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Dunkin’ Donuts Center Public Art Project

Rendering of the new Kent County Courthouse by HOK Architects Renovation Completion Date:
Scheduled for late 2008

RFQ submission deadline:
September 12, 2006, 5:00pm

Dunkin’ Donuts Center:

A $62 million renovation of the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in downtown Providence, Rhode Island which includes linking the facility to the adjacent Rhode Island Convention Center is currently underway. The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA) invites artists to submit proposals for up to three (3) exterior public art sites associated with this renovation in accordance with the Rhode Island 1% Allocation for Art for Public Facilities Act, which states that “public art creates a more humane environment: one of distinction, enjoyment and pride for all citizens”.

The Dunkin’ Donuts Center, a multi-use venue known locally as “the Dunk”, is the home arena for the AHL Providence Bruins hockey team and the Providence College men’s basketball team. In December 2005, the center was purchased by the Rhode Island Convention Center Authority (RICCA) from the City of Providence with the intention of turning the 33-year-old, 14,000-seat arena into a state-of-the-art facility and creating a world-class destination and entertainment venue for both large-and small-scale events, meetings and conventions. It was announced recently that in 2010 the first two rounds of the prestigious NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament will be hosted by Providence College and held at “the Dunk”.

Over the years, literally millions of people, from near and far, have visited the Dunkin’ Donuts Center attending sports and other events including but not limited to hockey and basketball games, rock concerts, boat shows, monster truck jamborees, professional bull riding exhibitions, and family shows. The venue has and continues to serve a wide cross-section of the community and plays an important role in the quality of life here in Rhode Island. This highly visible, popular venue represents an excellent opportunity for the creation and integration of public art.

Project and Site Descriptions:

Appointed by RISCA, a five-member art selection panel composed of one representative of RICCA, a community representative, two professional artists, and the project architect, met to discuss the Dunkin’ Donuts Center renovation and the goals of the public art project at the facility. Three (3) exterior sites appropriate for the installation of public art have been selected by the panel. Be sure to indicate for which site(s) you are submitting a proposal.

south plazaSite 1: Exterior South Plaza. Located at the south corner of the Dunkin’ Donuts Center this exterior corner plaza is an irregularly shaped rectangle open to the southwest, south and southeast, and bounded by the Center to the northwest, north and northeast. Sabin Street runs along the east side of the plaza, the confluence of Sabin, Broadway and Empire Streets to the south/southeast, and an alley/service road to the south/southwest. A 14-floor Holiday Inn (soon to be a Hilton Hotel) currently undergoing major exterior/interior renovations is located directly across the alley from the plaza to the south/southwest.

This urban plaza is an open public space, quietly tucked back off, and adjacent to, a busy streetscape, providing pedestrians with a secluded area to sit, rendezvous, visit, and rest. Currently, the space lacks a clear purpose and unity and aging concrete benches, tables and planters populate the area, as well as an outmoded LED sign scheduled for removal. Four 10-year-old deciduous trees surrounded by steel grates are planted near the middle of the plaza. A secondary entrance to the Dunkin’ Donuts Center will be accessed via this plaza, as will a new Dunkin’ Donuts retail store, once renovations are complete. This site provides a unique opportunity for artists to develop an underutilized downtown open space into a spectacular public space for locals, tourists, pedestrians and users of the Dunkin’ Donuts Center for their use and enjoyment. Developing this plaza will add a level of sophistication and pedestrian-friendliness to this corner of Providence not currently extant and enhance the Downcity as it continues to rebuild and undergo new development.

Site 2: Front Exterior and Primary Entrance to Dunkin’ Donuts Center

Located on the east side of the building and set back off Sabin Street which runs parallel to the building, the newly designed front and primary entrance to the Dunkin’ Donuts Center will be reached by a series of wide cement steps that originate from the Sabin Street level. The steps surround a corner semi-circular brick feature designed as a planter and area designated for requisite flagpoles. (Please note: This semi-circular area may or may not become the new site for the Korean War Memorial which was recently removed from the front of the Dunkin’ Donuts Center to allow for renovation activities.) At the top of the stairs, a landing leads visitors to a series of glass doors surrounded by a two-story glass façade affording views into the interior lobby area. A pedestrian bridge connecting the Convention Center to the Dunkin’ Donuts Center will flow into this front glass façade and lobby area from the north. Please note: the pedestrian bridge is not part of this public art project. From the south, a long ramp faced with brick extends from the south plaza and runs along the front of the building, Sabin Street and the sidewalk leading pedestrians and visitors up to the landing and front entrance. A tall LED sign perpendicular to the Center and identifying the Dunkin’ Donuts Center may straddle the ramp. Brick, glass and cement are the predominant building materials.

The entire exterior front of the Dunkin’ Donuts Center along Sabin Street, including the primary entrance, but excluding the pedestrian bridge, is considered Site 2. The art selection panel is interested in artwork that will not only attract attention to the Center and act as a sort of backdrop regardless of the time of day, but will also act as a visible focal point for the city and enhance the experience of passersby, pedestrians, visitors, and users alike. The artwork should stand on its own merits and not compete with, cover up, or take away from the new design of the Center. The artist may choose to design something for the entire site or for just a portion. This area is a high-volume pedestrian area and needs to be kept clear of any obstacles that would impede flow. Although the art selection panel is open to any form of artwork for this site, emphasis for selection will be placed on designs that have high impact, are cohesive, and require minimal maintenance.

Site 3: Artistic treatment of manhole covers, bike racks and benches

Although the number of manhole covers, bike racks and benches that will be needed for the Dunkin’ Donuts Center is not known at this time, the panel is interested in reviewing designs. Emphasis for selection will be placed on creative solutions that require minimal maintenance and are user-friendly.

Budget:
A total of $420,000 has been designated for the acquisition of exterior public art for the Dunkin’ Donuts Center project. All artists’ fees, costs of fabrication, installation and transportation of artwork are included in this budget.

Request for Qualifications (RFQ) Submission Requirements:
Qualifications and proposal statements for the Dunkin’ Donuts Center public art project will be submitted online through CAFÉ ™ at www.callforentry.org by the submission deadline of September 12, 2006. All materials must be submitted through CAFÉ ™. There is no charge for this service. No slides or hard copy materials will be accepted. First-time CAFÉ ™ applicants must allow ample time to prepare their proposals and digital images for electronic submission in accordance to CAFÉ ™ requirements in order to meet the deadline. (CAFÉ ™ survey estimates approximately 1.5 hours to prepare images and submit applications via their system.)

Note: If an artist would like to apply as an individual as well as part of a team, two separate applications must be submitted.

Submissions will consist of:
• Current resume of principal artist and of key assistants and/or subcontractors, if applicable. Teams must submit all resumes within one document.
• A written proposal statement not to exceed 2,000 characters specifying the site and describing the concept and materials, proposed budget and installation requirements;
• Six (6) digital images of relevant work completed within the past five years. The following information must accompany each image:

  • media
  • dimensions (HWD)
  • title
  • brief description ~ include date of completion here

Note: If you wish to submit a “detail” image, it will be considered one of the six images allowed.

RFQ Finalist Selection Criteria:
The Dunkin’ Donuts Center public art selection panel will review all submitted Applications in mid-to late-September and choose 3-5 finalists based on the following key criteria:

  • Quality and suitability of applicant’s artwork in relation to project description, stated goals, and budget;
  • Demonstrated ability of artists or teams to enter into a contractual agreement and complete contract agreement on schedule and within proposed budget;
  • Demonstrated ability to address and meet all ADA standards, safety standards and other codes;
  • Permanence and durability of artwork and minimum maintenance requirements.

Full Proposals:
Finalists chosen by the public art selection panel will be notified before the end of September. Concurrent with notification, a preparatory site visit to the Dunkin’ Donuts Center will be arranged for each finalist by RISCA. This will allow finalists to meet with the architects and project and construction managers in order to gain a better sense and understanding of the project scope. Finalists will be asked to create a full proposal to be presented in person to the art selection panel on December 1, 2006. This presentation should clearly convey the artist’s concept for artwork through plans, drawings, and/or scale models with a clear description of materials, fabrication, installation requirements (including engineering and other specifications), and overall project cost. For their completed proposals, an honorarium of $1,500 will be awarded to each finalist.

RISCA will be responsible for all travel and lodging arrangements and expenses, as well as a small per diem for both the preparatory site visit and the final presentation visit.

RISCA reserves the right to retain all artist proposal materials for up to one year and the right to reproduce final proposals for documentation and public education 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 reject any final proposal submitted. Upon final approval by RISCA for the purchase of artwork, the selected artist(s) will enter into contract with RISCA. The completed artwork will be owned and maintained by the State of Rhode Island.

Deadlines for submission:
RFQ submission deadline: September 12, 2006, 5:00pm
Application review and finalist selection: mid-to late-September
Finalist notification: before end of September
Finalists’ preparatory site visit: October 2007 (date TBA)
Finalist presentations: December 1, 2006
Final selection and notification: December 2006 (date TBA)

Artist Eligibility:
Open to all visual artists. The panel will not discriminate against any applicant based on 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, art selection panelists and their family members.

For additional information:

If you have questions regarding the submission of materials, please contact Cristina De Chiera at cristina@arts.ri.gov. For CAFÉ ™ technical support contact café@westaf.org. For specific questions regarding the scope of the public art project, please contact Dorothy Bocian at debocian@yahoo.com.