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Atlanta Seeks Artist for MLK Jr. Sculpture

Posted by City of Atlanta ; Posted on 
Public Art; Visual - DEADLINE :  
Atlanta Seeks Artist for MLK Jr. Sculpture



The City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs invites artists and artist teams to submit their qualifications to execute a site-specific statue of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. that will be installed near the entryway of Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive at Northside Drive in Atlanta, Georgia (opposite the Mercedes-Benz Stadium). The artwork will be near the entryway of the 7.2 mile east-west corridor that connects points of interest such as the new Mercedes Benz Stadium, the Atlanta University Center, the Atlanta BeltLine, Westview Cemetery, and several MARTA bus stops.

Budget: $350,000 including all artist fees, engineering, fabrication, foundations, lighting, pedestal design build, installation, insurance, permitting, and travel costs.

Eligibility:  Professional bronze sculptors with portfolios that demonstrate monumental scale portrait sculptures

Deadline: 02/20/2018 5:00 PM Central Time

Full RFQ available at:

Project Description

Years of community-driven planning, detailed analyses, stakeholder support, and political and financial commitment have come together and integrated social justice to transform the corridor in the heart of Atlanta into a world-class “boulevard.” Named for Atlanta’s most famous resident, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive corridor carries some 28,000 motorists a day and MARTA, which provides local bus service on and parallels the corridor with four heavy rail stations, provides 438,000 trips per weekday.

The goal of the coming together of these entities is to transform, through tailored, multi-modal improvements and complementary workforce capacity building, business recruitment, socio-cultural preservation, and green infrastructure. It will further the City of Atlanta’s vision to preserve its historical past, maintain the livability of the present, and transform its future through the highest quality of implementation to enhance the level of service it provides to all people of Atlanta.

MLK, Jr. Drive is a heavily used east-west corridor linking points of interest such as Downtown Atlanta (which includes the government center), Philips Arena, the new Mercedes Benz Stadium, Atlanta University Center (Morehouse College, Spelman College, Clark Atlanta University and Morehouse School of Medicine), historic Westview Cemetery, four MARTA heavy rail stations, and the Fulton County Airport-Brown Field. Suburban and historic urban neighborhoods line the corridor alongside notable parks such as Mozley Park and Washington Park and other community facilities such as the historic Booker T. Washington High School, Adamsville Recreation Center, the Atlanta BeltLine, and the Lionel Hampton Multi-use Trail. The corridor also parallels I-20, the region’s major east-west freeway and crosses I-285, the region’s perimeter freeway. At the intersection of Ralph David Abernathy Boulevard, MLK, Jr. Drive becomes State Route 139 going westward past historic Westview Cemetery, through the Adamsville community and eventually to the Atlanta city limits and Fulton Industrial Boulevard in unincorporated Fulton County. The corridor is served by 14 local and one express bus route and is located near portions of regional multi-use trail systems that currently have limited connectivity. The eastern end of the corridor intersects with the Atlanta BeltLine Southwest Trail that is currently under construction.

The area’s culture is internationally significant. It was home to intellectual leaders of human rights, including W.E.B. DuBois, Booker T. Washington, and the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr.

Artwork Location Description
The bronze statue will be installed in the median of the street and should be 12’ tall atop a 6’ foundation. Electricity will be provided at the site so that the statue can be lit from the foundation. The site is approximately 380 feet from the intersection of MLK, Jr. Drive and Northside Drive in Atlanta Georgia (opposite the intersection is the Mercedes Benz Stadium). The median is 13’ wide and the site around the installation will be landscaped assuring that the site is accessible and complementary to the statue.

Required Application Materials

  1. Statement of Interest. In one page using no smaller than 10pt font, address the conceptual approach of the project; aspects of the site that are of interest; how you would engage the public; and, how the project will contribute to your existing body of work.
  2. Résumé that outlines professional accomplishments (maximum 2 pages per person). Include three professional references (name, affiliated organization, email address and phone number).
  3. List of works submitted for review that includes title, location, date completed/performed, media, brief description of the project/conceptual information, and budget (if applicable).
  4. Past Work Samples. Submit work samples in one or more of the formats listed below. If a team consists of performance artists and visual artists, the submission would include images of past work.

Selection Criteria
The artist will be selected based on the following criteria:

  • Artistic merit and technical expertise
  • Demonstrated successful, innovative and effective approach to public art projects of a similar scope
  • Ability to successfully execute a public art project in a culturally rich and complex area
  • Express interest in creating artwork for the opportunities presented by this request for qualifications

It is expected that the term of the contract shall be for a period not to exceed twelve (12) months for the design and fabrication services required.

  • January 19, 2018: RFQ issued
  • February 9, 2018: Deadline for submitting questions
  • February 20, 2018: Qualifications due
  • February 23, 2018: Evaluation of qualifications with stakeholder committee
  • March 1, 2018: Top three artists or artist teams are notified
  • April 2, 2018: Finalist team presentation/ interviews
  • April 12, 2018 Artist or artist team selected and announced
  • January 27th, 2019: Anticipated completion and installation of final artwork

How to Submit
Submit online ONLY via the CaFE system:  Do not mail or email your submission.

QUESTIONS?  Contact Robert Witherspoon,



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