The City of Providence Department of Art, Culture + Tourism and Art in City Life Commission invite artists to submit qualifications for a Landmark Public Artwork in the City’s new Providence Innovation District Park. This inaugural, large-scale, signature, permanent work of art will be the first of its kind in the City and is the first activation of Providence’s Art in City Life Ordinance, also known as a percent for art allocation. Successful proposals will grapple with the historic complexity of the site. A site brief accompanies this RFQ which outlines both the current site condition and use as well as historical context.
This call for qualifications is open to professional artists within the United States. Black, Indigenous, People of Color, women, gender nonconforming persons, LGBTQIA+ community members and people with differing physical abilities are highly encouraged to apply. Artists living across Rhode Island are highly encouraged to apply.
Qualifications must be submitted through the call’s callforentry.org page. The deadline has been extended to May 2, 2021.
Site: Providence Innovation District Park
Address: 120 Peck Street, Providence, RI, 02903
We intend for this commission to:
- Serve as an iconic representation at the site of our City’s earliest cultural and economic meeting ground, distilling Providence’s complex history and creative identity into a visible form.
- Respond to the current physical condition and use of the site with visibility from multiple site lines.
- Serve as a meeting point and gathering place for residents of all ages, in addition to being a place that visitors seek out.
- Showcase the City’s commitment to public art through its grand scale and ambitious conceptual reach.
Locations and Siting
This Landmark Public Art shall be installed in the western base of the Michael Van Leesten Memorial Pedestrian Bridge which connects the east and west sides of the Providence River in downtown Providence. The newly built footbridge and surrounding Providence Innovation District Park will soon be home to various amenities including food and beverage vendors, public restrooms, benches, and programable space. Adjacent to the south of the site is an amphitheater and riverfront walking paths. The surrounding waterfront park will become a primary space for large gatherings, festivals, and events, as well as regular programming such as weekday lunchtime or evening music offerings, weekend farmers markets, food or craft vendors, and public celebrations.
For more information on the 195 District and current projects, please visit www.195district.com.
Information regarding adjacent properties and developable parcels within the Providence Innovation & Design District may be found here: https://www.195district.com/for-developers/development-plan.
Design considerations include
- Durability of materials, ease and cost of maintenance and the New England Climate
- Vertical profile: The artwork should provide adequate space and square footage to allow for gathering space for sitting and the enjoyment of programming and refreshments while allowing for ADA accessibility and travel paths across the bridge.
- Site lines should be considered from Eddy Street, Dorrance Street, and South Water Street.
- Maps and drawings can be found here: Landmark Public Artwork – Site Description
Successful proposals will grapple with the historic complexity of the site.
- A site brief regarding historic considerations of the Providence Innovation District is available here: Historic Consideration of the District
- Applicants may also choose to view a 2021 presentation created for the City of Providence’s Downtown Unified Vision Plan Study by cultural historian and curator Marissa Brown, Assistant Director for Programs and Adjunct Lecturer in the Public Humanities at Brown University. The presentation is available here (timestamp, 28:40min): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwF5Ec4Uj2Q&feature=youtu.be
The Artist Selection Process:
Artists will be selected through a competitive, two-tiered process. Qualified artists may submit their Artist Statement, Resume/CV, and three examples of relevant projects no later than May 2, 2021. Applications received after this date will not be reviewed. Applicants must apply online through Call for Entry here.
An Art Selection Panel will review complete applications and score the submitted qualifications and select no more than three artists as finalists. Finalists will be contracted to complete a design proposal at a flat rate of $6500.00.
The three shortlisted artists will then be invited to a site visit in June 2021, after which the artist will be granted six weeks to develop a design proposal and construction drawings. Design Proposals must include a concept design, narrative description, method of fabrication and install, detailed project timeline and project budget. Guidance documents will be provided.
Full design proposals shall be presented to the Art Selection Panel in August 2021.
The Art Selection Panel will recommend an awarded artist to the Art in City Life Commission for approval. The Department of Art, Culture + Tourism will publicly announce the commissioned artist in residence in October 2021.
Art Selection Panel
The Art Selection Panel includes representatives from partnering entities and agencies, as well as at least two stakeholders from the community that would be the primary audience for the work:
- Member of the Art in City Life Commission
- Director of the Division of Planning and Development for the City of Providence
- City of Providence Director of Finance or designee
- 195 Redevelopment District staff, or designee
- Providence-based professional architect
- Four Providence-RI based arts professionals
- Artistic collaborations applying may consist of 2-3 individual artists working together, or more formal collectives/collaborations that have fiscal sponsorship or 501c3 status.
- Recognizing the intersectionality of artists’ identities, we acknowledge that artists may also identify as cultural practitioners, activists and community-rooted collaborators, and may be self/community-taught, institutionally trained, or a combination of both. All are welcome to apply.
- Artists with a home or studio address in Rhode Island and/or can demonstrate a personal connection to Providence, RI will be preferred.
- Applicant must be able to demonstrate their experience as a public artist with a portfolio consisting of at least one successful installation of permanent public art project; and/or three successful installations of temporary public artworks; and/or the demonstrated capacity to bring studio artworks to scale in the public realm.
- Black, Indigenous, People of Color, women and gender nonconforming persons, LGBTQIA+ community members are highly encouraged to apply.
- Note: ACT Public Art awards are taxable income to individual recipients and reportable to the IRS. Grantees will receive a 1099 from the City of Providence if total payments exceed the minimum requirements set by the IRS within a calendar year. (Currently, the minimum requirement is $600. Go to www.irs.gov for details.)
- Lead applicant must be 18 years or older to be eligible to apply.
- This call for qualifications is open to professional artists within the United States.
The deadline for Qualifications is May 2, 2021. Artists must submit the following to be considered:
- An artist statement
- A CV or Resume
- Up to 10 examples of previous work, including at least 1 one successful installation of permanent public art project; and/or three successful installations of temporary public artworks; and/or the demonstrated capacity to bring studio artworks to scale in the public realm.
If selected to submit a full proposal, applicants should note the following evaluation criteria:
- Narrative summary of the work you want to create (no more than 2000 words). Include thoughts on how you see the work being integrated into the current use of the site as well as grapple with the site’s historic complexity.
- Design concept drawing, a sketch, render or visual image that represents the idea of the project proposed. Images must be site specific and to scale. Please provide a hi-res color image and a scaled site rendering that can be printed to 24” X 36”.
- An installation plan that includes an extensive and detailed description of your anticipated technical needs.
- A detailed project schedule.
- An itemized projected budget which will include at least $680,000 towards: drawings, engineering, fabrication, transportation, installation, and building permits. Invited artists will be encouraged to view the budget provided in this call for art when developing their project budgets.
- Up to 3 professional references
- Proof of studio insurance including general liability and umbrella coverage
- NOTE: All design materials must be submitted as PDF files.
Artist Scope of Work
Finalists will be contracted to:
- Develop a detailed design proposal as outlined in Qualifications section above, including a Narrative Summary; Design Concept; Installation Plan; Project Schedule, Itemized Budget
- Work with the Project Manager for Capital Improvement Public Art Projects to identify an appropriate partner agency for fabrication and /or installation purposes.
- Attend a site visit in June 2021 (artist shall be responsible for travel and accommodations)
- Submit design materials no later than August 20, 2021
- Present design materials to the Art Selection Panel on August 23, 2021.
Commissioned artist must adhere to the following responsibilities:
- Design artwork in accordance to approved design proposal
- Regularly communicate with Project Manager for Capital Improvement Projects and staff of the City of Providence Department of Art, Culture + Tourism.
- Submit design drawings, project updates, and reports of the like to deadline
- Manage any and all subcontracts related to design, fabrication and install
- Work with Project Manager for Capital Improvement Projects and any and all local partners involved with fabrication and/or install
- Oversee transportation of any and all artwork
- Complete fabrication by August 30, 2022
- Insure artwork during fabrication through final acceptance by the City
- Install and/or attend and oversee the installation of the final artwork no later than September 30, 2022
- Develop and submit to the City a maintenance and conservation plan
- Attend press events, artist talks, and/or participate in promotional activities leading up to the unveiling of the artwork
How to Apply
To apply, go online to the CaFÉ homepage at www.CallForEntry.org and create a free artist account. CaFÉ is free to use and there is no entry fee for this call. Under “Find Calls” search for “Landmark Public Artwork at Providence Innovation District Park”. Follow the instructions for submission, upload the required images and files, and submit. For technical questions about CaFÉ, please click on “Help” on the CaFÉ website. Click here for a direct link to the application.
For general directions on creating a CAFÉ profile and uploading materials, click here: How to Apply via Cafe
Frequently Asked Questions
The Department of Art, Culture + Tourism hosted an optional art info session for interested applicants on Monday March 22, 2021 at 5pm via Zoom. See below for a recording:
Questions asked during the info session and/or submitted in writing by the March 26, 2021 deadline are answered here: Landmark Public Artwork FAQ