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Department of Motor Vehicles, Forand Building,
Pastore Center, Cranston, RI

RFQ submission deadline:
July 30, 2010 at 5:00 p.m. (EST)

Rhode Island State Council on the Arts
Request For Qualifications

Public Art for the Department of Motor Vehicles, Forand Building,
Pastore Center, Cranston, RI

Budget: $88,000

Deadline: July 30, 2010

Digital Images of this project can be found at

About the Institution

With branches throughout the State, the Rhode Island Department of Motor Vehicles manages every aspect of vehicular administration including accidents, documents & forms, disability parking, inspections, emissions, licenses, id’s, operator manuals, registrations, suspensions, titles, vanity plates, and school buses.

About the Building

The building is named after Aime Forand, who was elected to the United States House of Representatives from Rhode Island in 1936 and served from January 3, 1937 to January 3, 1939, having lost his re-election campaign in 1938. He sought election to the House in 1940 and won, and won re-election nine subsequent times, serving from January 3, 1941 to January 3, 1961.

The Forand Building sits atop a hill that affords a view of Providence and the surrounding area. It is currently under construction and will officially open on August 24th.

The first floor will house Operator Control, the second, licensing and registration, and the third, business offices and hearing rooms.

The following is a partial description of the building from the website of architect Lerner/Ladds & Bartels:

“The three-story, 69,000 sf building, located in the Pastore Government Center of Cranston, had been in continuous use as an office facility for the State’s Department of Human Services since its construction in 1970. During that time several building systems had been repaired and upgraded, including the recent replacement of exterior glazing...Programming designs for the building required the ability to process a large quantity of public patrons, accounted for via enhanced entrances able to accommodate large numbers of patrons and staff…The large lobby and atrium opens up to a custom-designed 12’ wide monumental stair of architectural grade steel and art glass”.
The core of the building contains a central atrium that rises three floors and is topped by pre-existing skylights. A central ramp leads up to a large stair case. There is open space under the stairs on each level. Architect Chris Ladds described the foyer as a “mixing box”, the main place where people enter and disperse to various locations throughout the building.

The first floor will house a cafeteria with chairs and tables on the north side. The south side will contain the Operator Control area and a waiting room. Wands of light in steel bases will rise from the floor and hang suspended from the ceiling. The smallest distance between the lights is 18’, the largest is 24’.

On the 2nd and 3rd floors, bridges connect the east and west sides. The bridges are bordered by stainless steel railings. Most of the business of the building is conducted on the 2nd floor. A 28’ elliptical service counter will occupy this area. Behind the counter, windows will overlook RI Route 2. Ceilings in this room will be 9.5’ in height.

The top floor is occupied by administrative offices. Panelists do not wish to commission work for this floor.
The building is completely accessible to those with disabilities.

The website for the DMV: http://www.dmv.state.ri.us/

About the Project

In accordance with the guidelines of Rhode Island's 1% for Public Art Law, a five member art selection panel has been appointed by the State Council on the Arts. It is composed of one representative of the Department of Administration, a representative of the community, two artists, 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.

Possible sites include:

  • The 1st floor atrium
  • The wall liner in the hallways on the first floor
  • The outside entry and vestibule
        • Panelists expressed a desire that the commission not block the natural light which fills the space on every level.
        • Panelists would like the public art component to be an experience. The selected commission will be more than “just an object”.  
        • The scope will include all labor related to the artist’s installation, permit fees, equipment, supervision, testing services, RI engineer’s stamp, and all other costs incurred in the delivery of the finished installation.
        • ADA requirements apply to the final commissioned work.
        • Artwork must accommodate children and should be sustainable, safe, and extremely durable. Designs with elaborate maintenance requirements should be avoided.
        • No water installations will be considered.
        • A sound installation will undergo particularly scrupulous review by the selection panel. A winning sound commission would not be sited near employees and/or customers and would be a voluntary experience that could be turned on or off and would be of 60 to 90 seconds maximum duration.

Submission Requirements

Please note: This Request for Qualifications (RFQ) is the first step in the DMV public art selection process. 

RISCA will conduct the DMV 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 DMV 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 $88,000. 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 (tm) web site (www.callforentry.org) and must include:

  • A current resume for each artist. If you are applying as a team, include all team member resumes within one document.  
  • 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.
  • 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 DMV as well as the proposed project budget.  The artist’s budget must list artist’s team commission fees, anticipated cost of the installed work, and anticipated administrative costs.


Estimated Timeline:

July 30, 2010 at 5:00 p.m. (E.S.T.) Deadline for submissions
August 2010: panel meeting for selection of finalists; artist notification
September, 2010 (TBA): Finalist site visits
October 2010: Finalist presentations to selection panel; artist notification
November, 2010: Final approval by RISCA Council
tba: Contract signed
tba: Work installed and completed

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.

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 the DMV. A site visit as well as a meeting with the architect and the DMV 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 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.

Selection Criteria:

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’s 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’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 the 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.


Artist Eligibility:

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@arts.ri.gov.    If you require technical support for CAFÉ, please email cafe@westaf.org