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Chicago Financial Company Seeks 2-Story Atrium Sculpture

Posted by Robert W Baird & Co. ; Posted on 
Public Art; Visual - DEADLINE :  
Chicago Financial Company Seeks 2-Story Atrium Sculpture


Robert W. Baird & Company Inc. in Chicago, IL, is commissioning a 2-story sculptural element that visually connects the two floors of a Conference Center and runs parallel to the open, white and glass staircase. Functionally, the piece is also a screening device that is intended to provide some additional privacy for the adjacent conference rooms.

Budget:  $125,000 – $175,000

Eligibility: Professional artists and teams of artists and design professionals who have experience managing, designing and completing site-specific art commissions with a budget over $50,000 within the past eight (8) years

Deadline:  02/28/2018 3pm Central Standard Time

View full RFQ with site images and dimensioned plans here.

About the Company

For more than 90 years, Baird has been a strong, stable and trusted financial partner across generations and through many market cycles. Today Baird serves individuals, families, businesses and communities across the United States as well as institutional clients around the globe from more than 100 offices on three continents. Baird is employee-owned and strong, profitable and with a real strength that comes from the trust and confidence their clients place in them, best exemplified by the

$171 billion in assets clients have entrusted to Baird. They have numerous awards and accolades, and Baird has a long tradition of supporting charities and of giving back to the communities where associates live and work.

Site for Artwork

The artwork will be located inside an office suite in a high-rise office building (227 W. Monroe) in Chicago, IL. Occupying the 55, 56 and 57 floors of a high rise in Chicago’s Loop, are Baird’s Global Investment Banking (GIB) and Fixed Income (Trading) groups. The light-filled, modern office space for 270 employees will promote transparency and collaboration in 58,500 square feet of newly renovated office space. The open stair connecting the 56 and 57 floor is the centerpiece and is visible from the elevator lobbies on the 56 and 57 floors. Surrounding the centerpiece stairs on both floors is a Conference Center which will be used primarily for meeting with clients. The GIB cafe, located on the 56 floor, is also adjacent to the open staircase. It will be the only café space for the employees so will be a gathering place for all to eat and meet. The rest of the space on the three floors is occupied by open office, private offices and internal meeting spaces.

Artwork Requirements

Mixed media is acceptable, but must be all non-combustible materials (which means NO fabric/textiles or wood). Other acceptable media include glass, metal, ceramics/mosaics, sculpture, and suspended/mobiles. It can include light, but the piece is not primarily a light sculpture nor a light fixture. The current expectation is for a series of panels, which the architect plans to support by steel plates and 3/4” diameter threaded steel hanger rods.

The initial concept represents the client’s brand, an overlapping chevron-type pattern that echoes their corporate logo. Other themes for the piece could be derived from the client’s global presence, services they provide, corporate values or culture or the quality of services they provide to their own clients. The overall look and feel of the space is modern and clean with a neutral material palette punctuated by bright furniture pieces.

Selection Criteria

  • Artistic aesthetic
  • Demonstrates the ability to work collaboratively with architectural and planning groups
  • Demonstrates the ability to design a site-specific work
  • Quality of work samples

The commissioning body plans to select 3 finalists for this opportunity, who will each be asked to create a design proposal. These finalists will receive a $1,250 honorarium to develop a full proposal.


  • Applications accepted: February 7, 2018
  • Deadline to apply: February 28, 2018
  • Finalists selection: March 23, 2018
  • Proposal deadline: April 23, 2018
  • Final artist selection: May 2018
  • Project installation: August 2018

How to apply

Applications accepted ONLY through the CODAworx RFP Portal:

Sign up for a free account to submit your application. You may return to your application before it is submitted by clicking the portal link above or by

clicking your name in the top right and selecting “RFP Dashboard”.

Required information for this application:

  1. Résumé/CV:  Submit a brief, current résumé or CV including contact information, your website, previous relevant art commissions, design team experience, exhibitions, awards, grants, education, and at least 3 art and/or design professionals as references who have detailed knowledge of the artist’s work and working methods, including fulfilling deadlines, working with the community, etc. Include contact name, organization, address, telephone, and email for each reference.
  2. Letter of Interest:  Please include the following:Name, address, telephone, email, and website for all artist/design team members.Your interest in this project and your experience working on comparable projects.

    Your experience with architectural and engineering project teams.

    Your philosophy on public art, its integration into surrounding environment and how your work and experience will complement this project.

    Your eligibility with the multiple criteria for this project from the Selection Criteria section of this RFQ.

  3. Artwork Images:  In the “Images of Your Work” section of your application on CODAworx, please upload three (3) to five (5) examples of relevant artwork as your submission. For each image, you will be prompted to upload a main image. The application screen will also prompt you to specify the title of the artwork, location, year completed, medium, and dimensions. Images must be JPEG or PNG file format with a minimum of 620px width and maximum file size of 5MB. Horizontal images are recommended.You have the option to provide more images and information for your completed artwork by publishing a CODAworx “project.” With a CODAworx “project” you can include additional images and more information about projects or artwork you have completed in the past. Follow the link below to publish the additional images and information for your application:

QUESTIONS?  Contact Stefanie O’Keefe, RFP Specialist, or (608) 347-9621.


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