Call for Artist Theater Corridor

City of Ashland Public Art Commission 

Ashland, Oregon 

The Project The City of Ashland Public Art Commission (PAC) seeks to commission an artist to design and execute a site specific public art installation along an exterior pedestrian corridor linking Main Street to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival theater campus and the city parking garage. This is a long concrete paved corridor located between two privately owned commercial buildings. The site was chosen for a public art installation by the City of Ashland Downtown Beautification Committee, and is located within Ashland’s nationally registered Downtown Historic District. Ashland is located in the picturesque Rogue Valley of Southern Oregon just 15 miles north of the California border. Ashland is known as an artistic/intellectual city boasting numerous art galleries along with a strong performing arts community and is the location of Southern Oregon University. Ashland citizens strongly identify with the surrounding natural beauty of the area.

The application deadline is 5:00 p.m., October 1, 2016.

Project Intent

The vision for this project is to add an original permanent signature installation of contemporary art within the city’s downtown commercial district. The finished theater corridor project is meant to enhance the barren pedestrian corridor and transform it into a lighted artful walking experience encouraging exploration and use of the walkway both day and night. Therefore, creative use of light should be a strong component of the work combined with compelling daytime visual interest.

This project is located within the City of Ashland’s Nationally Registered Downtown Historic District and adjacent to an historic building. The artwork cannot be affixed to building walls or obstruct access to these walls. These adjacent buildings are approximately 10 to 20 feet tall. Clearance for proper building maintenance must be maintained. The theater corridor is a span 142 feet long and approximately 14 to 16 feet wide, with two stairways, and can be used in part or in total for the project. Refer to the attachments for photos and dimensions. The PAC is seeking an original artistic vision for this pedestrian corridor that:

  • Visually and spatially enhances the experience of pedestrians on the corridor and adjacent sidewalks
  • Creates a sense of place and pride by establishing a distinctive landmark compatible with the downtown historic and commercial district
  • Is an original site specific engaging art work activating use of the walkway at all times of day and night
  • Is compatible with the location in terms of scale, material, form, content, and safety considerations
  • Enhances the sense of place by being viewable in some way both day and night
  • Reimagines this public space by visually connecting it to the theater campus and Main Street
  • Is a durable exterior art work requiring minimum conservation and maintenance

Criteria

The Public Art Commission will evaluate all submissions based on the following criteria:

  • Professional Qualifications
  • Proven artistic merit and excellence of prior relevant work including experience creating visually interesting exterior spaces that integrate lighting into the design
  •  Placemaking experience with original artistic vision
  • Experience fabricating and installing permanent artwork suitable for the outdoor environment 
  • Experience and willingness working within the collaborative processes in a public setting
  • Communicates well and can absorb ideas and articulate in a nonliteral way what has meaning to the community
  • Project management experience and ability to manage funds and time well
  • Statement of approach to this project Only artists who meet these criteria and eligibility requirements below should apply. References provided as part of this application will be contacted prior to final selection.

Eligibility

This opportunity is open to established professional artists living in the western United States including the states of Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Colorado, California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico. Only professional artists with reviewable portfolios are eligible to submit qualifications. Applicants should have experience creating, fabricating and installing public art. Professional artists who have completed public art projects of similar scale, scope, and budget are encouraged to apply.

Applicants who wish to be considered for this project should have experience creating durable outdoor public art pieces, working within the public process, working with stakeholders, and a proven ability to fabricate and engineer their own work or to work with engineers, fabricators and installers. Applicant must be able, either working independently or with a professional lighting designer, to create a lighting design and lighting plan denoting fixture specifications and placement, control specifications and locations, as well as, special detailing for integrating all lighting elements into the project. The design must be original, demonstrate artistic excellence and reflect the goals and objectives developed in conjunction with the commission. It must be designed to be adequately and safely displayed, maintained and secured.

The selected artist will be required to provide evidence of appropriate liability, property damage, and workers compensation insurance while working on the site.

The Award

  • $3,000 will be awarded to the selected applicant to develop two concept proposals
  • An all-inclusive award of $110,000 will be awarded to execute one of the concepts if approved. The budget includes artist fees, and all costs associated with the engineering and fabrication of the art work, delivery and installation.

The Process

Phase I

The Public Art Commission will review all complete applications and select one applicant to create two proposals.

Phase II

The selected applicant is required to make a site visit and meet with the PAC to discuss all necessary background and project requirements. There will be at least two meetings with the PAC during the concept development phase so preliminary ideas can be considered and discussed. Either the PAC or the artist may request additional RFQ Theater Corridor Page 3 of 4 March 2015 meetings. At the discretion of the artist, these concept development meetings can be in person or by video conference, as distance requires. The final concepts must include specifications and samples of materials, the color of each component, the size of each compnent, installation requirements, durability, maintenance guidelines, safety considerations and budget with line items detailed. As lighting will be a very important aspect of this project, information should include how it will be incorporated, what its characteristics will be, how it will enhance the night time appearance of the space and how it will be energy efficient. Digital or physical models must be submitted the artist for each concept with all elements represented to correct scale and proportion to the site.

Phase III

The PAC will review the final concepts. The artist will present the concepts in person to the community and the Selection Panel. The Selection Panel will then review and select one concept of their choice. The PAC will then forward both concepts to the City Council and note the preference of the Seleciton Panel. The City Council will review both concepts and make a final selection. The City Council may reject both concepts.

Phase IV

The artist will present both concepts in person to the City Council before a final selection is made.

Travel Expenses

The PAC will reimburse the artist (or one person per artistic team) up to $500 for each of the three required visits to Ashland: 1) site visit at the beginning of the process, 2) presentation of the concepts to the public, and 3) presentation to the City Council.

Timeline

October 3, 2016 deadline for responses to this RFQ

December 15, 2016 selected applicant is notified

February 2017 site visit in Ashland

March – June 2017 artist meets with PAC in person or by video conference

August 1, 2017 concepts are due September 2017 artist presentation to the public and to the City Council (two separate meetings)

November 2017 construction documents due

Spring 2018 installation

Additional Information

The PAC reserves the right to accept or reject any and all applications and proposals at any stage of the process or to seek an artist through another process. Final approval of the project is given by the Ashland City Council. Artists submitting qualifications and subsequent concept proposals for review will receive written notification of the results of the selection process. Submitting an application does not constitute an expressed or implied contract.

Deadline

The deadline for responding to this request for qualifications is October 3, 2016.

Responses must include the following and submit as a single PDF:

Artists interested in this project must prepare and submit a single PDF and include each item in the following order:

1. Letter of Interest (Required): A letter not to exceed two pages outlining your interest in this project, experience working on comparable projects, and a statement of approach including lighting. Letter must include address, email, and web site of artist.

2. Professional Resume (Required): A resume not to exceed two pages. Include artist training, professional experience, and design and experience in environmental design. If submitting as a team, submit a resume for each team member.

3. Images (Required): A maximum of ten (10) images of a variety of prior projects. Ten images per application, not per team member. At least four of these images must be of relevant outdoor public art pieces of which at least one with lighting incorporated into the project. Each image must be numbered and include the title, date of completion/installation, media, dimensions (height x width x depth, in feet), location, final project cost and a brief description of the work. Include the artist name.

4. Professional References (Required): A list of three (3) prior permanent public art project references with contact information (name, title, organization, mailing address, phone number, and email address), the name and location of the art work, and a brief description of the relationship.

5. Support Materials (Optional): A maximum of three (3) pieces of support materials, such as exhibition announcements, reviews, or newspaper clippings.

As noted above, the entire submission must be a single PDF. Submissions must be submitted electronically as an email attachment and received by 5:00 p.m. on October 3, 2016.

Email the submission to: seltzera@ashland.or.us

Additional Information

If you have any questions or need any additional information, please call Ann Seltzer at (541) 552-2106 or email her at seltzera@ashland.or.us

Information about the site

  • Dimensions, images and map

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