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Artists Sought for Park Community Center Commission

Posted by Metro Arts ; Posted on 
Public Art; Visual - DEADLINE :  
Artists Sought for Park Community Center Commission




Metro Arts, Nashville, Tennessee, is seeking an artist or artist team to engage with the community and neighborhood surrounding the new Metro Parks’ Smith Springs Community Center and design, fabricate and install an artwork(s) for the interior of the center. The Center is in design development now and is due to be constructed in 2017/2018 at 2801 Smith Springs Road in Southeast Nashville. Metro Arts staff members will present an overview of the project and take questions during a live webinar session on Thursday, January 12, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. Central Time (US & Canada). The live web session will be recorded and available on the Metro Arts website following January 12.

Project Budget
$150,000 for community engagement processes, and development of the artwork or multiple, related artworks for the interior of the Community Center. This figure represents the total artist budget, and includes artists’ fees for community engagement and design development, overhead and operating costs, fabrication costs, all project-related travel, installation costs, and the site preparation costs, plus insurance, contingency and any other project-related costs the artists may incur.

Eligibility: This project is open to professional artists and artist teams who reside within 350 miles of Nashville.

Community History
A historically rural area, the Southeast Nashville community saw signs of suburbanization in the 1960s and 70s. J. Percy Priest Dam was built in the 1960’s creating Percy Priest Lake, a popular reservoir which is the main attraction in the community bringing local citizens and regional guests to the neighborhood. The development of the Hickory Hollow Mall in the 1970’s also brought a lot of new citizens into the community. With these new additions the community experienced economic growth through the 1990s leading to a housing boom in the 90s and early 2000s. With a very scattered pattern of development in the area, the community is now very dependent on vehicles for travel and struggles with traffic because of a lack of street planning during early development. Recently, the community has entered into a process of rejuvenation with new developments to the Hickory Hollow Mall area and the construction of a new park and community center at Southeast. With a variety of new opportunities and strategies for growth in the area, the community is looking to boost its economy and provide more resources for its citizens. The community’s plan calls for a more mixed-use and walkable neighborhood. As the community continues to grow, especially in a variety of populations and in families with children, Smith Springs Community Center will allow citizens to access resources in their community that they might otherwise have to travel further for.

Site Description & Project Scope
Development is currently underway at 2801 Smith Springs Road for a new 15-acre park and community center in the Southeast Nashville community (Smith Springs Park & Community Center). As one of the fastest growing neighborhoods in the Greater Nashville area, the Southeast community takes pride in its open space and greenery and those characteristics are reflected in the plans for the project. The community center will serve a diverse constituency and will be a place where citizens and visitors can organize, exercise, congregate and relax. With plans for a swimming pool, gymnasium and workout room, there will be plenty of indoor activity. However, with Percy Priest Lake just around the corner, the community center will also reflect the importance of nature in the community as it will be surrounded by a woodsy area and park that promotes outdoor recreational activities with features like walking trails and a playground.

The Interior artwork will be located in the lobby of the community center and should serve as a stimulating piece that will visually represent and contribute to the character and texture of the Southeast Nashville community while simultaneously inviting social interaction. There is the potential to place the artwork on a section of the wall that is viewable from both levels of the building or the opportunity to have a hanging piece of artwork that might suspend from the ceiling.

Project Vision
Artists are encouraged to consider the following vision for the project.

The public artwork for the Smith Springs Community Center should:

  • Reflect on and pay homage to the strong agricultural & natural history of the Smith Springs community
  • Visually enhance and promote a positive reputation of the community
  • Resonate with people of all ages and backgrounds
  • Contribute to a vibrant, creative, equitable and inclusive environment


In a broader sense, the project may:

  • Stimulate creative thinking and foster artistic development in the community.
  • Serve as a tool for community development and/or social impact


Project Timeline
Note: The following timeline is a working guide for planning purposes and may be adjusted as necessary.

  • Issue Call to Artists: December 2016
  • Artist Qualification Submissions Due: January 29, 2017
  • Selection Committee Review: February 2017
  • Short-Listed Artists Interviews: February 20 – March 3, 2017
  • Artist Awarded:  March 2017
  • Artist Contracting Process: March 2017
  • Community Engagement Process:  Spring/Summer 2017
  • Fabrication: Summer/Fall 2017
  • Installation:  Fall/Winter 2017-18
  • Dedication:  Winter 2018


Artist Submission Instructions

Before submitting be sure to review the full Call to Artist document.  Please read through carefully before submitting. Incomplete submissions will not be reviewed. No submissions will be accepted after the deadline. Technical questions about the online submission process (i.e. image upload, Submittable account set-up, etc.) should be directed to Submittable’s Help section.

All submissions must be completed online and are due January 29, 2017 at midnight (Central Standard Time). In order to be reviewed, artists will be required to submit the following materials:

  • Letter of Interest. A brief one-page letter of interest addressing the Smith Springs Community Center project.
  • Artwork Images: Up to six (6) digital images of recent work – completed within the last 5 years. (File types accepted: JPG, PNG, GIF, TIFF).
  • Current Artist Résumé: not to exceed four single-sided pages or 2MB. Resume must demonstrate artistic practice as defined by the Public Art Guidelines.
  • References: three people with whom you have worked on an art project who can describe your participation.


How to Apply

Submit online ONLY at Please read applications through carefully before submitting. Incomplete submissions will not be reviewed. No submissions will be accepted after the deadline. Technical questions about the online submission process (i.e. image upload, Submittable account set-up, etc.) should be directed to

QUESTIONS?  Contact Donald Hardin, with “Smith Springs Community Center” in the subject line or call 615-862-6739. Questions will be taken through January 20, 2017.