Public Art

PVDFest is a free, four-day festival in downtown Providence, RI.

Call for Temporary Public Art Projects at PVDFest 2020

 

Summary

The City of Providence Department of Art, Culture + Tourism (ACT) calls artists to submit qualifications and ideas for PVDFest 2020. Awardees will be given $10,000 to realize their temporary projects.

This call is open to individual artists or artist teams that are 18 years old or older with a home or studio address in the Providence Metro Area (defined as all of Rhode Island and Bristol County Massachusetts). Artists or artist teams that have received a PVDFest Public Art Commission in 2018 or 2019 are not eligible to apply for a 2020 commission.

No more than 9 artists/artist teams will be invited as finalists to submit design proposals for PVDFest 2020. Finalists will be provided a fixed modest design stipend for their proposals.

PVDFest public art project sites have been pre-selected by ACT and the Art in City Life Commission. Finalists will be asked to design proposals specific to these pre-selected sites. No more than three artists or artist teams will be selected to install work at PVDFest 2020, and there will be one installation per site.

Festival producers will provide final approval for siting each installation. Selected works will be installed prior to the start of PVDFest 2020 and remain installed for up to four months after the festival concludes.

Applications are due November 18, 2019.

Vision

The temporary public art projects at PVDFest 2020 will announce the start of PVDFest activities and will remain on site throughout summer 2020. These new and original works should enhance pedestrian-level interactions by making the streetscape more vibrant, interactive and playful, surprising, or beautiful.  Projects will be selected as the most appropriate to the site with the caveat that the installations will be on view prior to, during, and for up to four months after PVDFest 2020 (the estimated exhibition period is May 31 – until October 31, 2020). The Art Selection Panel will review proposals for projects that maintain structural and visual integrity, remain responsive and interactive, and generate excitement for the entirety of the exhibition.

Location and Siting

Public Art @ PVDFest 2020 will be sited at three locations listed below. All projects must be made fireproof, graffiti proof (washable) and waterproof (unless the material exposure to rain/water damage is deliberate and safe).  Any free-standing structure will require at least 3 feet of clearance in all directions for ADA accessibility.  Projects must maintain structural and visual integrity throughout four months of exposure to the elements.

The City has permissions in place for the following sites.  As of November 2018, Certain information regarding site conditions is outstanding. ACT will update all finalists with a document amendment as information is received.


Site 1: Civic Center Garage
Washington Street Façade (165 Washington Street, Providence RI 02903)

 

 

 

 

 

Pnit, Pneuhaus, PVDFest 2019

This site is ideal for 2D or 3D add-on.  In the past, successful projects have included 2D works such as murals, billboards, designed signs, and mosaic fabrics.  We also think 2D glassworks, luminary art such as projection and/or reflection, and 3D add-on works such as sculpture and pottery would be successful. Moving Image such as short film, video, and animation could work well at this site, though it is important to remember a summer installation means more daylight hours.  We ask that you think about height and placement on the facade so that the work can call the attention of both pedestrians and drivers. Note the PVDFest parade happens along Washington Street and there will likely be stages across the street during the festival.

– Private Property with permission to use

– Weight of 2D add-on structure – tbd

– Electricity access – yes, access point tbd and dependent upon installation

– Projection access – yes, access point tbd and dependent upon installation

–  Aerial installation – not applicable for this site.


Site 2: City Hall Apron

25 Dorrance Street, Providence R 02903 (corner of Washington Street and Dorrance)

 

 

 

 

 

Sign-In, Area C Projects, PVDFest 2019

This site is ideal for 3D sculpture.  We think freestanding murals, billboards, designed sign, mosaic fabrics, and glassworks may also work well here.  Note the PVDFest parade will end at the corner of Dorrance and Washington – and there will likely be a stage at the foot of the City Hall steps during the festival.  Any free-standing structure will require at least 3 feet of clearance in all directions for ADA accessibility. Anything located here will be exposed to pedestrian level interaction before, during and after PVDFest. Large public events occur downtown throughout the summer and projects should be welcoming and responsive to the diverse wealth of public gatherings that our City welcomes. Note: Kennedy Plaza will undergo construction in summer 2020 will temporarily affect site lines and pedestrian patterns.

– Public Property

– Weight of 3D structure – tbd. Apron is hollow.

– Electricity access – yes, via extension cord covered with conduit pipe

– Projection access – tbd

– Aerial installation – not applicable for this site.


Site 3: Empire Plaza
25 Dorrance Street, Providence R 02903 (corner of Washington Street and Dorrance)

Good Luck Gateway, Vinnie Ray, PVDFest 2019

This site is ideal for an aerial installation or freestanding sculpture. The installation will provide a gateway to the PVDFest festival footprint and will face the maker-faire on Westminster Street. Pedestrian and bicycle improvements will be installed on Empire Street in spring of 2020, increasing pedestrian traffic. In addition to PVDFest, PRIDE and Foo Fest animate Empire Street in the summer months. The site is frequented by municipal workers at 444 Westminster, pedestrians, residents of Cathedral Square, Roger Williams University students, and preschool children who often play at the open space adjacent to the plaza.

– Public Property

– Weight of 3D structure – tbd

– Electricity access – yes, via the light poles, however only available during evening/ nighttime hours

– Projection access – tbd

– Aerial installation – encouraged at this site

 

Eligibility

This opportunity is open to established and emerging artists and artist teams who are 18 years or older, defined as those who have a specialized training in the field and/or a history of exhibition as an artist, and are recognized as artists by peers and arts professionals.

Artists must live or work in the Providence Metro Area (defined as all of Rhode Island and Bristol County, Massachusetts) but preference will be given to artists who live or work in the City of Providence.

Artists or artist teams that have received a PVDFest Public Art Commission in 2018 or 2019 are not eligible to apply for a 2020 commission.

 

Selection Process

Artists and artist teams are invited to submit their qualifications and a letter outlining the idea or concept they would like to explore through a PVDFest Public Art Project, including a preferred site and media and format.  Applications will be reviewed by an Art Selection Panel, who will select a group of no more than 9 finalists (three per project site). Finalists will then be invited to develop their concept further and will be provided a modest design stipend.  Finalists will be invited to meet with the appropriate City staff to determine site and project restrictions prior to the submittal deadline.

 

Process and Timeline

  • October 15, 2019: Call to artists opens
  • November 18, 2019: Call closes at 11:59pm mountain time
  • December 4, 2019: Finalists are informed (9 total or 3 per site)
  • January 8, 2020: Art in City Life Commission reviews panel recommendation (5:00pm)
  • January 10, 2020: Finalists are informed
  • June 1 – November 1 2020: Exhibition Period
  • October 31 – November 10, 2020: Deaccessioning, schedules tbd

 

Selection Panel and Review Process

The Art Selection Panel will be comprised of seven members including the following members/alternates:

  • Two members of the Art in City Life Commission
  • A staff member from the Department of Art, Culture + Tourism
  • A staff member from the Mayor’s Office
  • A Staff member from PVDFest Producing Partner, FirstWorks
  • A staff member from the Parks Department
  • A staff member of the Civic Center Garage

The Art Selection panel will review submissions and will invite no more than 9 finalists to develop design proposals. Finalists will be informed by December 4th and must submit a design proposal by 11:59pm on January 1, 2020.

Selection Criteria for Round 1 (Qualifications)

  • Artist statement and previous work examples show your work aligns with the vision for PVDFest projects
  • Previous work examples show durability of public art projects and/or potential to fabricate achievable work
  • Proposed media and format are plausible for your site of choice.

 

Selection Criteria for Round 2 (Invited Finalists)

Invited Finalists will receive detailed instructions as to how to submit their Design Proposals. Design Proposals must include a project summary, design concept, an installation and de-installation plan, and project budget not to exceed $10,000 including fabrication, installation, and artist fee. Only complete design proposals will be reviewed. Criteria include:

  • Artistic Merit
  • Public Safety
  • Site Suitability
  • Durability
  • Demonstrated capacity/experience
  • Achievability

 

Scope of Work

Three commissioned artists will be publicly announced in March 2020 and awarded up to $10,000 to design, fabricate, install, and de-accession their work.

Once selected, artists will enter into contract with ACT and FirstWorks on behalf of PVDFest.

Artist Responsibilities

  • Commissioned artists must adhere to the following responsibilities:
  • Execute a contract and adhere to deadlines within.
  • Attend press events and/or participate in promotional activities leading up to the festival.
  • Submit final design concepts no later than April 30, 2020.
  • Design, fabricate, and purchase materials to contractual deadline.
  • Be present at and participate in the Installation of the work.
  • Be present at and participate in the removal or de-accessioning of the work.
  • Restore the site to its original condition.
  • Note: Applicants will retain copyright and receive credit for their work; the City of Providence and our Producing Partner reserve the right to reproduce images of commissioned works for non-commercial purposes.

PVDFest Responsibilities:

  • Execute contracts and ensure payment
  • Secure site permissions
  • Work with artists to address city service requirements and technical assistance concerns related to installation and de-accession
  • Promote the artist and installation prior to and during the festival
  • Execute an installation and de-accession schedule no later than May 21, 2020

 

To Submit Qualifications

To apply, go online to the CaFÉ homepage at www.CallForEntry.org and create a free artist account. CaFÉ is free to use and there is no entry fee for this call.  Under “Find Calls” search for “Public Art at PVDFest 2020” or click here: https://artist.callforentry.org/festivals_unique_info.php?ID=6479. Follow the instructions for submission, upload the required images and files, and submit. For technical questions about CaFÉ, please click on “Help” on the CaFÉ website.

ACT will be offering a free Artist Info Session in early November to assist interested artists in signing up for CaFÉ and to answer any questions about this Call. If you are interested in attending the session, please email grodriguez@providenceri.gov and we will notify you of the time and location of the session as soon as it is confirmed.

In the CaFÉ system, you will be required to answer the following questions:

  1. Please provide a brief Artist Statement to introduce the Art Selection Panel to who you are as an artist and some of the themes and ideas you explore in your artwork. Please do not insert a resume or list of accomplishments here. (300 words maximum)
  2. Describe the idea that you would like to explore for PVDFest 2020. Tell us how your idea relates to the Vision of Public Art @ PVDFest noted in this Call to Artists.
  3. Note your preferred pre-determined site, media, and format for the work you may create. You may choose more than one site at this round, however if you are chosen as a finalist you may be invited to submit only one design. This is to ensure we have enough finalists per project site.
  4. You will also be required to attach the following files and information in your online submission:
  • a resume of no more than 3 pages for each artist.
  • up to 10 images of past work (may include a mix of JPEGs, websites, audio clips, and/or videos (60 second clips only).
  • the following for each work sample submitted: artist’s name, artwork title, brief description of artwork (100 words or less), medium, completion date, dimensions, total budget/cost (please use the Price/Value field in CaFE). In the description field, please include commissioning entity, if applicable, and state your role in the creation of the artwork if other artists or design professionals were involved in its creation.
  • the names and contact information of three professional references

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Site 1: Civic Center Garage:

1)  Are there power outlets on each floor to access?

There are, but there are not outlets at each corner. Will have to specify. 

2) Can we drill into the cement columns. Front or Back side?

 NO.

3)  Does the city own Genie Lifts and would we be able to use one or two for installation/de-install?

The festival can provide a lift as needed for install and de-install – please include in the project installation plan.

4) Is the brick area to the side available for a mural?  And if so, can a mural be painted directly onto the bricks?

We are looking to animate the cement facade, not the brick on the garage. As an aside, it is rare to be able to paint directly onto brick within the City unless the brick is already painted on.

Empire Plaza: 

5) Can we drill into the cement ground to secure elements of the installation?

This is highly unlikely. Attaching to the light poles is preferred. Please provide detail in your installation plan and we will review.

6) Can we tie wire or rope to the lamp posts to secure elements?

Yes, please provide more information in your detailed installation plan.

7) Can we tie wire or rope from the top of 444 Westminster building to the ground for aerial installation?

This is highly unlikely. Attaching to the light poles is preferred.  Please provide detail in your installation plan and we will review.

8)  Are there security camera looking on that area to deter vandalism?

We cannot guarantee security for the work of art in the public realm.

City Hall Apron:

9)  Can we use the space on both sides of the stairs for the installation?

No. The site is contained to the apron at Dorrance and Washington Streets.

10)  If yes, is there electricity on both sides?

Electricity is available – you must use an extension cord with conduit pipe covering the cord. We are working to find a more permanent solution.

11)  Can we drill into the cement to secure elements of the installation?

NO.

12) Are there security cameras looking on that area to deter vandalism?

See number 8. these are installations in the public realm and should be made to meet the durability requirements and safety for the length of the installation.

General:

13)  A few fabricators have let me know that they will need proper plans and an engineering stamp to ensure safety.  Can/does the city provide that kind of service as part of this project?

No. Those expenses will have to be drawn from your artist fee.

14)  Are there certain times we’d be allowed to perform the installation?

Performing alongside or as part of the installation can be arranged relatively easily during PVDFest (June 11-14) but may require more planning/ cannot be guaranteed for the entire duration of the installation (through October). Please provide details in the installation plan and prepare to be flexible.