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Rhode Island Youth Development Facility Public Art Project Links

  • Deadline for Submissions: August 10, 2007 at 5:00 p.m.
  • Contact Cristina Di Chiera directly via email with questions

Links for Public Art

Rhode Island Youth Development Facility


The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, In Partnership with the Department of Children Youth and Families Call for Public Art Proposals

Call for Proposals:

facade under construction

The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA) issues this call to artists per Rhode Island’s Allocation for Art for Public Facilities Act (CHAPTER 42-75.2). The intent of the legislation is as follows:

The general assembly declares that the state of Rhode Island has a responsibility for expanding the public experience of art, and, it recognizes the necessity of fostering the arts and in developing artists and craftspersons. Art creates a more humane environment: one of distinction, enjoyment, and pride for all citizens. The general assembly recognizes that public art also is a resource, which stimulates the vitality and the economy of the state's communities and which provides opportunities for artists and other skilled workers to practice their crafts.

RISCA and the Department of Children Youth and Families (DCYF) will commission an artist or team of artists to create and install artwork at the new Rhode Island Youth Development Facility (RIYDF) at the Pastore Center in Cranston, which will enhance the environment for student inmates, DCYF staff, and the visiting public. This call for proposals also presents a unique opportunity for New England artists to work directly with the student inmates within the RIYDF and to provide demonstration and instruction in applied art techniques and practices that will enhance their professional skills.

$23,000 has been allocated for a public art program at the new Rhode Island Youth Development Facility. 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.

Construction on the new Rhode Island Youth Development Facility has begun with a projected completion date of fall 2007. This facility will be located south of Route 37 in Cranston. The Rhode Island Youth Development Facility will house the Rhode Island Training School (RITS), managed by the Juvenile Corrections Division of the Department of Children Youth and Families. The Rhode Island Training School is a highly structured, secure residential facility where youth are placed by order of the Family Court on a finding of waywardness or delinquency. The statutory responsibility of the RITS is to rehabilitate youth remanded to its care. For more information on education and programming at RITS go to http://www.dcyf.ri.gov/juvenile_corrections.php.


RISCA will conduct the Rhode Island Youth Development Facility Public Art selection process. Applications will be reviewed and selected by the RIYDF Public Art Panel. Panel recommendations will be presented to RISCA’s governing council which gives final approval for all public art commissions.

Each applicant must submit:

  1. A current resume. (If you are applying as a team, include all team member resumes).
  2. Ten (10) images of relevant work submitted as jpegs on disc or as slides. Accompanying image annotation must list media, size, title, date of completion and a brief description of the artwork if necessary. If you wish to show a detail, include it within the ten images
  3. A preliminary budget.
  4. A written proposal that addresses the artist/s concept and approach for addressing public art at the Youth Development Facility. This proposal must provide the panel with an understanding of how the artist/s will engage the student inmates at the Training School and what previous educational and institutional experience will add to their success in working with this unique and challenging population. Within your written proposal, please address the following issues:
    • What is the fabrication and installation process for the artwork that you propose?
    • Will the work be tamper proof after installation?
    • What kind of imagery might be incorporated into the artwork?
    • Will student/inmates contribute to the selection or creation of imagery?
    • Will student/inmates assist in fabrication and installation or will they observe demonstrations?
    • How will the artwork within the restricted areas of the YDF reflect artwork in publicly accessible areas such as the courtyard?
    • The public art selection panel has indicated several specific sites for the possible installation of artwork. How will your proposed artwork fit within those spaces?
    • Artist finalists who are invited to meet with the panel for final selection are encouraged to bring visual samples of their proposed public art pieces.

All application/submission materials must be received by 5:00 EST on Friday, August 10, 2007. Send applications to:
Public Art Program
Rhode Island State Council on the Arts
One Capital Hill
Third Floor
Providence, RI 02908

Direct all questions to Cristina DiChiera at cristina@arts.ri.gov


  • July 3, call to artists posted
  • August 10 at 5:00 p.m., deadline for submissions
  • August 20, notification sent to finalists
  • Late August – early September, meetings with finalists
  • Early-September, final selection of artist/s
  • September, RISCA Council approval and final notification to artists.
    (The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts will have final approval of Public Art selection.)


interior under constructionThe Rhode Island Training School (RITS) is a youth correctional institution run by the DCYF. The current Training School Facility was constructed in the late 1960’s and has suffered from lack of upkeep and capital improvements. The goal of the Training School is to help incarcerated youth learn positive behavior patterns in order to reintegrate into society. DCYF successfully runs the RITS in a manner that creates a safe environment with well-trained staff and daily programs on substance abuse, sexual offence, anger management, personal and family counseling. There are few programs at the Training School that help transition youth back into the community after their incarceration, with the exception of the Broad Street Studio program (go to www.as220.org for more information). The public art selection panel hopes that the public art program at the new RIYDF can provide an opportunity for incarcerated youth to learn specific skills that will contribute to their success outside of the facility.

The new RIYDF is under construction at the Pastore Center, located on current RITS property just south of Rt. 37. This facility will house male youth convicted of the most serious offenses, or who require special treatment programs. plan of facilityThis unit will consist of 96 beds in four units of 24 beds. One unit will house youth with sex offense violations. One will house youth with chemical dependency issues. One will replace the current maximum security unit. The final unit will house a mixed population of youth above 18 years of age still in RITS facilities who are typically sentenced as juveniles for serious offenses and held up to the age of 21, as well as hard-to manage younger students requiring medium security housing. The Youth Development Facility will contain classrooms for education and treatment, a clinic, gymnasium, media center, cafeteria, and outdoor recreation


The Public Art Selection Panel has expressed interest in commissioning artwork that is aesthetically compelling with a sophisticated design sensibility. Each work of art must be securely installed and tamper proof.

The Public Art Selection Panel seeks to address the following aesthetic and programmatic concerns through the RIYDF public art program:
1) Sensitivity to issues of concern to the Department of Children, Youth and Families. The DCYF is faced with the challenge of educating and helping incarcerated youth in an atmosphere that is controlled and safe. Gang symbols and colors are strictly forbidden within the Training School. Artists should be respectful of the Training School’s restrictions on artistic content and should create imagery and designs accordingly. All subject matter and design content must be approved by designated supervising staff of the Training School.

2) Selection of sites conducive to the display of artwork and amenable to Training School goals. The Public Art Selection Panel seeks proposals from artists for public art that will enhance the lives of student inmates and staff at the Youth Development Facility, as well as the experience of visitors to the facility. Artwork within locked-down areas of the facility must be extremely durable and resistant to any kind of vandalism or tampering. Artwork in publicly accessible areas should, in some way, reflect any public art within the restricted areas of the facility. The Public Art Selection Panel is specifically interested in screened designs (such as photographic imagery) on subway tiles that could be installed in sites throughout the housing units. These could be complimented by a tile installation in the courtyard entrance. However, other approaches to this call for public art proposals are welcome and will be equally considered.

3) The desire to combine the creation of public art with learning opportunities for students. The installation of public art within the Training School is an excellent opportunity to provide unique educational experiences for the student inmates at the facility. Artists are encouraged to engage in this process in the following ways: by providing instruction in applied art skills to the students on site; by providing hands-on demonstrations to student inmates; by guiding students’ direct participation in the fabrication or installation process. Other proposals for working with student inmates are welcome and will be considered.


$23,000 is available for the public art component of the new Rhode Island Youth Development Facility. Applicants must include a rough budget totaling no more than $23,000 as part of their proposal. This allocation must cover all public art costs including artist fees, materials, fabrication, travel, installation and site preparation. (If it is possible to integrate site preparation into current construction plans, those arrangements will be pursued and the artist may remove those expenses from their budget. Those costs should, however, be assumed as part of the preliminary budget during this proposal phase). If more than one artist will participate in the public art program, expenses for all participating artists must be covered within the allotted budget. The Art Selection Panel seeks to commission artworks in public areas as well as locked down areas of the Training School facility. The added expense of creating and installing multiple pieces at more than one site should be taken into consideration.


Artists are asked to provide samples of their artwork and resumes, as well as a written project description that includes a description of proposed public art, a rough budget, and plans for involving student inmates in the public art program. Artists are asked to submit Ten (10) images of relevant work as jpegs on disc or as slides with their application. (Slides and discs will be returned IF a self addressed stamped envelope is included with the application. All other materials will be held for one year and then discarded.) Proposals should convey artists' ideas and plans through text including a description of the proposed materials, fabrication and installation methods, and a preliminary breakdown of the budget. Artist finalists are asked to also provide two or three-dimensional samples of their proposed public art pieces. The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, on the advice of the Public Art Selection Panel, reserves the right to determine which proposals will be commissioned. RISCA may also work with artists to make adjustments to proposals and budgets if they are selected for commission. RISCA also reserves the right to not accept any final proposals submitted. The recommendations of the Public Art Selection Panel will be presented to the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts governing body for final approval. Selected artist/s will then enter into contract with the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, with the provision of a completion schedule, finalized budget, as well as a background search conducted by the DCYF. All artwork will be owned and maintained by the State of Rhode Island.


The panel will make the selection based on the following criteria:

  • Quality and suitability of the final proposal as evidenced by the description of proposed artwork, how the proposal addresses the public art program goals, and integration of the artwork within specific sites.
  • 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. All artwork must meet high safety standards, adhere to building codes, ADA compliance, and other state regulations. Artworks must be durable and require minimal maintenance.
  • Willingness of the artist to consult with the DCYF, RISCA, the architect, construction manager or building staff to assure smooth integration of the artwork into the building site; to make necessary adjustments in relation to building codes and other construction issues; and to adhere to proper procedures when working with incarcerated youth.
  • Ability to work with student inmates at the new RIYDF and provide them with arts learning opportunities.


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

If you have questions about this call, please email cristina@arts.ri.gov.