Monday, April 20, 2009

Call for Young Artists - Construction as Canvas

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Call for Artists - Construction as Canvas

A community-based public art project for young people in the Hill District and Uptown

Application Deadline:April 17, 2009 at 5pm

When is a fence not just a fence? When it is a WORK OF ART! As part of the Public Art Master Plan for the New Pittsburgh Arena, the Sports and Exhibition Authority will commission three community organizations and three artists to work together to develop temporary works of art for the construction fence on three sides of the arena. Stipends available for participating organizations and artists. Read below for details on how to apply for this opportunity!

Project Description:The Public Art Master Plan for the New Pittsburgh Arena outlines three public art projects, including a temporary project called Construction as Canvas. The vision for Construction as Canvas is to commission three artists to collaborate with an organization that serves young people in the Hill District and Uptown. Together, the organizations, participating youth, and artists will design a two-dimensional work of art to be placed on the construction fence for the New Pittsburgh Arena. This project will transform the fence from a functional object into a place for community expression.

Three artists will be invited to each work with one of the selected organizations. Each team will collaborate to develop a proposal for the design and fabrication of the artwork, including details about how young people will be directly involved in each stage. The artworks will then be fabricated and installed on the fence by September 2009. When construction is finished, the organizations will have the option to keep the artworks for display in the community. The Office of Public Art will provide technical assistance and support to the artists and organizations for the duration of the project.

Eligible Artists:This opportunity is open to any artist or team of artists who live in Allegheny County (PA) that have experience teaching art to young people or working with young people in another artistic capacity. Artists do not need to have experience working on public art projects. Artist teams, and teams that include individuals working in multiple fields, are eligible to apply.Artists must have Act 34 Criminal Clearance and Child Abuse History Clearance, or be willing to apply for certification, before being offered a contract for the commission. This process is a standard background check used in Pennsylvania for adults working with young people.

Information about Act 34 Criminal Clearance can be found on the website, Information about Child Abuse History Clearance can be found on the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare’s website, may also pick up the clearances in the lobby of the Pittsburgh Board of Education Administration Building @ 341 S. Bellefield in Oakland from 8 am to 4 pm daily.Project Budget:Each fence artwork has a total budget of $24,000. The budget includes a stipend for the community organizations or organization teams ($4,000) a stipend for the artist ($7,000) and funds for the fabrication and installation of the artworks ($13,000).The selected organizations and the selected artists will enter into a contract with the Sports and Exhibition Authority.

Selection Process:The Office of Public Art is facilitating the artist selection process for Construction as Canvas. An artist selection panel has been formed which includes the three organizations selected to work on the project, arts professionals, and representatives from the Sports and Exhibition Authority, Urban Redevelopment Authority, and the Pittsburgh Penguins.The artist selection process will occur in two stages. During the first stage, all qualifications submitted through this RFQ process will be reviewed by the selection committee. The second stage of the process will be interviews. The committee will invite a limited number of artists to interview for the commission.The artists who are asked to interview for the project will not be asked to develop a model or proposal. Full proposals will be developed with the community group at a later date. During their interviews, artists will discuss their past work and their interest in this project, demonstrate their experience working with young people, and discuss their experience working collaboratively. Three artists will be selected to receive the commission.Application Submission Process:This application requires that artists submit examples of their work in digital format. If you do not have digital images of your work, photographic prints will be accepted. SLIDES WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.Submit the following materials:1. A CD with 10 images of your past work. Images should be in JPG format, no larger than 5’’ x 7’’ and 300 dpi. Each image should be no larger than 1MB.Please label your JPGs with your last name, first name and the numbers 1-10. For example, if your name is Gertrude Stein, the first artwork on your disc should be stein_gertrude_1.jpg and the second image should be stein_gertrude_2.jpg.If you only have photographic prints of your work, please label the back of each print with yourname as described above.Artist teams may submit a combined total of up to 10 images total, not 10 images for each artist.2. A script that includes a short description of each artwork on the CD. A digital copy of this script must be included on the CD, and a paper copy must be included in the application. The description for each image should include the following information as applicable: artwork title, dimensions, materials, budget, location, and a brief summary.3. A copy of your artist statement. Artist teams should submit a statement for each artist, plus a statement of how the artists will collaborate.4. A letter describing why you are interested in working on this project, two examples of your experience teaching or working with young people on an artistic project, and the ages of young people you have experience working with. The letter should also include a statement of your availability to work on this project this summer. Please Outline any times between May – September when you would not be available.5. A copy of your resume, up to three pages. Artist teams should submit one resume per artist.6. A copy of your Act 34 clearance and your CY113 Clearance, or a letter stating you will apply for these clearances.7. Please send a self-addressed, stamped, envelope if you would like your submission materials to be returned.Submissions must be received by April 17, 2009 at 5pm. They may be dropped off at the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council until 5:00 PM on April 17, 2009. Emailed applications and late applications will not be accepted.Mail applications to:Office of Public Art Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council Attention: Construction as Canvas Project 707 Penn Avenue, 2nd Floor Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Construction as Canvas Timeline:

March 2009: Develop and circulate Artist Request for Qualifications

April 17, 2009: Deadline for applications

Late April 2009: Artist selection meeting to review RFQ’s

May 2009: Artist interviews /select participating artists

June 2009: Contracts completed with SEAArtist / Community Group Scope of Services Developed

June – August 2009: Design and Fabrication of fence artworks

September 2009: Installation of fence artworks

Fall 2010: Removal of fence artworks

Artist Information Session:The Office of Public Art is working with art consultants Christine Bethea and Brenda Brown of Passports Art Diversity Project to host two artist information sessions. The purpose of the meetings is to give potential applicants the opportunity to discuss the project, discuss the application process, and ask questions. It is recommended, but not required, that applicants attend a session.

SESSION #1 March 23, 2009 5:30 – 7:00 pmCarnegie Library of Pittsburgh, 2177 Centre Avenue at Kirkpatrick Street, Hill District

SESSION #2 March 30, 2009 5:30 – 7:00 pmAmani CafĂ©, 507 Foreland Street, Northside

Questions?If you have questions regarding this RFQ, please contact Renee Piechocki or Lea Donatelli, Office ofPublic Art, 412-391-2060 x 233 or The Office of Public Art is a partnership of the City of Pittsburgh and the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council. For more information, visit


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