liberi); Jeff Pierson (Fathers of West Virginia); Sharon Harms (West Virginia State Symbols); Dustin Durham (West Virginia Shines); Kelly Bryant (Celebrating 150 Years with West Virginia Music); Ned Savage (portrait of West Virginians involved in the Civil War); and Bernice Deakins (100-Year History of WV Woman's Club -- Boulevard replacement).Reach Jim Balow at ba...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5102.