The Show Windows: Reflections – Open call out


Historic England and Coventry BID in partnership with Coventry City of Culture Trust (CCCT), are
working together on a series of commissions, part of The Show Windows Programme during Coventry
City of Culture 2021. The programme will spotlight and celebrate the city’s pioneering post-war heritage
by bringing together creatives, communities and collections within installations in the city centre.

Historic England and Coventry BID in partnership with CCCT are inviting local artists, illustrators,
designers and architects to write a proposal for a unique and ambitious shop window installation / city
centre takeover in Coventry City Centre as part of Coventry’s UK City of Culture programme.

The Show Windows programme is inspired by L Frank Baum (author of the Oz books) who wrote a book
about the art of shop window displays, within which he described these windows as ‘show windows’.
This commission will launch the partnership between Historic England and The Show Windows team, as
well as introduce audiences to their upcoming programme specifically highlighting City Arcade.


Historic England, Coventry BID and CCCT, with curator Charlie Levine, are inviting artists, illustrators,
architects, designers from the West Midlands to re-imagine, spotlight and celebrate Coventry’s
pioneering post-war architecture as a single 2D artwork that can be replicated for display as a series
of exterior window vinyls around Coventry City Centre.

The window commission should act as a portal or starting point for story-telling and narratives that
highlight the incredible post-war heritage in the city. The new artwork will be unveiled to coincide with
Coventry 2021’s theme of Utopia in October 2021, which aligns with the post-war optimism expressed
through Coventry’s innovative post-war architecture. To complement the window installation, we will
invite audiences to engage with the post-war heritage within the city and explore the post-war
architectural history of Coventry through extended interpretation on the Smartify app.



Our ambition is that The Show Windows project builds new partnerships with businesses and
stakeholders from Coventry, promoting new ways of working. It will be ambitious, iconic and impactful,
putting the work of artists directly in the public eye to reach a broad range of new audiences.

The Show Windows will be high profile and a visually iconic and impactful part of the 2021 programme.
Changing public perceptions of the city and influencing public opinion on the value of artists’ work, the
project should attract audiences from the city as well as visitors from beyond. It should be inclusive and
engage a broad range of groups and audiences; we want to develop a project that will speak across
cultures and generations.

The Show Window name is taken from Wizard of Oz author L Frank Baum’s book entitled The Art of
Decorating Dry Goods Windows and Interiors, which was published the same year as the first famous
Oz book, 1900. The link to Baum also encapsulates the idea that these windows are to be portals to
other worlds, to inspire imagination, adventure and hope.


Artist fee: £2000 + VAT
Production: vinyl printing and installation costs for the 5+ Coventry windows will be
paid for by Historic England and Coventry BID

Payment schedule: 100% of total fee provided upon installation. Invoices should be sent to
Coventry BID

Full details here

Send your proposals to by 5pm 19 July 2021 with the email title:  Reflections_YourFirstName_YourSurname