Arts Council Seeks Artists For Wall-Based Public Art

Posted by Indy Arts Council ; Posted on 
Public Art; Visual - DEADLINE :  
Arts Council Seeks Artists For Wall-Based Public Art




The Arts Council of Indianapolis, in partnership with the Buckingham Companies, requests the qualifications of artists interested in completing permanent, exterior artworks for the planned Living Alley at Buckingham’s Library Square property, located at 923 N. Meridian St. in Indianapolis. One site is a three-story wall surface; the other site is a one-story wall surface.  Projects will be completed sequentially. The total artwork budget is $200,000.


Artists and artist-led teams with all members over 18 and living in the United States are eligible to submit their qualifications.  Prior experience with creating wall-based work at the indicated scale is required; previous public art project experience is preferred.  Artists living in Indianapolis/Marion County are encouraged to apply.

Project Budget

The artwork budget for both Phase 1 and Phase 2 is $200,000, to include the artist’s fee, professional consultants, travel, shipping/delivery, and all costs necessary to realize the physical artwork. Any needed infrastructure, such as power and data lines stubbed through the wall to the artwork site, will be provided by the site owner.

Project Context

Buckingham is a full-service real estate firm based in Indianapolis, specializing in the development, construction, and management of mixed-use, multi-family, commercial, and hospitality projects. With more than 30 years of experience, Buckingham has grown consistently despite ever-changing market conditions and constant shifts in trends and preferences in the real estate industry. Buckingham strives to create award-winning environments where art takes center stage.

Buckingham’s new and historic residential and mixed-use properties located between 9th St. and St. Joseph St. and between Meridian Street and Pennsylvania Street—separate properties co-branded as Library Square—offer downtown accessibility with an exciting dose of arts and culture.  The Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library, the Arts Council of Indianapolis with its Gallery 924, and The Cabaret’s new Christel DeHaan Theatre are located immediately adjacent to Library Square, and it is a short walk to the Indianapolis Cultural Trail and the Phoenix Theatre’s forthcoming new home and performance complex.  Buckingham is partnering with the Arts Council to enhance Library Square with public art appropriate to the location and the residential concept.

The Living Alley, located just north of The Congress at Library Square, is envisioned as an opportunity for Library Square residents and commercial tenants to socialize in the open air or simply to relax in a garden setting. The Living Alley will include a courtyard area with benches, fire pits, and grills for all surrounding neighbors, office tenants and residents to gather.

Other planned artistic amenities around Library Square include poetry incorporated into the sidewalks, creative crosswalks, thoughtful lighting, and imaginative landscaping.

Description of Opportunity

There are two phases to this project.  Phase 1 is the execution of an artwork on a three-story wall; phase 2 is the execution of an artwork on an adjacent one-story wall that is perpendicular to it.  The same artist may be commissioned for both phases, or different artists may create separate works.

Phase 1:  Three-story wall

The three-story artwork is intended as an inspiring backdrop to the Living Alley experience.  Approaches could include a painted mural, mosaic tile, wall-mounted sculptural elements, glass and/or metal, or a light-based presentation, which may incorporate interactivity.

The wall is on a pre-existing building, and there are no plans to alter the wall. The current wall surface is unpainted concrete block. Existing electrical lines currently attached to the wall must remain and should be incorporated into the artwork design. The existing metal chase cover cannot be removed; however, it may be painted, sculptural elements may be attached to it, or it may be otherwise disguised as long as there is space for the free flow of air through the top. Ideally, the strong design element of the vent cover will be incorporated into the overall design of the three-story artwork.

The lowest eight feet (or so) of the wall surface will not be an integral element of the Living Alley wall artwork:  it is the backdrop to a planned basketball court area. Nevertheless, the artwork design should incorporate some minimally aesthetic treatment of that area that will be able to be easily maintained.

Although the artwork is best experienced from within the courtyard, it will be visible from adjacent streets.  Artists should consider how the non-resident public would experience the artwork as well as the experience of Library Square tenants accessing the private courtyard.

The estimated budget for the Phase 1 wall is $160,000-$165,000.

Phase 2:  One-story “lead-in” wall

The one-story artwork is intended to usher residents and business tenants into the Living Alley area from the Meridian Street entrance, and will complement the adjacent three-story artwork (Phase 1) although it may be created by a different artist.  The building’s windows and doors will remain functional; the artist’s design must include the ability for people inside the building to see out through the windows and operate them without restriction.  A painted mural, perhaps with elements in perforated adhesive vinyl (for the windows) and/or mosaic tile, is the preferred scheme for this surface.

The estimated budget for the Phase 2 wall is $35,000-$40,000.

Artwork Goals

The content and imagery of the artworks can be in any form as long as it is sensitive to the potential uses of the courtyard.  Non-traditional and conceptual approaches and formats are welcome; however, the overall artwork design should complement the contemporary “look” of the adjacent building while still being appropriate to the nearby historic structures of Library Square.

The artwork must be permanent, safe, easy to maintain, engaging for the public, and accessible throughout the year. The artwork must be compatible with unsupervised public use.

Project Calendar

This is the project calendar as it now appears. The design and fabrication plan for the commissioned artwork may result in changes.

  • November 10, 2017:  RFQ issued
  • Friday, December 22, 2017, 11:59 p.m. Mountain Standard Time:  Qualifications due (this is not a postmark deadline!)
  • by January 19, 2018:  Finalists notified
  • Week of January 22, 2018:  Proposal agreements issued
  • January 29-March 16, 2018:  Proposal development
  • Friday, March 16, 2018: Proposals due
  • Week of March 26, 2018:  Proposal presentations (if required)
  • By March 30, 2018:  Selection of artwork and notification of status
  • By April 16, 2018:  Design and fabrication agreement issued to selected artist/team
  • March, 2018:  The Congress opens to residents
  • April-June, 2018: Design development and coordination with Buckingham team
  • Late June, 2018:  Notice to Proceed with Phase 1 fabrication
  • June – September 2018:  Phase 1 fabrication (dates TBD depending on artwork design)
  • October, 2018:  Phase 1 artwork installed (dates TBD depending on artwork design)
  • TBD (2019):  Phase 2 artwork fabricated and installed

Selection Process

Qualifications will be reviewed by a panel consisting of representation from the Arts Council of Indianapolis’ Public Art Selection Committee and the Buckingham Companies.  The panel will select up to six finalists and compensate each finalist $1,000.00 (plus a travel stipend) to create a conceptual proposal. Finalists will have the opportunity to meet with the project team, research the program, and understand the site as they develop their proposals.   The panel will reconvene to review finalists’ proposals and select an artist(s) to complete their proposed artwork(s).

Selection Criteria

Submissions will be evaluated based on the following:

Artistic quality:  artist’s submission displays a record of appropriate, yet innovative, concepts brought to a site or project, and documents creative and stylistically distinctive solutions to design and site challenges

Aesthetic sensibility:  artist’s work displays an aesthetic that would be desirable for this project

Technical ability:  artist’s submission indicates skill with materials and techniques similar to those that would be required for this project

Experience:  artist’s submission has indicated familiarity with clients and conditions similar to those that would be used on this project, or has demonstrated the ability on past projects to quickly acquire the skills needed to be successful on a project similar to this one

Process:  artist’s submission indicates that the working relationship will be pleasant and the completed project will successfully meet likely challenges, including completing all documentation and managing the given project budget

How to Apply

Applications will be received ONLY through the system. There is no application fee.  Visit for information about how to create a free profile and submit to listed calls. All applications must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. Mountain Standard Time on Friday, December 22, 2017.  For assistance with the CaFE system, visit or email

  • DO NOT apply to this call via email or file transfer site
  • DO NOT mail or hand-deliver your submission on CD!

Direct link to call:

What to Submit

  • Statement of Approach: This text should be a maximum of 5000 characters and should discuss your general artistic approach, why you are interested in this commission, anything you feel uniquely qualifies you to create this artwork, and how you would go about creating a conceptual design. Please do not submit any details about a potential artwork:  this is not a request for a proposal!
  • Applicant Information: Please upload a professional resume or CV, no longer than 3 pages, outlining your artistic experience and education. Ensure that the listed artist contact information is current, complete and reliable. This should be a digital file in Word or PDF format.
  • References:  Please upload a list of three to five individuals (ideally, these are past public art clients) who are familiar with your work from past projects and can speak to the likelihood of a successful outcome. Full contact information (name, title, affiliation, phone numbers, email addresses and land mail address) should be provided for each individual.
  • Work Samples: (up to 20 total; of these, no more than 6 can be video samples).
    • Please submit at least 5, but up to 20, examples of completed or previously proposed commissioned artwork that best represent your experience, style, and ability as it would apply to this project.  If you have not previously completed any commissioned artwork, you may submit examples of any other pieces that best represent your work over the past 5 years in the style, medium and/or aesthetic you intend for the current opportunity.
    • If your artwork requires video documentation, please limit each video to 2 minutes. Please include no more than six (6) video files.  For formatting instructions, visit
    • Still images should be of good quality, minimum 3” x 5” and minimum 72 dpi, and limited to 5 MB file size in .jpg or .jpeg format.  For formatting instructions, visit
    • Do not submit hard copies – submit electronic files only
    • You may submit detailed images of individual artworks within the 20-image limit.
  • Work Sample Descriptions: Provide the following information about each of the samples:  name/title of piece, year completed, client name, location, medium, dimensions, process, design challenge and solution, commission amount, and any other applicable and pertinent information.  If it was not a commissioned piece, please provide a very brief statement of the intent of the artwork.  Here is an example of a an entry:
    • 1. Smith_01.jpg Searching and Finding, 2009, Arts Council of Indianapolis, 123 N. Main Street, Indianapolis, IN, artists’ acrylics hand-painted on previously painted brick, 10’ x 30’, $50,000.  The mural was intended to highlight the neighborhood culture and was developed after a series of neighborhood meetings.


For more information

Contact Julia Moore at the Arts Council of Indianapolis: or (317) 631-3301 x240.

Arts Council of Indianapolis Equity Statement

The Arts Council of Indianapolis is committed to working with the arts and cultural community to cultivate a sector that serves, celebrates, and values every resident of Indianapolis. We envision a city where engagement in the arts is not pre-determined by socio-economic status, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or disability. We see a robust and successful arts and cultural community as:

  • A city where all artists, creative workers, audiences, and students have full access to the robust creative arts resources of our community and in which their varied histories, voices, and life experiences are honored.
  • A city where equitable access to arts funding and programs for all arts organizations and artists is expected and delivered.
  • A city where such funding and programs unite arts organizations and artists with diverse populations in our community to nurture a community where every resident sees themselves as belonging, learning, and participating in the arts sector.

We believe these closely held tenets will sustain a full creative life for all.