All applications accepted through www.callforentry.org
ABOUT THE INSTITUTION:
The University of Rhode Island began in 1888 as the Rhode Island State Agricultural School. The school became the Rhode Island College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts in 1892, and graduated the first class of 17 members two years later. In 1909 the name of the college was changed to Rhode Island State College, and the program of study was revised and expanded. In 1951 the college became the University of Rhode Island by an act of the General Assembly. The Board of Governors for Higher Education appointed by the governor became the governing body of the University in 1981.
Today, the University has three satellite campuses but this first site remains the largest and busiest. Located in the historic village of Kingston, URI’s main campus is 1,200-acres showcasing both a mix of handsome ivy-covered buildings and contemporary architecture, and serving over 25,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Over 60% of URI students are Rhode Islanders. The average degree-seeking undergraduate is 22 years old, but 12% of students are 25 or older. The most popular undergraduate major is Nursing followed by Communication Studies, Psychology, Pharmacy, and Human Development & Family Studies.
URI’s website defines the school as ‘the State’s public learner-centered research university and a community joined in a common quest for knowledge. The University is committed to enriching the lives of its students through its land, sea, and urban grant traditions. URI is the only public institution in Rhode Island offering undergraduate, graduate, and professional students the distinctive educational opportunities of a major research university. Our undergraduate, graduate, and professional education, research, and outreach serve Rhode Island and beyond. Students, faculty, staff, and alumni are united in one common purpose: to learn and lead together. Embracing Rhode Island’s heritage of independent thought, we value: Creativity and Scholarship; Diversity, Fairness, and Respect; Engaged Learning and Civic Involvement; and Intellectual and Ethical Leadership.
ABOUT THE PROJECT:
URI was chartered as a land-grant university in 1888. Lippitt Hall, named after Rhode Island Governor Charles W. Lippitt, was built as a drill hall and armory in 1897. It was one of a half-dozen buildings built during the institution’s first decade.
The architect was Providence-based Stone, Carpenter, and Willson. Construction was overseen by Capt. William Wallace Wotherspoon , the first Professor of Military Science and Tactics, who served for 3 years before being transferred to the Spanish-American War. The building is located on the northern boundary of the University’s main quadrangle, a defining feature of the earliest campus plans and layouts which has been credited to Frederick Law Olmsted’s firm and dates to the 1890s. Over the years the building has been used as a gymnasium, a dining hall, and for administrative purposes. After the rehabilitation it will house two floors of mathematics department offices and classrooms (floors 1 and 2) and two floors of honors department offices and classrooms (floors 3 and 4). This use is in keeping with the mandate of the university’s Master Plan to concentrate academics around the historic Quadrangle, in essence putting the core activities of the institution – teaching and learning – at the heart of the campus. Completion is expected in 8/08.
Exterior restoration work will include repointing portions of the stone facade, new slate shingles, new wooden window sashes, and creation of a new handicapped accessible entrance to the building in a courtyard area to the left (west) of the existing entry. Beyond creating the new entrance, which is expected to become the primary entrance, no significant changes to the façade are planned. (The existing entry will remain intact, but is expected to be less frequently used.)
As the home of the mathematic and honors departments, Lippitt will function as a relatively high traffic building. About 900 students enroll in Honors classes each year, although not all of them will be hosted in Lippitt’s classrooms. Every undergraduate takes math classes, and while some of those classes occur in other buildings, this is the center of mathematical teaching and learning, and 14,000 students will be on the first floor at least once per semester. In time the departments located in the building may change; future uses are to some extent unknowable. In addition, 20,000 people attend commencement every year, which is held in the Quadrangle with a clear view of Lippitt Hall.
Please note: This Request for Qualifications (RFQ) is the first step in the URI public art selection process.
RISCA will conduct the URI Public Art 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 five 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 URI 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 totaling no more than $65,000. 3-5 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.
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 1.5 hours to prepare images and submit an online application, dependent on a variety of factors.
Each application must be submitted via the CaFÉ(tm) 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 2000 characters, that addresses the artist’s/team’s preliminary concept or potential approach for creating site-specific public art for Lippitt Hall at URI as well as the total budget amount.
4. An indication of which site(s) within the RFQ the artist would like to submit a full proposal for installation.
March 15, 2008 CaFÉ(tm) Website open for submissions
May 1, 2008 at 5:00 p.m. (MST) Deadline for submissions
Mid-May, 2008 Selection panel meeting
Late May, 2008 Artist notification of selection panel results
June 2008 (TBA), Artist Finalists’ site visits
June 2008 (TBA), Artist Finalists’ presentations to selection panel
July 2008 (TBA), Final selection of artwork/s by the Public Art Selection Panel
July, 2008 Final approval by RISCA Council
According to law, final 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.
ART PROGRAM GOALS:
In accordance with the guidelines of Rhode Island’s 1% for Public Art Law, a five member public art selection panel has been appointed by the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts. It is composed of one representative of the University of Rhode Island, a representative of the community, two artists selected by RISCA, and the project architect. The panel has met to discuss aesthetic and thematic concerns for the project and they have selected sites appropriate for the installation of public art. In discussing potential sites and artwork, the panel took into account the following issues, which artist applicants are also asked to consider in the creation of their proposals:
1: Connection to the Quadrangle / Keeping with the spirit of the University’s Master Plan.
The Quadrangle plays a significant role in the University’s Master Plan, as ‘ the physical and psychological heart of the University, [reflecting] the University’s core mission of educating the students of Rhode Island. The panel is interested in artwork which might better tie Lippitt into the Quad. The road between the building and the Quad, no longer active but still serving as a fire access route, currently behaves as a pedestrian walkway. Landscape architecture which relates the building to the Quad was suggested. Panelists are hesitant to breach the Quad’s own integrity. While it is not imperative to the panel that the artwork ultimately selected achieve this reintegration with the Quadrangle, there was agreement that artists be encouraged to explore it. Note: proposals which address alternate sites than those selected by the panel, but which are successful in achieving this notion of reintegration, will be considered.
2: Heritage. Lippitt is undeniably a historic building. As both a keystone building and a significant architectural building, the panel recognizes that it presents a particularly good opportunity to reference – or comment upon – the ideas of history, heritage and tradition. The historic nature of the structure and it’s location on the Quadrangle offers an opportunity to consider these themes in terms of (1) URI’s beginning as a school with a land grant identity, and (2) universities as places which pass on knowledge, culture, and tools of civil society from one generation to the next. The panel is interested in this as an opportunity to connect ideas of tradition and heritage to modern or enduring concerns. Either traditional materials sympathetic to the stone of the building (e.g., other stone, timber, etc.) or contrasting / non-traditional materials will be considered, as the panel has noted that even as with the interior transformation of the historic place, new interventions can still honor the past.
3: Interest and Meeting a standard of Excellence
It was emphasized that artwork should be interesting, reflect a standard of excellence that respects the caliber of intellect which resides in the University’s community, and be timeless or enduring rather than dependent on the building’s current programmatic uses. Interior artwork – because of the site identified by the panel – could incorporate movement or dynamic elements. It was also determined that any exterior work should ideally provide a full 12-months of visibility (e.g., not be obscured by winter weather).
$65,000 is available for the acquisition of artwork for Lippitt Hall. This amount must cover all costs of the artwork including artist fees, fabrication, installation, and transportation of the art, as well as all site work required before and after installation. If a proposal includes multiple components that spread beyond the building or incorporate landscape or media elements, those expenses must be included within the allotted budget.
The Request for Qualifications is the first stage of the selection process. Visual artists are invited to submit samples of their work and their CV/resumes for consideration. Six (6) images must be included with your CaFE application. The panel will select between three and five (3-5) finalists from the pool of applicants. These finalists will be invited to submit specific proposals, in person, to the Art Selection Panel based upon the goals and descriptions of the Request for Qualifications.
Finalists’ site-specific proposals should convey artists’ 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 Lippitt and the URI campus. A site visit as well as a meeting with the architect and the URI administration will be scheduled for the finalists. An honorarium of $1,500 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 proposals will be funded and the extent of funding for each commission and installation. 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 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 panel will make their selection based on the following criteria:
1. Quality and suitability of the final proposal in relation to the project description, program goals and site descriptions.
2. The artist’s ability to carry out the commission, to keep the project within budget, and to complete and install the work on schedule.
3. Permanence and durability of materials in a 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.
4. Willingness of the artist to consult with the architect, construction manager and building staff (or designated representatives) to assure smooth integration of the artwork into the building site and to make necessary adjustments in relation to building codes and other construction issues.
This call is open to all visual 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.
The Public Art Selection Panel has identified three (3) potential sites for the installation of public art in or around Lippitt Hall at URI’s Kingston campus. Two are exterior sites and one is inside. These are general descriptions of the selected sites. Artists are invited to interpret how artwork would enhance these areas with special consideration for safety, durability, ease of installation and maintenance, appropriateness of form and materials and addressing any or all of the public art program goals listed above. Note: As indicated in the program goals listed above, the idea of an effort to reconnect Lippitt to the Quad has been discussed as a fourth site. Should an artist conceive a project which focuses on reconnecting the building to the Quadrangle, and which is sited in a location other than those identified by the panel, the panel will give it thorough consideration.
Images of the building’s façade may be found at http://www.uri.edu/home/image/lippitt_hall1915.jpg and at http://digitalcommons.uri.edu/photographs/7/.
1. An entry courtyard is being created as the new principal entrance to the building.
This is to the left of the original entrance as one faces the building, or on the west end of the facade. The original entrance will remain functional, but is envisioned as becoming secondary. In existing plans for the new courtyard, three trees are suggested, lighting, and slate paving that continues from the courtyard to the inside of the building. This handicapped accessible entrance will have no stairs and no ramp; the elevation allows direct access to the first floor. The Lippitt courtyard will be adjacent (separated by a few yards of lawn) to the existing entrance courtyard for Ballentine Hall. The panel felt a variety of materials or approaches could work in this space. Panelists expressed an interest in opportunities presented by this space for direct interaction with the artwork (by moving through or over it, for example). Landscape design and sculptural installation were seen by the panel as the approaches to public art most likely to be successful in this area.
2. An otherwise undeveloped area in front of the right hand side of the building.
On the right of the building’s original entrance is a second exterior site, which the panel felt might balance the visual activity of people coming and going on the left hand side of the building. The right hand side has a stronger relationship to the Quad than the left, (1) because of the axis of walking paths across the Quad and (2) because Ballentine Hall is a large building and therefore visually ‘claims’ the relationship with Lippitt rather than cede it to the Quadrangle. Because the rehabilitation will not alter the façade of the building, but simply restore it, some panelists felt that putting public art in this right-hand area might make a real difference in the way the building ‘reads.’ The caution is that Lippitt Hall is a very strong visual element in and of itself, and artwork could easily be overpowered against the backdrop of such a façade. There is also less opportunity for artworks set in this area to provide an imperative for direct interaction with the artwork.
3. A pair of interior vertical ‘slit’ spaces joining floors 1 & 2 and floors 3 & 4. An elevator, custodial closets and electric rooms are paired with back to back toilet rooms to form two opposing vertical towers which rise four floors through the building’s core. The space between these opposing columns create two vertical slits 8’ wide, 20’ long, and 2 floors high. On the upper floors of each slit (floors 2 and 4), the space will be visible through 8’ wide glass walls. On the lower floor of each slit (floors 1 and 3) the space is an actual passageway. This provides opportunity for multiple perspectives on the artwork. Artwork could be suspended from the ‘ceiling’ of each vertical space to hang down, or mounted on the upper wall areas. It could introduce color, which is not a strong element of the building’s neutral-toned interior. Artwork in this site could also incorporate movement without impacting traffic flow.