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Arts Council Seeks Artists for 2nd Annual Welcome Race Fans Project

Posted by Arts Council of Indianapolis and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway ; Posted on 
Public Art; Visual - DEADLINE :  
Arts Council Seeks Artists for 2nd Annual Welcome Race Fans Project



Call to Artists – Request for Qualifications (RFQ)

Project Title: Welcome Race Fans 2017

Budget (per artist): $2,000

Deadline for Submissions: Friday, February 17, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. (EDT)

Program Specifics

With the wide-ranging success of the inaugural Welcome Race Fans collaboration between the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Arts Council of Indianapolis to incorporate Indiana artists and original artwork into the 100th Running of the Indy 500 celebration, we are pleased to announce Welcome Race Fans 2017. The original concept called for the commission of 33 painting by 33 Indiana artists to celebrate the once-in- a-lifetime event, the 100th Running of the Indy 500. The art program garnered attention from news media regionally and nationally as well as interest from other cities and race tracks around the country including the Texas Motor Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and The Grand Prix held in St. Petersburg, Florida. Out of the 33 original artworks, 11 of the artworks sold to new patrons during the celebration. 100% of the proceeds from the sale of these artworks went directly to the artists. To learn more about the initial program and see the artwork, visit

In an effort to build on this success we are announcing a new program for the 101st Running of the Indy 500 that will commission 5 artists to create 5 new artworks in a similar fashion as the original program. As with the original program, we plan to highlight one of the most visible and iconic visuals associated with May in Indianapolis – the blanketing of the city with “Welcome Race Fans” signs. Some are corporate sponsored ads, while others are hand crafted by loyal fans. This iconic symbol of Hoosier hospitality will be used as the basis of another citywide art initiative to present commissioned artworks from 5 Indiana artists.

Each of the 5 artists will be paid $2,000 each and asked to create their own version of a “Welcome Race Fans” sign in their own style and medium. The artists will retain ownership and copyright in the work, but during the month of May of 2017, the original artworks will appear in key locations around the city including the Indianapolis Artsgarden and the 500 Festival offices and finally installed for race week at the iconic Pagoda at the Speedway. In addition, reproductions of artworks will be used to create limited edition commemorative posters and banners to be shared with the community as visual reminders of the highly visible collaboration of art & motorsports.

Artists will be asked to create a unique piece of artwork that reflects their own style and practice. Racing need NOT be a part of your artwork design. To see the wide range of artworks commissioned last year, visit

Eligibility Requirements

To qualify for this program, artists must:

  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • Work as a professional artist or artist team
  • Live in or have very strong ties to Indiana
  • Be willing to meet all contractual obligations and adhere to a strict timeline

Artwork Considerations and Requirements

Artists will be asked to create an artwork with imagery and materials of their choosing. The imagery does not necessarily need to be racing related. This project is meant to showcase the original styles of Indiana artists while welcoming visitors to Indy for the citywide celebration of the 101st running. Though racing imagery is not a requirement, if you choose to include it, the Arts Council and Indianapolis Motor Speedway will advise artists on how to properly use copyrighted photos and other material with required permissions.

Completed artwork should adhere to the following standards:

  • Measurements: Artists may select the size of their artwork but should be at least 2’ high by 4’ wide, but no greater than 4’ high by 6’ wide.
  • Weight: No more than 30 lbs.
  • Hanging: Must be delivered ready to hang using picture wire, D-rings, or other standard methods.
  • Required text: The words “Welcome Race Fans” (without quotes) must appear in the artwork and must be placed horizontally. You may choose to use all uppercase (EXAMPLE) or title case lettering (Example Two). Uppercase letters should be at least 6” tall. A good list of typography and hand-lettering resources is found at:
  • Materials: Artists are not limited to 2D materials, however, any 3D elements should not protrude more than 3” from the wall when hung.
  • Framing: If your artwork needs framing to be protected, frames should be minimal and simple. The Arts Council will discuss framing with the artists selected to participate.
  • Content: Artwork should be appropriate for all audiences.

Selection Process

Once qualifications are received from interested artists, representatives from the Arts Council’s Public Art Selection Committee and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will assist the Arts Council in reviewing artists’ qualifications and will make recommendations. Selected artists will be notified shortly thereafter. The Public Art Selection Committee consists of prominent experts in their respective fields and includes artists, arts advocates, curators, administrators, and other arts and community development specialists.


The artist fee for the project is a flat $2,000 per artist. Artists are expected to cover all expenses for materials, supplies, labor, photography, and equipment needed to

complete and ship/deliver their artwork and a high-quality digital photograph of it. The fee also includes compensation for licensing the Arts Council to reproduce the artwork as part of the project, including creating a commemorative poster that will be provided free to the public. Neither the Arts Council nor the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will profit from any reproductions of the artist’s work.

All artwork should be for sale. The Arts Council staff will make every effort to try to sell the artwork during the program, but will not take a commission if artwork is sold. Artists will receive 100% of the sale price of the artwork.

Project Timeline

The project will follow this timeline:

  • February 1, 2017 – Request for Qualifications Released
  • February 17, 2017 – Request for Qualifications Deadline
  • February 24, 2017 – Arts Council Notifies Artists of Selection
  • Thru March 10, 2017 – Sketch Review. Artists will send in preliminary sketches for approval. Turning in sketches earlier during this window is encouraged, as it will allow for more time for the artist to complete the final artwork.
  • April 15, 2017 – Completed artworks are dropped off or shipped to the Arts Council office to arrive by this date.
  • Late April – May 2017 – Artworks are displayed in key Indianapolis locations and for the last two weeks in May will be installed at the Pagoda at the IMS.
  • May 28, 2016 – 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500
  • June 30, 2017 – Anticipated return of original artworks to artists

Submission Process

Artists must submit the following information via or

(Send the link or transfer to

  • Applicant Information: Complete the RFQ Form below by copying and pasting into a Word Doc.
  • Professional Resume or CV: No longer than 3 pages
  • Work Samples and Work Sample List: Submit examples of past work from the last 5 years that best represents your experience, style, and ability. Include a list of the work samples included and as much information about each of the samples as possible (include name/title of piece, medium, process, dimensions, year completed, and any other pertinent information). Name your submitted digital files according to the following format: FirstLast_01.jpg, FirstLast_02.jpg, etc. Here is an example of a Work Sample entry:
    • 1. Searching and Finding, acrylic on canvas, 3’ x 4’, 2009, JaneArtist_01.jpg.
  • WORK SAMPLES MAY INCLUDE: Digital images (up to 10)
    • Jpeg files ONLY
    • Image Size: Good quality, no smaller than 72 dpi
    • No larger than 1MB each

All images should be professional quality photographs of your work. If you need a referral to a professional photographer who specializes in working with artists, please view the Artist Resources Directory at

Delivery of Submissions

All required materials must be received by 5:00 pm (EDT) on Friday, February 17, 2017. Send the link or transfer to

Contact Information

Lindsey Lord
Public Art and Artist Services Coordinator

For more information about the Arts Council of Indianapolis, please visit


Applicant Information Form:

Artist Name:
Mailing Address:
Day Phone:
Evening Phone:

If you live outside of Indiana, what is your connection to the state?

Demographic Profile (optional)


Age range:
O  18-30
O  46-60
O  Over 60

O  Female
O  Male

Highest Level of Education Attained:
O  Some High School High School/GED
O  Some College 2-Year College (Associates)
O  4-Year College (BA, BS) Masters Degree
O  Doctoral Degree Professional Degree (MD, JD)