Sunday, March 21, 2010

UrbanArt Call-to-Artists for Wolf River Greenway Memphis

UrbanArt Call-to-Artists for Wolf River Greenway, Phases 2 and 3

Site and Project Descriptions:
UrbanArt and the City of Memphis are working together to create public artworks for the first two sections of the Wolf River Greenway to built in 2010. Additional public artworks shall be created as new greenway segments are constructed in future years.

Trail sections 'Phase 2' and 'Phase 3' are to be built along Humphreys Blvd. 'Phase 2' extends from Walnut Grove to Shady Grove, while 'Phase 3' begins at Shady Grove and terminates at Kirby Drive.

Artists will be selected based on previous experience with outdoor sculpture, and are expected to have the technical capabilities to design and install such projects, including providing maintenance instructions. Finished projects must require little to no regular maintenance. The selection committee is interested in artists who have experience with natural materials (wood, stone, metal), as well as vandalism deterring methods and applications. Sites for consideration of the final artwork installation are classified as urban edge/multi-use corridors, and should be based on visibility from trail users, as well as vehicle traffic. Final artwork should compliment the greenway setting, and respond to the distinct character of these districts, which include natural, residential, and commercial areas.

The selection committee will select 3 finalists per phase based on their qualifications, then interview each individually before selecting 1 artist to complete 1 project per project phase.

Budget: $75,000 per section
Deadline: 4:00 PM, Friday, May 14, 2010
Eligibility: Regional: open to artists living within a 400-mile radius of Memphis.

Guidelines - Please submit the following:

*Typed, one-page letter of interest that notes which Greenway Phase you are applying for, explaining a general concept including theme and materials.

*A sketch may be included, but must be no larger than 8.5 x 11 inches. Please do not send original artwork.

*Resumé, not to exceed 3 pages.

*DIGITAL images of your past work, following these guidelines: up to 15 digital images. Images must be JPEG format, 1920 pixels maximum on the longest side, 72 dpi, with compression settings resulting in the best image quality under 2MB file size

*Image identification sheet with location, brief description, and budget of each project

*List of three professional references, including current phone numbers and email addresses

*Self-addressed, stamped envelope with postage sufficient for the return of your materials. Materials will not be returned without one.

All proposals must be received by 4:00 PM, Friday, May 14, 2010

To ensure fairness to all, there are no extensions or waivers of deadlines.

Applicants will be notified by letter as to the status of their application.

Send applications to:
UrbanArt Commission
Attn: Wolf River Greenway P2&3
2549 Broad Avenue
Memphis, TN 38112

For more information contact:


Commissioning of artists by UrbanArt and the pursuit of all UrbanArt activities are
implemented without preference to racial or ethnic origins, gender, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, disability or age.

UrbanArt reserves the right to modify this solicitation and to request additional information or proposals from any or all participating artists.

UrbanArt reserves the right to accept or reject, at any time prior to
the commissioning of a work, any or all proposals when the acceptance, rejection, waiver or advertisement would be in the best interest of the project. In addition, UrbanArt may solicit proposals from artists not responding to
this call and reserves the right to select an artist outside of the pool of artists responding to this call.

The staff of UrbanArt shall be responsible for all correspondence and communication by and between applicants and members of selection panels. Discussion regarding these projects by and between any applicant and any member of a selection panel outside of regularly scheduled meetings during the selection process may be grounds for the disqualification of the applicant. Such determination shall be in the sole discretion of UrbanArt.

How It Works: Selection Committees

[*NOTE: This is a description of how Selection Committees determine an artist for the City of Memphis' Percent-for-Art program, specifically. Other clients often stipulate different processes of artist selection not covered in this issue of the newsletter. It should be also noted that the details provided below are an abridged version of the entire set of guidelines regulating the program.]

Fun Facts: A typical Percent-for-Art program project in Memphis takes approximately 100 hours of coordination from concept to completion. Selection Committee members meet for an average of 10 hours over the course of 5 meetings to determine an artist for a Percent-for-Art project. Once the artist is selected, committee members meet to review the artists' progress at least 3 more times before completion. All committee members are volunteers.

Guidelines Governing Selection Committees for the Percent-for-Art Program:

1. The UrbanArt Commission (UAC) and City of Memphis convenes a Selection Committee for each project that has been approved by the Public Art Oversight Committee (PAOC).

Selection Committees consist of:

Architect Representatives
Visual Artists not eligible for the project
Arts Professionals (such as art professors from local colleges, etc.)
Community Representatives
Participating City Bureau Representatives
Facility Management Representatives

2. The Selection Committee meets and reviews submissions from artists, including digital images, resumes, and letters of interest. The panel discusses the submissions and selects two or more artists to interview.

3. The Selection Committee reconvenes to interview the artists. At the end of the meeting the panel discusses the interviews and selects a final artist for the project.

These are the steps taken by the Selection Committee during the design process:

1. The artist submits a schematic proposal to the selection committee. The schematic proposal consists of general information about what the artist will be doing: conceptual sketch, preliminary budget, etc. The committee reviews the schematic design and approves, provisionally approves, or rejects it. The committee will continue to meet until the design is satisfactory.

2. The artist submits the final design, which includes detailed drawings and other information. The committee reviews the final design and approves, provisionally approves, or denies it. The committee will continue to meet until the design is satisfactory.

Steps taken by the Selection Committee during the implementation of the project:

The UAC works with the artist during the implementation of the project. The Selection Committee may be asked to meet during this process if circumstances warrant. Upon completion of the project, UAC will contact committee members.

Public Art Oversight Committee (PAOC):

All decisions of the Selection Committee are to be reviewed and approved by the Public Art Oversight Committee. The PAOC is a committee of seven members that has been appointed by the UAC and the City Mayor with the approval of the City Council. The PAOC provides general oversight of the Percent-for-Art Program, including scope of art projects, artworks, and artists for the projects. They also serve as a board of appeals for any issues that arise in conjunction with the Percent-for-Art Program.


General Criteria:
Projects undertaken by artists or acquisitions of artwork whether by commission, purchase, gift, or other means should further the purpose and goals of the public art program. The PAOC will determine the appropriate recruitment strategy to establish a pool of artists for each project based on standard methods described above. The selection panel will apply the following criteria when selecting artists, considering acquisitions or siting artwork.

Artistic Merit:
The inherent quality and excellence of a proposed artwork together with the strength of the artist's concept and design capabilities are the program's highest priorities. Other artistic credentials to consider include training and critical or other professional recognition.

Artwork must be compatible in scale, material, form, and content with its surroundings. When serving a functional purpose, artworks may establish focal points; modify, enhance or define specific spaces; establish identity or address specific issues of civic design. Consideration should also be given to the architectural, historical, geographical and social/cultural context of the site or community, as well as the way people may interact with the artwork. They must be able to respond to the specific contextual issues and considerations of the particular project, its community and users.

Relevant Experience:
Experience and professional record of artist/s should provide convincing evidence of ability to successfully complete the project as proposed. Particularly on collaborative or design team projects artists should demonstrate ability to:
· Communicate effectively and elicit the ideas of team members;
· Exhibit flexibility and problem-solving skills;
· Work with architectural drawings and construction documents;
· Engage community representatives in a project.
· Successfully manage all aspects of the project including budgets, committees, sub-contractors, installers and other construction and administrative logistics.

Due consideration will be given to the structural and surface soundness, operational costs and inherent resistance to theft, vandalism, weathering and excessive maintenance. Artist should include recommended method and schedule for maintenance.

Technical Feasibility:
An artist must exhibit a successful track record of construction and installation of artwork or show that an appropriate professional has examined the proposed artwork and confirmed feasibility of construction and installation.

An artist's proposal should provide a budget adequate to cover all costs for the design, fabrication, insurance, transportation, storage, and installation of the proposed artwork, plus, reasonable unforeseen circumstances. Artists should have a history of completing projects within budget. Artists should expect to garner 10-15% of the total project budget for their design fee and compensation, which is industry standard worldwide.

Fabrication and Installation Schedules:
The artist proposal should include a project timeline that incorporates design review, fabrication, delivery and installation in accordance with project schedule. The artist should have a history of completing projects on time.

The PAOC and selection committee may recommend rejection of all submissions if none are considered satisfactory and a new pool of artists may be established.


General Restrictions:
Artists or members of their immediate families who serve on the UrbanArt Commission Board of Directors or the Public Art Oversight Committee will not be commissioned or receive any direct financial benefit from the Public Art Program during their tenure on either of those bodies. This restriction shall extend for the period of one-year following the end of service and indefinitely for projects that were developed or acted upon during the artist's tenure on the Commission or Committee.

No artist may receive more than two art enhancement commissions under any five-year period. No artist may be selected for the moveable collection more than once during any five-year period.

Local Artist Participation Requirements:
One of the goals of the Public Art Program is to foster and celebrate the talents of local artists. Therefore, sixty percent (60%) of the artwork created with percent for art funds during any five-year period shall be accomplished by local artists. A local artist is defined by City of Memphis Ordinance 4934 as an artist who has lived or worked within the Memphis Metropolitan Statistical Area for five (5) or more years during such artist's career. [*As of December 2009, 84% of Percent for Art projects have been completed by local artists.]

Inappropriate Communication with Selection Committee:
The UAC staff shall be responsible for all correspondence and communication by and between artists applying for Percent for Art projects and members of selection committees. Discussion by and between any applicant artist and any member of a selection committees outside of regularly scheduled meetings for such purpose during the selection process may be grounds for the disqualification of the artist. Such determination shall be in the sole discretion of the PAOC.

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