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The Arts Council of Indianapolis is assembling a pool of artists interested in creating large-scale, painted portrait murals of “legends” important to the growth and culture of Indianapolis. Murals are anticipated to be executed between 2021 and 2023. At least 2-3 murals will be created during the initial phase, with additional murals pending funding.
COMMISSION FEE: $20,000-$30,000 per mural (covers artist labor, materials, and travel expenses; for some murals it may also cover equipment expenses)
ELIGIBILITY: Professional mural artists over 18 and legally able to work onsite in the United States
DEADLINE: November 8, 2020 for murals to be created in spring/summer 2021; artists may provide information after this date to be considered for murals to be created in fall 2021 and later
Full RFQ is attached. Apply at PublicArtist.org The Arts Council can assist you as you navigate the PublicArtist site.
About the Indiana Legends Mural Series
As part of Indianapolis’ Bicentennial celebration (observed between June 1, 2020 and May 31, 2021), the Arts Council of Indianapolis is beginning a long-term, deliberate effort to convene community conversations around the concept of “legends,” and to commission new, civic-scale portrait murals of legendary Indiana figures.
Although it is being started during the Bicentennial, and the goal is to identify “legends” who embody the Bicentennial values of History, Civic Pride, Innovation, and Legacy, the Arts Council anticipates creating Legends murals past the dates of the Bicentennial celebration.
We are defining the concept broadly: legends do not have to be world-famous, but they must have had an impact on the people, places, and culture of Indiana and Indianapolis. We are particularly interested in identifying legends who are “unsung,” or whose importance may have been historically overlooked because of their race, gender, economic status, or social class.
The murals will convey a recognizable likeness of the individual(s) portrayed, and will also seek to highlight each mural artist’s interpretation of the individual’s legendary nature in their own style. As these murals are commissioned, the Arts Council will also partner with Indiana Humanities to commission Indiana-based writers (including authors, poets, and/or spoken word artists) to create reflections on the legend and legacy of each individual. Writers will be identified through a separate process.
Because of the Bicentennial celebration, the first several murals will be Indiana figures who had an attributable impact on Indianapolis specifically.
Learn more about the Legends mural series at the Arts Council website.
The first Legends mural subject: Marshall “Major” Taylor
The first mural subject identified is “Major” Taylor, whose portrait mural will be created in the late spring or early summer of 2021.
Indianapolis-born bicycle racer Marshall Walter “Major” Taylor (1878-1932) was one of this country’s first Black sports superstars and only the second Black world champion in any sport. He was the world cycling champion in 1899, American sprint champion in 1900, and set numerous international track cycling records. In an era of strict racial segregation, Taylor had to fight prejudice just to get on the starting line. Taylor is an inspiration and model for today, not only for his athletic achievements in the face of unrelenting racism, but also because of his integrity, generosity of spirit, concern for others, and invaluable contribution to America’s non-violent struggle for equality.
Description of Opportunity
The Arts Council is inviting artists interested in executing these civic-scale portrait murals to submit information about themselves and their work, to be held in a “pool” of artists for consideration for future commissions.
This is a non-juried pool. The community stakeholder committee convened for each portrait mural will review everyone whose work is in the pool at the time and will select artists to be compensated to create design proposals for specific murals. Some murals may require a special jury process or, based on the partnerships involved, may require their artists to be identified in a different manner; however, we anticipate that nearly all mural projects will be commissioned from artists who have submitted their information to this pool. Artists may submit information to the pool at any time. Submitting your information does not guarantee consideration for a commission.
Concurrent with this process, a limited number of emerging Indianapolis-based muralists may be identified as “apprentices,” who will be provided with the opportunity to work with the commissioned “lead” artist on their project at the Arts Council’s expense. Artists interested in being considered for apprenticeships should so indicate in the online application form. Apprentices will be compensated separately from the lead artist’s fee.
Artists who have submitted their information will be contacted if a match is made between the artist’s skill and the particulars of each portrait mural. Artists are encouraged to keep their information updated, and will be contacted periodically to provide new images and updated experience information.
As artists are identified to provide design proposals, they will be informed as to the budget of the particular mural project they are invited to design for. Artist fees for Legends murals include compensation for artists’ engagements with the community, design work, installation, travel and lodging, and meals. Depending on the site, the artist may also be compensated to rent the necessary equipment to execute the mural.
At all times the selection process will adhere to the Arts Council’s established principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Read the Arts Council’s Equity Statement, and learn about our commitment to substantive change for Indy’s Black artists.
Although the artist pool itself is not juried, we anticipate that the following criteria will be used by stakeholder groups when identifying artists as finalists to create design proposals for specific murals:
What to Submit
The following information will be required from each artist interested in being part of the muralist pool. Information will be provided digitally (see below under “How to Submit” for details).
Information about past projects:
Demographic profile: All questions are optional; however, including them will help us more closely match artists, communities, and portrait subjects
How to Submit
Submit ONLINE ONLY via PublicArtist.org.
QUESTIONS? Contact Julia Muney Moore, Director of Public Art, Arts Council of Indianapolis: firstname.lastname@example.org or (317) 631-3301 x240.
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