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Columbus Seeks Artist for Signature Public Art

Posted by City of Columbus, OH ; Posted on 
Public Art; Visual - DEADLINE :  
Columbus Seeks Artist for Signature Public Art



The City of Columbus (Ohio) is seeking an artist or artist team for the design, fabrication, and installation of a permanent work(s) of public art on High Street between Goodale Street and 9th Avenue. The artist(s) selected for the commission will conceptualize and develop appropriate designs for proposed project elements. The artist(s) will work in collaboration with the City of Columbus Public Art Coordinator and members of the Art on High team.

BUDGET:  $420,000 (for up to two projects)

ELIGIBILITY:  Professional artists in all visual art media

DEADLINE:  July 9, 2018

Project Background

The High Street Streetscape Improvements Project is a $25,000,000.00 capital improvements project that will transform one of the busiest sections of the most traveled corridor in Columbus. It will significantly enhance pedestrian safety while also beautifying the area by undergrounding overhead utilities, increasing sidewalk widths, standardizing streetscape elements, upgrading lighting, adding marked crosswalks and curb extensions, improving storm water management and adding new street trees.  For more information on the High Street Streetscape Project, visit: 

Art on High offers an opportunity to create public art within the Short North Arts District and portions of the University District — areas of the city known for their support of the arts, creativity, and vigorous community engagement. At least one but not more than two projects may be commissioned through this open call.

Project Goals

The CIty of Columbus is seeking to create signature artwork(s) for the project area. We want to celebrate this dynamic location, at the confluence of the Short North neighborhoods and the southern University District, with a work that inspires people to come together. Key inspiration for the project include elements of High Street’s history, ethos, present dynamics, and future potential. We hope the art will serve as a transformative element of the High Street Streetscape project, and set a standard of excellence and inspiration for future works of public art in Columbus.

Through the community engagement efforts of Art on High, the community developed eight value statements that should be considered in developing work(s) for High Street. These characteristics ensure alignment with community priorities.

  • STIMULATE CONVERSATION: Public art can stand out, engage, and inspire residents and visitors intellectually, aesthetically, emotionally.
  • TELL THE STORY: Public art can embody our community spirit and aspirations by honoring the past and envisioning our future.
  • SPEAK TO DIVERSITY: Public art can speak to the many people and neighborhoods united by High Street.
  • TAKE RISKS: Public art can be bold, challenge our understanding of art, and express our ambition.
  • LEVEL UP: Public art can represent the highest expression of culture and elevate the profile of our city.
  • STRENGTHEN THE CITY: Public art can add to a dynamic experience for residents and visitors.

Proposed Timeline  *This timeline is subject to change.

  • June 4, 2018: Artist Call/RFQ Released
  • July 9, 2018: Artist Call/RFQ Closed
  • Mid/Late July 2018: Artist Selection Committee meets to select finalists and alternate
  • Late July 2018: Finalists presented to Columbus Arts Commission for approval, contract with artists for completion of design proposals, contracts signed with finalists. Finalists come to a one-day breifing session.
  • Early October 2018: Finalists proposals due
  • Late October 2018: Artist(s) selected by Artist Selection Committee
  • November 27, 2018: Selected art proposal submitted to Columbus Art Commission for conceptual approval
  • December 2018: Legislation to contract with artist submitted to Council
  • December 2018: Finalize contract with selected artist
  • January – end of Summer 2019: Fabrication
  • Fall 2019: Installation and dedication (weather permitting)

Finalist Selection Criteria

Finalists will be selected by demonstrating the following, with each criteria weighted as indicated:

Artistic Excellence (60%): The aesthetic significance and quality of the artwork, including the artworks transformative and distinctive qualities. Does the artist’s past work show a consistent exploration of ideas and concepts that are engaging and evolving? Does the artist have a distinctive vision?
Is the artist a professional working artist with an exhibition record, and/or work that has been reviewed, critiqued and acknowledged by the visual art community?

Collaboration and Communication (20%): Experience and ability to work and collaborate with design professionals, engineers, community leaders, and artists. Ability to communicate effectively. Ability to collaborate and work with a team. Willingness to become familiar with the community.

Project Management (20%): Experience and ability to research client need and propose an appropriate design; Ability to attend either in person, or via electronic connection, frequent project meetings. Ability to access appropriate resources when necessary. Ability to develop an appropriate and realistic budget. Ability to supply realistic quotes for fabrication. Ability to complete projects on time and within budget. Does the artist have the experience within and can the artist manage the established budget? Can the artist provide a 10 year maintenance plan for the work(s)?

RFQ Submission Process

There is no submission fee. Submissions must be made on-line through CodaWorx, an easy to use application. Application information is found at rfp/rfq-art-on-high. Among the items you will need to include in the online application are the following:

  • Statement of Interest: In 300 words or less, describe your interest in the commission and your qualifications for undertaking such a project. Be sure to address the selection criteria below. If you are applying as an artist team, your statement of interest should reflect the work and approach of the team.
  • Resume: Not more than two pages that outlines your professional accomplishments as an artist and any community engagement experience. Be sure to include any relevant public or private commissioning experience. If you are applying as an artist team, combine your information into a two-page document that summarizes the team-members’ qualifications. For example, a four-member team may choose to include a half-page bio for each team member.
  • Media: No more than 12 images of completed work, including examples of work similar to the scope of this project. Images should be from 70 – 100 dpi. If you have video of your work that is relevant to this project (i.e. a kinetic sculpture or sound element), submit a PDF with a link to the video. Each video PDF link will count as one of your 12 images. Each video may be no longer than 3 minutes. If you are applying as an artist team, designate one artist to be the team leader to submit your information, along with team member(s) images and resume/bio(s). Submissions from artist teams should reflect samples from each artist on the team, and not exceed the overall submission limit of 12 images.
  • References: A list of at least three professional references that have a solid knowledge of your work and working methods, including addresses, email and telephone.
  • Optional: You may include up to three selections of support materials such as reviews, news articles, and other related information.

QUESTIONS?  Contact Amanda Golden, 


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