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Call for Artists - Welcome Race Fans 2018

Posted by Arts Council of Indianapolis ; Posted on 
Public Art; Visual - DEADLINE :  
Call for Artists - Welcome Race Fans 2018


Call to Artists
Request for Qualifications (RFQ)

Project Title: Welcome Race Fans 2018

Budget (per artist): $2,000

Deadline for Submissions: Monday, January 15, 2018 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 and 101st Running of the Indy 500 celebrations, we are pleased to announce Welcome Race Fans 2018. 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 racetracks 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, 12 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. In the second year of Welcome Race Fans, the field of artists was narrowed to 5, but the mission of the program was the same: 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.

In an effort to build on the success of the previous two years, we are announcing this year’s program for the 102nd Running of the Indy 500. For 2018, the program will consist of five artists creating a version of a “Welcome Race Fans” sign in their own unique materials, process, and style.

As with previous years, racing imagery need NOT be included in the final artwork..  However, this year, the theme “This is May” should be taken into consideration and interpreted by the selected artists. This theme is a focus on what the month of May brings to the city of Indianapolis. It’s a celebratory time of year when traditions are at the forefront. The city is energized by an influx of visitors, pageantry, and the lead-up to race day.

All participating artists will retain ownership and copyright in their work, however, during the month of May 2018, 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 may be used to create various print media including but not limited to: Larger-than-life vinyl installations on the Artsgarden, on the Allison Building on Main Street in Speedway and other buildings, billboards, banners and lastly, limited edition commemorative posters, which will be shared with the community as visual reminders of the highly visible collaboration of art & motorsports. Artists will be given credit on any reproductions of their artwork.

In addition to the artist fee, participating artists receive considerable value for their inclusion in this project:  the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Arts Council pay all the production costs for the aforementioned website and printed materials which will receive innumerable views throughout the month leading up to the race.

To learn more about the program and see the wide range of artworks commissioned in last two years, 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
  • Artists from the first round of Welcome Race Fans (2016) are welcome to apply.

Artwork Considerations and Requirements

RFArtists will be asked to create an artwork with imagery and materials of their choosing relating to the “This is May” theme mentioned above.  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 102nd  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:  Finished artworks should be 2’ high by 4’ wide. Any framing should not increase the overall size to more than 2.5’ by 4.5’.
  • 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. Any framing should not increase the overall size to more than 2.5’ by 4.5’. The Arts Council will discuss framing with the artists selected to participate.
  • Content: Artwork should be appropriate for all audiences and relate to or be inspired by the “This is May” theme.

Selection Process

Once qualifications are received from interested artists, representatives from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will assist the Arts Council Artist Services and Public Art team in reviewing artists’ qualifications and making artist selections. Selected artists will be notified shortly thereafter.


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 the aforementioned print media. Neither the Arts Council nor the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will profit from any reproductions of the artist’s work.

All original “Welcome Race Fans” artworks should be for sale. The Arts Council staff will make every effort to try to sell the artwork during the program, and will not take a commission if artwork is sold. Artists will receive 100% of the sale price of the artwork.  The Arts Council and Indianapolis Motor Speedway will direct potential patrons to to learn more about you and your work.

Project Timeline

The project will follow this timeline:

  • December 10, 2017 – Request for Qualifications Released
  • January 15, 2018  Request for Qualifications Deadline
  • January 28, 2018 – Arts Council Notifies Artists of Selection
  • Thru March 5, 2018 – 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 2, 2018 – Completed “Welcome Race Fans” artworks are dropped off or shipped to the Arts Council office to arrive by this date.
  • Late April – May 2018 – “Welcome Race Fans” artworks are displayed in key Indianapolis locations and for the last two weeks in May will be installed at the Pagoda at the IMS.  Print media and other artwork reproduction materials will be distributed or installed around the city.
  • May 27, 2018 – 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500
  • June 30, 2018 – 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. Please copy and paste the form into a Word document.
  • 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.


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 Monday, January 15, 2018. Send the link or transfer to

Contact Information

Lindsey Lord

Public Art and Artist Services Coordinator



Welcome Race Fans! – 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:
18-30                     31-45                     46-60                     Over 60

How do you describe your preferred gender identification?
Gender Variant/Gender Non-conforming

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


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