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Erma Hayman House in Boise Seeks Public Art

Posted by City of Boise ; Posted on 
Public Art; Visual - DEADLINE :  
Erma Hayman House in Boise Seeks Public Art



Boise City invites public artists to apply for an opportunity to design and fabricate public artwork for a significant, historic and cultural site: the Erma Hayman House. The artwork shall serve as a visual narrative about the neighborhood’s history.

Budget:  $125,000 ($100K for labor/materials, $25K for installation)

Eligibility: (none indicated)

Deadline:  September 18, 2019 at 2pm MST

Review complete RFQ here.

The City of Boise acquired the Hayman House, located at 617 Ash Street, in May 2018. The River Street neighborhood was a working-class section of the city and home to many new Americans from a variety of ethnicities, including, but not limited to, Asian, Greek, and Basque. By the 1930s, the neighborhood housed about 80 Black families. The Hayman family arrived there in the 1930s, and Erma Hayman lived in the house until her death in 2009. Boise’s Hayman House is a cultural and historic resource for exploring Boise’s historic and contemporary Black and new American communities.

The River Street Neighborhood is one of the oldest areas of the city. It was farmed early in the 1860s by people like John McClellan and then it was developed from agricultural land into modest home sites. After the railroad came into town along modern Front and Myrtle Streets (circa 1890s), the area was quickly designated as the “other side of the tracks.” Because of this designation, it was maintained as a working-class neighborhood and was the only area in town where Black residents were able to live and buy homes.

As the city entered the 1960s and 1970s, the land in the neighborhood became more valuable and was targeted for urban renewal. Houses were razed frequently. The little neighborhood street, River Street, was targeted for rerouting in the early 1970s. Because of this change the character of the neighborhood drastically changed from a quiet neighborhood near the river to a thoroughfare. In recent years demolition and redevelopment continues and the history of the neighborhood’s built-environment disappears.

Erma was born on October 18, 1907 in Nampa, Idaho. Her parents, Edward and Amanda Andre, moved from Missouri to Idaho (after some time in Montana) before 1900. The Andre’s had thirteen children, three born in Nampa. While in Nampa, the Andre’s were one of only a few Black American families. Edward worked mostly custodian jobs and Amanda farmed. Erma describes her mother as a true farmer and that she loved farming. While growing up, Erma played piano in her family’s band. She moved to the River Street Neighborhood in Boise in her early twenties and on November 3, 1928 she married Navy Madry. They started a family but unfortunately, Navy died in 1935, leaving Erma a widow. She eventually married Lawrence Hayman in 1943 and they bought the house at 617 Ash Street.

Erma worked hard her entire life and faced job discrimination throughout Boise. She worked twenty years at Lerner’s, a women’s clothing shop on Idaho Street. In addition to her paid employment, Erma dedicated time to her neighborhood by serving in the community center and even caring for elderly
neighbors. At the age of 102, Erma died on November 2, 2009.

The house at 617 Ash Street is a modest 900 square foot home that Erma and her family lived in for more than sixty years. It was built in 1907 by an unknown person. The person(s) who constructed the building were skilled stone masons. They used sandstone, a signature material used in many Boise buildings. The original porch is enclosed and the steps approaching the house are also chiseled from sandstone. Architecturally, the one bedroom house has a hipped roof and has seen minimal alterations over its 100+ year life span.

The City seeks an artist with experience working on a project team who can effectively and efficiently communicate and collaborate with a variety of team and stakeholder members. The selected artist is expected to collaborate on developing a design for this unique, site specific work of public art which
serves to visually display the narrative of Erma Hayman’s life, the historic neighborhood and its residents. In a unique opportunity, the artist selected for this project will spend one-on-one time with the City of Boise’s historian to explore the history of the River Street neighborhood and the primary sources documenting Erma Hayman’s life. The goal is for the artist to have direct access to archival material that can inform the design process for the artist. The artist will explore maps; oral histories with previous neighborhood residents and Erma Hayman herself; census and land records; photographs, and
other pertinent sources.


The artwork must prominently feature Erma Hayman during her life spent in the River Street Neighborhood in downtown Boise. The artwork shall be designed to be installed/implemented on a newly constructed blank concrete wall that measures approximately 110 ft. long by 12 ft. high. The wall is located immediately to the North of the historic site, between the Hayman House and a work-force housing development. This site allows for the artwork to be applied/attached to the wall and can accommodate a surface treatment, sculptural relief, or other approach that addresses the wall format and integrates with the planned landscaping and site improvements. The artist will be expected to coordinate/collaborate during the historic research and design phase with the City’s project team; the team includes members from the Public Art Program, Cultural Sites Program, History Program, Planning and Development Services, and the Public Works Department.


  • Call to Artists Released: July 2019
  • Application Workshop – Optional: August 22nd, 2019 at 2pm, local time
  • Questions/Clarifications due (via email to September 11th, 2019, 5pm, local time
  • Application Deadline: September 18th, 2019 at 2pm, local time
  • Selection Panel: September/October 2019
  • Artist Interviews/Site Visits: November/December 2019
  • Artist Selected/Contracting: January 2020
  • Artist Design Development: January – April 2020
  • Final Design Approval: April/May 2020
  • Fabrication: Summer 2020
  • Installation: Fall/Winter 2020


The Evaluation Panel will rank applications directly from the evaluation process and basis of qualifications identified in this document. Once the final
ranking is complete, the City of Boise may invite the three (3) highest ranked Artists to offer them a site visit and interview with the project team and selection committee. Artists will be compensated for travel, if necessary. Should any of the selected Artists not be available at that time, the City may invite the next ranked qualified Applicant(s) to interview. During the interview, the selection committee will further evaluate the performance record, the ability of the Applicant to perform the work, and the quality of the service being offered. Initial scoring will be adjusted based upon interviews resulting in a final ranking. The highest ranked Artist will be recommended for selection. The City intends to award the contract to one artist; however, the City reserves the right to award to more than one applicant.

WHAT TO SUBMIT (and point value)
The Application package shall contain the following information:

Items 1-5 below must be included in the package in hard copy, printed form. If applicant has the necessary technology, we request that they are also prepared as one PDF, on a CD, or on a thumb drive:

  1. Application Form/Signature Page (Pass/ Fail – if submitted it, you pass, if you don’t, you fail) Fill out / sign the Application Form/Signature Page and submit as your first document.
  2. Letter of Interest/Ability to Provide (50 points)  Include a one-page letter addressing why you’re interested in this opportunity and your related
    experience or qualifications. Describe how the applicant is able to provide responsive services for sculptural public artwork, meeting the needs of the City of Boise for this project.
  3. Resume/Prior Experience (100 pts.)  Include a resume and/or brief summary of the Artist’s qualifications and/or past experience
  4. References (Pass/Fail)  Applicants must provide at least two (2) current references who are familiar with the quality of the artwork created by the applicant. References of potential finalists will be contacted.
  5. Image List: (Pass/Fail)  Please use the provided form to list the information for the submitted images: title, type of work (painting, sculpture, installation), material(s), date and any comments.

Images noted in section 6 are to be saved as separate JPEG files on the same CD or thumb drive as the above PDF. You do not need to print out images of your art for the Application package.

6. Images of Past Work (200 pts. – most important part of the application)  Provide up to ten images of your past completed artwork as separate files in JPEG format on a CD or thumb drive; these works should demonstrate your ability to meet the defined scope of services. Images are to be in JPEG Format, 300 dpi, not larger than 10” on the longest side.


Please deliver the application by September 18th, 2019 by 2 pm.

The submission package or envelope must be sealed and plainly marked for delivery as follows:
ATTN: Purchasing Department
Boise City Hall
150 N. Capitol Blvd.
Boise, ID 83702


Via E-Bids: Bids/Proposals must be submitted through DemandStar ( or BidNet (


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