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It's My City Chalk Project Seeks Artists - UPDATED

Posted by It's My City ; Posted on 
Public Art; Visual - DEADLINE :  
It's My City Chalk Project Seeks Artists - UPDATED



Call to Artists:  Request for Qualifications (RFQ)

Project Title:  It’s My City/Indy DO Day Chalk Art Project

Deadline for Submissions – Monday, August 7, 2017 by 5:00 PM (EDT).  No exceptions.

**Due to a change in the scope of the project, this call for artists is being re-released.  If you have previously applied for this project, you do not need to resubmit your materials.  If you have any questions about the re-release of this call, please email

Eligibility Requirements

To qualify, artists must:

  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • Work as a professional artist, artist team, or enrolled art students (undergrad or graduate)
  • Live in Indiana
  • Be willing to meet all contractual obligations and adhere to a strict timeline

Program Specifics

In collaboration with Keep Indianapolis Beautiful (KIB), the City of Indianapolis Indy Chamber, Indy Parks, Rotary Club of Indianapolis, IU Health, Lilly, Big Car, Reconnecting to Our Waterways, Sapphire Theatre Company, IndyHub, Plan 2020, Downtown Indianapolis, Inc. and Visit Indy, the Arts Council of Indianapolis is requesting qualifications from artists or artist teams who are interested in working with community members to create a temporary outdoor public artwork using chalk.  This RFQ is an open call to experienced artists or artist teams living in Indiana.

The project aims to unite the Indianapolis community by raising awareness about the virtues of a clean, green, and beautiful city, a three-year initiative begun in March 2016 through the #ItsMyCity campaign.  The artwork will highlight our parks, trails, and outdoor cultural spaces, as well as ignite a recommitment to civic engagement and good citizenship through participation in the event on Indy Do Day (September 28, 2017).

The project is envisioned to be up to 20 chalk art “nodes” in parking lots or other large hardscape spaces, joined together by sidewalks and trails using linear stencil designs. Community participants will ultimately create a chalk art path that circles and traverses much of Indianapolis.

The 20 “nodes ” are in some of the following locations.  Locations subject to additions and changes.

(See also Project Map image below):

  • Bursdal Parkway
  • Indianapolis Cultural Trail at the 10th Street Connector
  • Mass Ave at College
  • State Fairgrounds (Monon Trail / Fall Creek Trail)
  • Julia M. Carson Transit Center
  • Cummins Distribution Headquarters
  • Eskenazi Hospital
  • 38th and Maple Road
  • Meridian Street Bridge at Fall Creek
  • Pleasant Run Parkway)
  • Riverside Park – Parks Property (White River Trail)
  • Garfield Park – Parks Property (Pleasant Run Trail)
  • Hurvey Street Intersection
  • Ringgold Intersection
  • White River Parkway
  • White River State Park
  • Canal Tow Path at Broad Ripple

Up to 20 artists/teams will be commissioned to create designs reflective of the theme of this first year of the It’s My City campaign: Clean. Designs can convey anti-litter messaging as well as incorporate the demographics and cultural identity of the area to which they are assigned and the overarching goals of the It’s My City initiative. Artists will create a 2 – 4 color, paint-by-number type design for a larger area (“nodes”) (approx. 2,400 sq. feet) of chalk art to be completed by the community as well as identifying elements to be included in a simple linear design that volunteers will create as a stencil to link the 20 “nodes” into a wayfinding pathway. Artists will be responsible for creating the node outlines prior to September 28 and coding their design for coloring-in by community members.  On the day of the project, artists will be on hand to direct participating community members in the realization of their artworks.


It’s My City:

Selection Process

Members of the Arts Council’s Public Art Selection Committee, with representatives from the It’s My City coalition, will review artists’ qualifications and recommend finalists. No designs are required as part of the artist’s application materials!

The Public Art Selection Committee consists of prominent experts in their respective fields and includes artists, arts advocates, curators, administrators, and other arts and community development specialists.

Note:  while this is the intended selection process, in the event of an insufficient number of qualified applicants the Arts Council and aforementioned partners reserve the right to change the process to a Request for Proposals, to invite an artist to propose, or to directly select an artist or artwork; and also reserve the right to cancel the opportunity entirely at any point and for any reason, as the best interests of the project may dictate.

Selection Criteria

Participating artists will be selected based on the following criteria:

Artistic quality:  artist’s submission displays a record of appropriate, yet innovative, concepts brought to a site or project, and documents creative and stylistically distinctive solutions to design and site issues

Aesthetic sensibility:  artist’s work displays an aesthetic that would be desirable for this project

Technical ability:  artist’s submission indicates skill with materials and techniques similar to those that would be required for this project. (Technical facility using spray chalk or chalk paint and creating large-scale work with stencils will be required for this project)

Experience:  artist’s submission has indicated familiarity with clients and conditions similar to those that would be used on this project, or has demonstrated the ability on past projects to quickly acquire the skills needed to be successful on a project similar to this one. (Prior experience supervising community volunteers is preferred for this project)

Process:  artist’s submission indicate that the working relationship will be pleasant and the completed project will successfully meet the challenges particular to the site and overall initiative, including successfully completing all documentation and managing the given project budget

In the event of an insufficient number or quality of applications, the Arts Council may invite or directly select artists to participate, as the best interests of the project may appear.


Each artist/artist team will be compensated $1,500.00 to cover a design fee, transportation and parking costs, onsite line work, and community labor supervision.  All supplies, materials, and additional labor to complete the artwork are provided through the project’s partnerships and participating community members.  The artist is not responsible for removing the temporary artwork after the project is done.

Project Timeline

This timeline represents the project as it now appears.  Changes may be necessary as the project progresses.

August 7, 2017 – Submission Deadline

By August 14, 2017 – Artist Submissions Reviewed and Artists Notified

August/September 2017 – Design development, planning meetings, volunteer stencil fabrication

September 20, 2017 – On-site artist-community training (artists presence will be required)

September 26 – 27 – Installation of design line work on hardscape (as weather permits)

Thursday, September 28, 2017:  Indy Do Day – Chalk Art Installation

Friday, September 29, 2017 or Saturday, September 30, 2017: Rain date for Chalk Art Installation

Submission Process

Artists must submit the following information via email to

  • Applicant Information: Complete the form at the bottom of this RFQ. You may copy and paste it into the body of your submission email.
  • Link to online portfolio or website. In the absence of a website, you may attach up to 5 digital images (jpeg format preferred) of past work that is similar to the design approach or style you would take for this project.  Please do not exceed a total of 5 MB in attachments.

***NOTE:  Please do NOT submit any artwork designs at this time.

Delivery of Submissions

Emails must be received by 5:00pm (EDT) on Monday, August 7, 2017.

For questions, contact:

Lindsey Lord
Public Art and Artist Services Coordinator
Arts Council of Indianapolis


Clean City Chalk Art Project
Applicant Artist Information Form

Artist Name:
Mailing Address:
Day or Mobile Phone:
Evening or Home Phone:
Email Address:
Website (if applicable):

How do you see this project fitting in with your past work, artistic interests and experience?

Based on the information provided in this RFQ, how would you approach this project and which area(s) of the project site are you interested in working with? (note:  do not submit any artwork designs at this time!)


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