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Call For Public Art For RI College

Request For Qualifications – Open To All Artists
Rhode Island College Fine Art Center
Providence, Rhode Island

Budget: $153,000

Deadline: Monday, February 18, 2013, 5:00 pm est

Public art for the new Rhode Island College Fine Art Center, 600 Mt. Pleasant Avenue, Providence, Rhode Island will be commissioned through Rhode Island’s Public Art Law, which mandates that 1% of all state capital construction and renovation funds be allocated to the purchase and maintenance of public art. Through this program the State recognizes that “public art creates a more humane environment: one of distinction, enjoyment, and pride for all citizens.”


Rhode Island College is one of the region’s leading comprehensive public colleges. Their mission is to offer accessible higher education of the finest quality to traditional and non-traditional students from around the state, the region, and beyond. Students are members of a caring community that respects diversity and values academic excellence informed by cultural inquiry, civic engagement, and co-curricular activity. The college offers a wide variety of liberal arts, science, and professional programs in which dedicated faculty work with students to achieve the promise of higher education: an open and inquiring mind.
The college is located on a 180-acre park-like campus in the Mount Pleasant section of Providence. This location combines a suburban atmosphere with easy access to the benefits and resources of the metropolitan area.
Academic offerings are provided in five schools: the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the Feinstein School of Education and Human Development, the School of Management, the School of Nursing, and the School of Social Work.
When the college was established in 1854 as the Rhode Island State Normal School, its goal was to provide teacher preparation to young people from Rhode Island. With the dedication of a new building in 1898, the institution began a period of steady growth, evolving first into a teachers’ college, the Rhode Island College of Education. In the 1958-59 academic year the college moved to its current Mount Pleasant campus, and in 1959 was renamed Rhode Island College to reflect its new purpose as a comprehensive institution of higher education. With an enrollment predominantly from Rhode Island and nearby Massachusetts and Connecticut, the institution historically has served as a “College of Opportunity” for first-generation college students.
The college now serves approximately 9,000 students in courses and programs both on and off campus.

The RIC Art Department programs include, the B.A. in Studio Art, B.F.A. in Studio Art, Minor in Studio Art, B.A. in Art History, Minor in Art History, B.S. in Art Education, B.F.A. in Art Education, M.A. in Art (concentration in Art Education), M.A.T. in Art Education, and M.A. in Art (concentration in Media Studies). Studio Art Concentrations include Ceramics, Digital Media Design, Graphic Design, Metalsmithing & Jewelry Design, Painting, Photography, Printmaking and Sculpture.
A student run group called Engaging Visual Arts Collaborative, (EVAC), conducts an ongoing sculpture tour on campus: http://www.evacprov.com/.
There will be 3 or 4 cement sculpture pads outside the building intended to anchor the work of faculty and local artists. The interior lobby will house exhibition spaces for student work.
Images of the building as it exists and as it will look when construction is completed can be seen here: http://www.ric.edu/art/index.php. The first phase of the renovation is expected to be completed by January, 2013, with the second and final phase to be finished by January 2014.

• Panelists seek artwork either for the exterior copper clad panels at the southwest corner of the building or for the two story interior atrium. Artwork that draws the eye up and identifies the building as an art center would be ideal.
• The piece should: 1. be recognizable from a distance; 2. connect with the identity of the college and 3. embody a spirit of creativity in a way that is an asset to the institution.
• Panelists are looking for a fine art/fine craft element, designed to harmoniously augment or engage the preexisting architectural elements.


Please note: This Request for Qualifications (RFQ) is the first step in the public art selection process. This is a preliminary round. If you are chosen as a finalist, you will then be asked to provide many more specifics.

RISCA will conduct the Rhode Island College Fine Art Center application process online, with all materials submitted in digital format through CaFÉ (see below). There is no charge to the artist for applying or for submitting digital images. At this preliminary selection stage, we are requesting submissions from artists or art teams consisting of six (6) images representing current work (completed within the past ten years), resumes, and very brief descriptions of potential site-specific proposals.

If an artist wants to apply as an individual as well as part of a team, two separate CaFÉ profiles and two separate CaFÉ applications must be completed (i.e., one application submission for you and one application submission for your team).

Applications consisting of six images, answers to designated questions, and resumes will be reviewed by the public art selection panel to assess the quality and appropriateness of the artist’s work, interest in their proposal idea, and the artist’s ability to carry out a substantial public art commission.

Applicants are asked only to provide a short description of their proposal for artwork at the site along with a rough outline of expenses for the design and construction totaling no more than $153,000. Three finalists will be selected from the pool of RFQ applicants and those finalists will craft detailed proposals including an itemized budget, scale models and renderings, and an in-depth project description. For this they will each be paid an honorarium of $2,500. This stipend includes all travel expenses: hotel, transportation, mileage, etc., for both the site visit and the subsequent presentation meeting. Finalists will not be reimbursed separately for any travel costs.

No slides or hard copy materials will be accepted for this call. First time CaFÉ applicants must allow enough time to prepare their CaFÉ formatted digital images and electronic submission prior to the deadline. CaFÉ surveys have shown that it takes approximately 2-4 hours to prepare images and submit an online application, dependent on a variety of factors.

Each application must be submitted via the CaFÉ ™ web site (www.callforentry.org) and must include:

1. A current resume for each artist. If you are applying as a team, include all team member resumes within one document.

2. Six digital images of relevant artwork. In the Description of Image, accompanying image annotation must list media, size, title, date of completion and a brief description of the artwork if necessary. Please do not present more than one view of artwork per image. If you wish to show a “detail”, include it within the six (6) artwork images.

3. A written statement, not to exceed 3000 characters, that addresses the artist’s/team’s preliminary concept or potential approach for creating site-specific public art for the Rhode Island College Fine Art Center, as well as the proposed project budget. At this stage, the artist’s budget should simply list anticipated cost of the installed work, anticipated administrative costs, and whether or not artists will charge the full $153,000.


February 18, 2013 at 5:00 p.m. (E.S.T.) Deadline for submissions
Late February 2013: panel meeting for selection of finalists; artist notification
Late March 2013: Finalist site visits
May 2013: Finalist presentations to selection panel; panel selects commissioned artist
June 2013: Final approval by RISCA Council
TBD: Contract signed
TBD: Work fabricated and installed

According to law, recommendations of the selection panel will be presented to the governing council of the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts who will have final approval of the public art selection.

Finalist’s site-specific proposals should convey artist’s ideas and plans through designs, renderings and/or scale models with a statement that describes the project’s intent, proposed materials, fabrication and installation methods, and an itemized budget. Artists chosen as finalists are also asked to explain how their artwork will be sourced and fabricated. The finalists will be supplied with plans, photographs, and specific information about the Rhode Island College Fine Art Center. A site visit as well as a meeting with the architect and the Station administration will be scheduled for the finalists. An honorarium of $2,500 will be awarded to the finalists following presentation of their proposals. The proposals will remain the property of the artist. However, RISCA reserves the right to retain proposals for up to one year for display purposes and the right to reproduce final proposals for documentation and public information purposes.

The Public Art Selection Panel reserves the right to determine which proposal will be funded and the extent of funding. The panel also reserves the right to not accept any final proposal submitted. If the recommendations of the Public Art Selection Panel are approved by the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, the selected artist/s will enter into a contract with the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts for the selected commission. The accepted artwork will be owned and maintained by the State of Rhode Island.

The commission process can be lengthy. It is within the purview of RISCA and the other commissioning agencies to request changes in the original proposal.


The panel will select the artist based on the following criteria:

• Artistic Quality: Quality and suitability of the final proposal in relation to the project description, program goals and site descriptions.
• Ability of the Artist/Artist Team: The artist’s ability to carry out the commission, to keep the project within budget and to complete and install the work on schedule.
• Value: The quality and scope of the proposed completed work in relation to the commission and fees paid to the artist/artist’s team.
• Durability of the Work: Permanence and durability of materials for this heavily used public facility. It is the artist’s responsibility to ensure that all artwork meets safety standards, adheres to building codes and other state regulations. Artworks must be durable and require minimal maintenance.
• Collaborative Spirit: Willingness of the artist to consult with community members, the architects, landscape architects, civil engineers, general contractor and building staff (or designated representatives) to assure smooth integration of the artwork into the site and to make necessary adjustments in relation to building codes and other construction issues.


This call is open to all artists. Applications may be submitted individually or in collaboration with others. The panel will not discriminate against any applicant artist on the basis of age, race, sex, sexual orientation, religion, national origin or physical challenges.
Excluded from participation are RISCA Council members, staff and their family members as well as Public Art Selection Panel members and their families.

If you have questions about the RFQ, email Elizabeth Keithline: Elizabeth.Keithline@arts.ri.gov.
If you require technical support for CAFÉ, please email cafe@westaf.org

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