Artist Search: Perot Museum Teams Up With African American Museum to Create Outdoor Staircase Installation

Story by Jan Osborn. Photos courtesy of Perot Museum.

The Perot Museum of Nature and Science and African American Museum Dallas are searching for an African-American artist or designer from North Texas to create a vibrantly colored image to be installed on the Perot Museum’s outdoor staircase.

As inspiration for the artwork, the African American Museum team has compiled a list of extraordinary scientists, inventors, and innovators including famed agricultural inventor and “Wizard of Tuskegee” George Washington Carver, NASA’s Mary Winston Jackson (who was portrayed in Hidden Figures), father of the blood bank Dr. Charles Drew, and telecommunications inventor Shirley Ann Jackson, the first African-American woman to earn an MIT doctorate.

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Presented by Kroger, the Staircase Project is a site specific design that will celebrate historic and modern African-American figures who have made significant contributions to STEM (science, technology, engineering and math).

The Perot Museum will commission an African-American creative designer who resides in North Texas to design the image and the winning designer will be awarded a prize of $5,000. The creative design will be reproduced on weatherproof, vinyl materials and professionally installed on the Perot Museum’s large, multi-story outdoor staircase facing Field Street, a main thoroughfare into Downtown Dallas. The Perot Museum is accepting applicants through Oct. 30, 2020. 

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The panelists who will choose the winning artist include Dr. Lauren Cross, program coordinator & assistant professor, interdisciplinary art and design studies, College of Visual Art and Design at the University of North Texas; Dr. W. Marvin Dulaney, deputy director and chief operating officer of the African American Museum, Dallas, and former chairman of the history department at The University of Texas at Arlington; Byron Sanders, president and CEO, Big Thought; Dr. Linda Silver, Eugene McDermott Chief Executive Officer, Perot Museum of Nature and Science; and Arthur Simmons, quality systems management, processes & analytics, Texas Instruments. 

For more information, rules, details and visitor information, go to For images and videos of past staircase installations along with design templates, open this dropbox folder.

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