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Rhode Island College Public Art Project Links

Deadline: October 29, 2007 - DEADLINE HAS PAST!

Links for Public Art

Rhode Island College Public Art Project

RFQ submission deadline:
October 29, 2007 -




Artwork for the new residence hall at Rhode Island College (RIC) 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." (RI State Law: Chapter 42-75.2).


Construction of the new residence hall at Rhode Island College is almost complete.  Located at the corner of Fruit Hill Ave and College Rd in Providence, the new hall is the largest building on the 180-acre RIC campus.  The building was designed by Robinson Green Beretta Corp. and may become the first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified building in Rhode Island, employing sustainable site development and addressing issues such as water savings, energy efficiency, local and sustainable materials, and improved indoor environmental quality.  The residence hall will house 367 students, bringing the total population of students living on campus to 1,200 of a student body of 9,000.  The ground floor includes the main lobby, a reception desk, several recreation rooms.  The lower lever houses mechanical spaces as well as the office of student life, which will be accessed only from a northern exterior entrance.  The building consists of small rooms with relatively low ceilings throughout.  The residential spaces will include shared and single rooms, each with a bathroom, kitchenette, closet space and large windows.  LEED certified materials such as naturally pigmented concrete floors and low VOC and recycled content materials have been used throughout the building.  Only the two main stairwells have been selected as possible sites for interior artwork.  The panel expressed a preference for exterior public art due to the prominence of the front courtyard and because this call represents an opportunity to enhance the environment of the RIC campus as a whole. 

Rhode Island College is the oldest of the state’s four state-run institutions of higher learning.  Located in a predominately residential area, the campus is about a 10 minute drive from downtown Providence. The mission of the board of governors of higher education which oversees the college is to “provide an excellent, efficient, accessible and affordable system of higher education designed to improve the overall educational attainment of Rhode Islanders and thereby enrich the intellectual, economic, social and cultural life of the state, its residents, and its communities.”  Some of RIC’s most reputable programs include management, education, nursing, and social work and the school enjoys a strong reputation for its cultural programming at the Bannister Gallery and the Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts. The campus features a small collection of artwork and amenities including a tree walk, newly restored wrought iron gates, an indoor mural, a series of sculptures by Jonathan Bonner (commissioned through the 1% for Art Program), and a sculpture by Joseph Goto.  The Public Art Selection Panel seeks to commission artwork that is beautiful and compelling, that will contribute to a creative, safe and inviting atmosphere, and/or help to unify the visual elements and amenities of the campus.


RISCA will conduct the RIC 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 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 RIC 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. Please note: This Request for Qualifications is the first step in the RIC public art selection process.  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 $75,000.  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 Rhode Island College 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.


  • September 14, 2007 CaFÉ(tm) website open for submissions
  • October 29, 2007 at 5:00 p.m. (MST) deadline for submissions
  • Mid-November, 2007 First selection panel meeting
  • Late November, 2007 Artist notification of selection panel results
  • December (TBA), 2007 finalists site visit
  • January/February (TBA) Finalists presentations to selection panel
  • January/February (TBA) Final selection of artwork/s by the Public Art Selection Panel
  • February 14, 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.


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 Rhode Island College, 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) Enhancement of the experience of campus life.  The majority of RIC’s rapidly increasing student body is from New England and the east coast.  Though RIC is primarily a commuter school, rising rent and real estate prices in Rhode Island have increased demand for additional on-campus housing.  RIC has met this need through the construction of the new residence hall, which will provide an additional 367 beds for student residents.  The RIC administration hopes that the new residence hall will help the college to recruit and retain students and build a sense of community and the feeling of home on campus.  The incorporation of green architecture within the new building will provide students with a healthy and enriching living environment.  The panel seeks artwork that will compliment and enhance these qualities.   

2) Adherence to LEED principles.  Because the new residence hall may become the first LEED certified building in Rhode Island, artists are encouraged to incorporate LEED principles within their proposed artwork.   These include Reduced Site Disturbance (the tree line for the new residence hall is less than 50 feet from building), Stormwater Management (the parking lots for the new residence hall include underground water tanks that collect and purify run off), Regional Materials (the building materials for the residence hall were sourced from within a 500 mile radius), and Recycled Content Materials (most major building materials are composed of significant recycled content), etc.  The panel is not only interested in artwork that adheres to these principles, but they wish to consider proposals that highlight and bring attention to these “green” aspects of the new construction.  Artists are asked to fabricate artwork and source all materials from within a distance of 500 miles from Rhode Island College.  This includes all of New England and parts of New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Virginia, as well as parts of Quebec,Canada .

3) The unification of visual elements on campus as well as directional elements. The RIC campus is compact, however, extensive parking lots and a lack of bicycle and pedestrian routes create a feeling of discontinuity.  Artistic and historical elements throughout the campus deserve enhanced recognition and improved presentation.  The panel expressed interest in artwork that might contribute to the aesthetic unity of the campus and help bring attention to existing amenities and features.


$75,000 is available for the acquisition of artwork for the new residence hall on the RIC campus. 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 residence hall 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. Final 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 locally.  The finalists will be supplied with plans, photographs, and specific information about the residence hall and the RIC campus. A site visit as well as a meeting with the architect and the RIC administration will be scheduled for the finalists.  An honorarium of $1,500 will be awarded to the finalists upon submission of their proposals. The proposals will remain the property of the artist. However, RISCA reserves the right to retain the proposal 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:

·Quality and suitability of the final proposal in relation to the project description, program goals and site descriptions.

·The artist's ability to carry out the commission, to keep the project within budget, and to complete and install the work on schedule.

·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.

·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.  Preference will be given to artists who are able to source and fabricate artwork within the geographic region.  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 on the Rhode Island College campus. Two are exterior sites and one is inside of the new residence hall, but could be viewed from the exterior. 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, appropriateness of form and materials and addressing any or all of the public art program goals listed above.    

courtyard in front of residence hall1. The large courtyard in the front of the residence hall.    The residence hall is shaped like three sides of a hexagon.  Therefore, the front courtyard is bound by the three-sided façade of the residence hall and Sixth Ave, which is a thru-road that splits into a drop-off lane closest to the residence hall.  Three sidewalks run from the drop-off lane to three doors of the residence hall and one additional walkway runs along the drop-off lane and around to the north side of the building, where the office of student life will be located.  Students will only enter the residence hall through the main front entrance of the building.  The center sidewalk leading to the front entrance will pass through two round benches in the middle of the courtyard.  The rest of the courtyard will be covered in grass and the walkways will be illuminated with small scale pedestrian lighting elements.  Proposals for artwork in the courtyard should take into account that this will be a high-traffic area and may be used by students for outdoor activities.  The grass will be maintained by an underground sprinkler system.  Landscape design, as well as sculpture or media-based installation are acceptable approaches to public art in this area.

pathways around building2. Directional and unifying elements tying the residence hall to the campus

The new residence hall is surrounded by trees behind the building, a parking lot to the south end, a main road to the north and a security station on the opposite side of 6th Ave across from the front courtyard.  RIC’s main recreation center can be seen to the north and there are two smaller residence halls nearby.  A student-made trail leads to volleyball courts behind the security station.  However, clear trails and paths throughout the campus are not prominent as RIC is primarily a commuter school where parking lots and cars take precedence.  Students are not allowed to walk through the woods surrounding the campus and bike racks have been removed from the campus due to lack of use by students.  The panel discussed the possibility of commissioning artwork that would encourage the use of established walking routes and provide direction to buildings and sites throughout the campus such as a tree walk, historic architectural elements, two outdoor clocks, and several outdoor sculptures.  These art elements could include sculptures, signage, or any other durable and weather resistant objects.  This approach to public art could combine an overall plan for artwork on the campus that could be expanded upon as the campus grows, as well as specific, strategically placed public art objects or installations. 

stairwell at top3. The main stairwells of the residence hall.

The stairwells on either side of the residence hall wrap around a narrow and long open space that runs from the fifth floor roof down to the first floor. This empty space is bound by metal screens that allow for visibility and light throughout the stairwell.  Each floor of the residence hall is distinguished by its own color scheme with a specific color represented on the back wall of each landing of the stairwell (red, yellow, purple, green and orange from the ground floor to the top floor).  Artwork could be placed behind the metal screens that run the length of the stairwell or could be installed at the point of the fifth floor ceiling to hang down five floors to the ground level.  Artwork that is illuminated in some way could be viewed from outside of the residence hall through windows that line the stairwells.  Interior artwork should feel welcoming, be extremely safe and should not have a sound element.

If you have questions about the RFQ email cristina@arts.ri.gov. If you require technical support for CAFÉ, please email café@westaf.org