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Artwork Sought for Ruggles Corridor in Boston

Posted by City of Boston ; Posted on 
Public Art; Visual - DEADLINE :  
Artwork Sought for Ruggles Corridor in Boston
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The City of Boston seeks proposals from artists for a series of accessible and unique artworks along the Ruggles Corridor in the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston that create street level engagement for pedestrians and other travelers of Ruggles Corridor.

BUDGET:  $300,000

ELIGIBILITY: Professional artists

DEADLINE: March 25, noon Eastern time (deadline for written questions is Wednesday, March 18)

NOTE: Applicants must prepare a preliminary narrative concept and budget as part of the application process. This preliminary work is not compensated.

Full RFP available here.

Project Context

Ruggles Street is a dynamic corridor stretching southeast from Ruggles Station, an intermodal transfer station, to Washington Street in Nubian Square. Nubian Square is a historic Boston neighborhood that is the heart of the Roxbury Cultural District, which celebrates Roxbury’s rich arts and cultural assets. Unlike the heavily traversed traffic corridors that parallel Ruggles Street to the northeast (Melnea Cass Boulevard) and southwest (Malcolm X Boulevard), Ruggles Street is largely a local thoroughfare. Primarily traveling through residential neighborhoods, it also borders the athletic fields of Madison Park Technical Vocational High School. Madison Park Village, a well established residential community, and the Dewitt Center, a bustling community center, are located towards the southeast end. The City of Boston Public Works Department’s Ruggles Street Project seeks to increase pedestrian safety and accessibility, calm traffic, improve bike facilities, preserve trees and increase greenscape, and add ornamental street lighting, among other improvements. At a series of public meetings in 2018 and 2019, community members advocated strongly for public art, expressing a preference for wayfinding signage, artistic seating options, and other elements of integrated public art.

Public Art in the Ruggles Corridor

Artists should be aware that there is a public art commission in progress at Dewitt Playground at Madison Park Athletic Complex, an upcoming RFP for a gateway sculpture at the Tremont/ Ruggles Street intersection, several existing murals and an new mural project at Madison Park Technical and Vocational High School, and several existing artworks through the corridor, including the iconic sculpture “Helion” by Robert Amory.

Design Goals and Community Values

Interested artists may wish to take into consideration three themes proposed by residents and stakeholders of the Ruggles corridor neighborhood:

  • Celebrate heritage: Roxbury is a historic Boston neighborhood with a long and unique history. The residents of the neighborhood feel the heritage of Roxbury should be celebrated throughout the corridor.
  • Keep the place: The artwork should reflect the existing aesthetic of the neighborhood and Ruggles Street’s physical position as a strong connecting corridor between two popular transit stations, Ruggles Street Station and Nubian (formerly Dudley) Station.
  • Honor the people: The Roxbury neighborhood is in a period of rapid change. The intensive pace of development in Boston is keenly felt throughout the neighborhood, which has had a historically tumultuous relationship with development. Displacement of long term residents and the related loss of cultural identity are primary concerns for the community.

Artist Scope of Work

The selected artist is responsible for:

  • Conducting site and community research as needed
  • Attend a minimum of two community workshops coordinated by the City
  • Incorporating design feedback from the Boston Art Commission
  • Working with the Mayor’s Office of Arts + Culture, the City of Boston Public Works department, and any subcontractors engaged on the Ruggles Corridor Improvement Project
  • Closely coordinate with the team landscape architect
  • Creating a detailed design of the proposed artwork and associated plans (such as engineering, lighting design, site details, electrical documents, or fabrication) to be presented for final approval from the Boston Art Commission
  • Fabrication of the completed work, documentation, and management and oversight of all implementation and installation in coordination with the City Working Group
  • Creating a maintenance plan and appropriate documentation, including final recommendations for conservation

Timeline

  • Monday, February 24, 2020 RFP available by noon (12 pm) EDT
  • Wednesday, March 25, 2020 Deadline to respond to the RFP, noon (12 pm) EDT
  • April 2020 Interviews with artists; specific date and time TBD (Non-local artists may interview remotely via Google Hangouts)
  • May 2020 Artist contracted Proposed Project Timeline (subject to change)
  • Summer 2020 Artist’s design phase
  • Fall 2020/ Winter 2021 Artist’s fabrication
  • Spring 2021 Public art installation

Selection Criteria

Artist selection will be determined by an Artist Selection Committee comprised of representatives from the neighborhood, the project design team, and the Boston Art Commission. The Artist Selection Committee will review applications using the following criteria:

  • Does the artist’s past work show consistent artistic excellence?
  • Does the artist state a compelling interest in this project?
  • Does the artist’s proposal complement the community values, as well as the Boston Art Commission’s Curatorial Vision?
  • Does the artist demonstrate experience with materials and methods suitable to the site and to their proposal?
  • Does the artist’s past work show successful experience with a series of installations or projects of similar scope, scale, and budget?

Artists whose submissions are non-responsive will not be shared with the selection committee.

What to Submit

  1. Artist Description: Bio, resume, CV, and/or other documents that establish the artist’s background and experience. May include information for team members. PDF, DOC, or DOCX file types only; maximum five files.
  2. Statement of Interest (500 words or fewer): Narrative describing the artist’s interest in this opportunity and how it relates to their past work.
  3. Initial Project Concept (500 words or fewer): Narrative describing an initial artistic concept for this site, as well as any specific or unique processes that the artist would like to propose as part of the project.
  4. Relevant Work Samples: Up to ten images of realized past work that is relevant to this opportunity. One image per file. Please do not include any design or concept images. Drawings or designs specifically created for this opportunity will result in rejection of the application. Accepted file types: JPG, TIFF, or MP4.
  5. Annotated Image List: An annotated image list with title, media, dimensions, location, brief description, date of the work, project budget, and project partners, if applicable. PDF, DOC, or DOCX file types only.
  6. References: Contact information for up to three references for the artist, including at least one that can speak to the artist’s ability to serve as project manager for the life of the project. PDF, DOC, or DOCX file types only.
  7. Itemized Budget: A preliminary budget of project expenses using the template provided in Appendix C of this RFP. If the price proposal is based on time, provide an hourly rate. PDF, DOC, DOCX, XLS, or XLSX file types only.

How to Submit

Submit online only at http://bit.ly/39p6ukc.

QUESTIONS? Contact Sarah Rodrigo, Public Art Project Manager, at sarah.rodrigo@boston.gov. Deadline for content-specific questions is Wednesday, March 18 at noon EDT. Questions and answers will be posted on the Boston.gov/arts website.

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