Indianapolis International Airport Seeks Bicentennial-Themed Exhibitions

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Public Art; Visual - DEADLINE :  
Indianapolis International Airport Seeks Bicentennial-Themed Exhibitions




The Arts Council of Indianapolis, in partnership with the Indianapolis Airport Authority (IAA), invites artists and other artistic content providers or display authors to submit proposals for temporary (3-6 months) installations in the exhibition cases inside H. Weir Cook Memorial Terminal at Indianapolis International Airport (IND). This solicitation is for exhibitions to occur between June 1, 2020 and May 31, 2021, which is the Bicentennial Celebration year for the City of Indianapolis.  All installations must be durable, low-maintenance and suitable in form, material and content for a mixed-ages audience that will include young children.

BUDGET:  Exhibitors will receive a loan fee of $1,000.

ELIGIBILITY: Age 18 or over. Preference will be given to Indianapolis artists and to displays that engage and reflect the diverse culture and environment of central Indiana. For the purposes of this process, an Indianapolis artist is one who was either born in Indianapolis, pursued higher education in Indianapolis, or lived in Indianapolis as an adult for a significant period of time.

DEADLINE:  January 31, 2020

Information About the Bicentennial Theme

In the summer of 1820, commissioners hand-picked by the Indiana legislature were mandated to locate a new state capital as near as possible to the center of the state, to take advantage of western migration. In 1821 the legislature approved an existing, small settlement called Fall Creek as the capital site, and the name Indianapolis was chosen as a combination of Indiana, plus the Greek word “polis” for city.

The City of Indianapolis is celebrating the bicentennial of its founding from June 1, 2020 through May 31, 2021. “The bicentennial celebration is about the people of Indianapolis – its rich and diverse history and the neighborhoods, organizations, and individuals who have made Indy the world-class city it is today,” said Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett.  The Bicentennial Commission is encouraging the entire city to showcase 200 years of community contributions, achievements, and milestones along the themes of history, civic pride, innovation, or legacy.

The Arts Council is seeking artists’ and arts organizations’ proposals for the airport’s exhibition spaces that are specifically aligned with these themes of the bicentennial celebration.  Scheduled projects will be submitted for endorsement by the Bicentennial Commission. Endorsement will allow the projects to be officially recognized in the City’s Bicentennial promotional materials, including the Bicentennial activities calendar, the city’s Bicentennial website, and Bicentennial social media channels.

Exhibition Guidelines

The art program at Indianapolis International Airport displays high-quality, original works by professional artists. The exhibition cases are conceived of as “installation” environments rather than “gallery” environments.  Development of creative, meaningful, unified, and site-specific concepts and presentations is encouraged. A professional curator is available to speak with you and help you develop your concept prior to submission.

All other factors being equal, preference will be given to artists physically located in Central Indiana at the time of display. The Arts Council values cultural diversity and encourages artists and organizations of varying backgrounds and experiences to submit proposals. Additionally, one space is reserved for artists whose projects reflect an international focus or a global perspective on the bicentennial theme.

Project Budget and Compensation

The display author (who may or may not be the exhibiting artist) is responsible for all costs relating to the exhibition or display.  Costs that the display author may incur include, but are not limited to, the fabrication cost of the artwork; labor and expenses of transporting and obtaining or preparing exhibit furnishings such as pedestals, stands or mounts; preparation of artwork for display including, if applicable, framing two-dimensional works WITHOUT GLASS OR PLEXIGLAS; preparation and/or purchase of appropriate title signage; transportation of the artwork; designing and fabricating display signage and labels; and installation and removal of the display.

The IAA will provide a loan fee of $1,000 per exhibition. This loan fee is expected to defray some of the artists’ expenses. Artists preparing complex projects are encouraged to seek additional outside funding for their work: funding sources include (but are not limited to) the Indiana Arts Commission’s Individual Advancement Program (, the Arts Council of Indianapolis’ DeHaan Artist of Distinction Award Program (, or the Arts Council’s Creative Renewal Arts Fellowship Program ( The Bicentennial Commission does not provide funding to endorsed projects.

Display Information

For the purposes of this document, “display author” refers to the individual who is developing and remains responsible for the display during the planning, on-view, and removal periods. This individual is typically—but is not required to be—the exhibiting artist.

  • Display period: Displays may be on view a minimum of three months and a maximum of six months. The ideal display period is four months.
  • Display location: There are four exhibition cases. Two are located in the Ticket Hall (7’h x 14’w each) near the entrance to Civic Plaza and two are located on Concourses A and B (5’h x 12’w each) just beyond the exits from the security screening checkpoints. Additional installation locations may be considered based on the location suggested in the proposal and if the display author provides his/her own closed and locked display cases; however, installation inside of the airport- provided casework is preferred.
  • Display conditions: Closed display cases provided by the IAA are well-lit and securely locked, but are not climate- , dust- or UV-controlled. Please keep this in mind when determining display contents, as the IAA will not be responsible for any damages or claims in connection to damages.

Display Policies

INSURANCE: Displays are mounted entirely at the display author’s own risk. The Indianapolis Airport Authority will not insure, or be responsible or liable for, artwork displayed on its premises or installation assistance provided by IAA or the Arts Council of Indianapolis, or for other loaned non-art objects (such as pedestals and hanging equipment) related to the exhibition or display. For displays of extraordinary monetary value, the IAA reserves the right to request an itemized list of the value of each display item and/or a certificate of insurance from the display author citing the total value of the display contents.

AGREEMENT: The IAA and the display author will enter into a formal agreement indicating the conditions of the display. The Arts Council will provide a copy of the agreement for the display author’s review and consideration prior to sending a signature version.

APPROVALS: After a work or group of works is accepted for display by the IAA, the artist/display author shall, at least 30 days before the scheduled installation date, present the entirety of the proposed display contents (or photographic documentation thereof) to a designated Arts Council representative for review of its appropriateness and condition. The IAA reserves the right to deny or refuse display of any item, for any reason, and reserves the right to cancel the display at any time if cancellation is within the IAA’s best interest.

AESTHETICS: The display author is responsible for designing the display to meet rigorous aesthetic standards. Each display must include professional-quality title signage (preferably vinyl text) and a framed or otherwise professionally-presented artist biography and statement with a headshot.  The responsibility for producing these items shall rest with the artist. The production of a professional-quality handout or brochure is encouraged but is not required. The IAA must approve all printed materials, labels, and signage a minimum of 30 days prior to the scheduled installation date.

INSTALLATION: The display author is responsible for producing and/or gathering all display materials and bringing them to the airport for installation at a designated date and time.  Installation will take place in a single session.

  • Installations in the Ticket Hall are likely to be scheduled for after peak public traveling hours and will generally be between 8 p.m. and midnight, usually on a Sunday. Installations in the Concourse A and B cases will take place during regular working hours (weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.).
  • The exhibition contents must be in good repair and able to withstand the rigors of public exhibition for the agreed-upon display period.
  • Major equipment such as pallet jacks, lifts, and suction cups will be provided by the airport if not being used at the time and upon prior arrangement. Common equipment such as a ladder, hammers, levels, screwdrivers and hand tools are available for display author and Arts Council use; however, display authors are responsible for providing their own appropriate hardware, as well as extra, specialized or unusual tools.
  • The Arts Council will provide limited installation assistance, which will be shared among the installations being de-installed/installed on the specified date.

ALTERATION: After installation of a display, the IAA reserves the right, at all times, to request removal or alteration prior to the end of the scheduled exhibition period. The reasons for this may range from community discomfort with the contents of the display to a condition problem with the display contents or display furnishings.

CANCELLATION OF DISPLAY BEFORE INSTALLATION: The IAA reserves the right to cancel a scheduled installation at any time prior to the designated installation date should unforeseen conditions or situations arise. All attempts will be made to reschedule the display for a time of mutual convenience; however, if the display is time-sensitive, the IAA cannot guarantee a suitable time slot for a substitute display.

CLEANING: The display author is responsible for responding within 36 hours to an Arts Council request to clean the inside of his/her display case at any time during the scheduled installation period. Cleaning requires advance coordination with the Arts Council for an assigned time to perform the work. Failure to respond to such requests may result in the installation’s removal by the IAA before the end of the contracted exhibition period. Depending upon the location and nature of the installation, cleaning may take place during daytime operating hours or may be requested to take place after 8 p.m. to avoid disturbing the flow of passengers during peak travel hours. Display authors are responsible for bringing their own cleaning supplies appropriate to the nature of the display.

Artwork Criteria

Requests for consideration for exhibition will be evaluated first by the Arts Council, and then by IAA, who shall determine suitability in its sole judgment and discretion, on the basis of aesthetics; cultural and/or historic significance; community and/or regional interest; the ability of the IAA to display or properly care for the artwork while on the airport’s premises; or other factors which may designate the display as desirable or not desirable.

A proposed display that approaches a commercial message without substantial aesthetic, educational, or cultural content will be directed by the Arts Council to the IAA’s business development department for review as a sponsor-paid advertising opportunity to be staged elsewhere in the airport.

  • Medium: Displays may incorporate any medium that is safe for a public area and is within the weight capacity of the exhibition cases to accommodate. The IAA reserves the right, at all times, to restrict certain media based on the nature of the project.
  • Theme and Content: Within the bicentennial framework, the theme and content are at the discretion of the artist. Artists may choose to incorporate a narrative theme of local interest or may elect to present a proposal consistent with his/her past conceptual or thematic interests, aesthetics, and style providing it is appropriate to the Bicentennial theme and to the nature of a public location. The theme of traveling, airplanes or aviation is also appropriate for display. Approaches taken may range widely as well: thought-provoking, informative, surprising, or humorous projects are just a few of the possibilities.
  • Subject Matter Restrictions:  Artwork placed in airports must take into consideration the sensitivities of the majority of the traveling public and common stresses about air travel. In addition, the nude human figure or sexually suggestive imagery will never be displayed at the Indianapolis International Airport. Also unacceptable are images or the suggestion of images depicting firearms, explosives, terrorism, blood or gore, aviation accidents, or any other images or statements that, in the public’s view, could negatively reflect on the perceived safety of air travel. Electioneering, partisan, or other overtly political statements are not appropriate, nor are commercial messages or images that could be perceived by the public as a commercial message or endorsement of a business or commercial product. Images or statements that may be interpreted by the public as promoting a specific, identifiable religion or spiritual tradition are not appropriate unless it is in the context of documenting historic or contemporary landmark structures or individuals, or referencing well-known works of art of a religious nature. Finally, statements or images that, in the opinion of the IAA, may offend potential viewers if placed in a public setting (such as an airport) are not appropriate.

Selection Criteria

Proposals submitted under this RFP will be evaluated by the Arts Council and approved by the IAA on the following criteria, listed in order of priority:

  • Artistic Merit: the aesthetics, concept, content, craftsmanship, and approach of the display and the desirability of the display for the context of the Indianapolis International Airport, the City of Indianapolis and the State of Indiana.
  • Feasibility: the technical feasibility of the display within the terminal context.
  • Display Period: the amount of time the artwork would be exhibited at IAA per the submitted proposal.
  • Process: the likelihood of a smooth and pleasant collaboration between the display author(s) and the airport staff.

Selection Process

The Arts Council public art staff will review all submitted proposals and may confer with its Public Art Selection Committee at its discretion to obtain guidance as to the desirability of each proposed project. Upon recommendation by the Arts Council, the IAA has the final say on whether a project will be accepted for exhibition. Display authors will generally be notified of approval status before the end of February, 2020.

Submission Requirements

The display author’s name and preferred contact information (phone number or email) must appear on each item. Items should be submitted in the order listed. A digital submission on a single CD is preferred, although paper submissions are acceptable.

A.   THE ATTACHED PROPOSAL COVER SHEET, completely filled out.  (you may request an editable version, or choose to reproduce the sheet exactly)


  • Current artist’s resume or narrative biography. This is not to exceed two typed pages.
  • Artist’s statement. This statement should describe the artists’ general approach and past work. Please do not exceed one typed page for this statement.
  • Images or video of artist’s past work. Please submit all images and video clips on one CD.
    • A minimum of four, but not more than ten, digital images of representative work completed within the last five years must be submitted. Do not submit slides or photographs.
    • Images must be in JPEG format only, “high” or “fine” quality with image size approximately 5” x 7” or 7” x 5”, and the file size not to exceed 2 MB per image. You may alter the PPI (pixels per inch) setting to obtain the proper file size; do not reduce to less than 72 ppi. Please do not submit PowerPoint slides or presentations, or images embedded in a PDF or word processing document.
    • Image files should be numbered with the last name of the artist or display author, as appropriate, and the number of the slide, e.g. “Smith-01”.
    • Video clips of past work should be presented in WMV or Quicktime format and should not exceed 0:30. One PDF document containing live links to third-party video hosting sites (such as YouTube or Vimeo) is acceptable in lieu of video files.
  • References. Please list three professional references, including complete contact information (name, address, telephone number, and email if available).


  • Narrative description of the artwork. This should include the tentative title for the installation, a description of the theme, issue, content or concept as it relates to the Indianapolis Bicentennial; a discussion of the number of pieces, materials, finishes, size, and techniques; electrical requirements if applicable; and anticipated method(s) of fabrication and installation of the artwork. This description is not to exceed five (5) typed, single-spaced pages.
  • Visual documentation of the contents of the proposed display, if available.
    • If the artwork is pre-existing, digital photographs of the artwork are acceptable
    • If the artwork does not yet exist, concept sketches in digital format (JPEG or PDF) may be submitted. These images should be submitted in the same format and on the same CD as the images of past work referenced under “B” above.
    • If no visual documentation is available at this time, please provide a detailed description of the look of the proposed installation in the narrative statement.

How to Submit

  1. Upload your all-digital submission to a file-sharing service (e.g., Dropbox, WeTransfer, etc.) and send a sharing link to  The sharing link must be received by 5:00 p.m. on January 31, 2020.
  2. Instead of sending digitally, you may instead submit all materials on one CD or flash/jump drive in the following formats: JPEG (images), WMV/Quicktime (video clips) and PDF (documents).  Materials are due by 5:00 p.m. on January 31, 2020.
    • Please mail or hand-deliver your CD submission to: Lindsey Lord, Artist Services and Special Projects Manager, Arts Council of Indianapolis, 924 N. Pennsylvania St., Indianapolis, IN  46204

Please do not email your submission!  The Arts Council cannot receive large or numerous attachments, and the system may reject your attempt without notifying either party.

All materials submitted will become the property of the Arts Council and will not be returned. Neither the Arts Council nor the IAA will be responsible for any costs or expenses associated with submitting a proposal.

Notices and Disclaimers

Be advised that materials contained in submissions responsive to this request may be subject to disclosure under the Indiana Public Records Act, IC 5-14-3 et. seq. (the “Act”).  Potential display authors claiming a statutory exception to disclosure of information under the Act must place all such information in a separate sealed envelope, clearly marked “Confidential” and must indicate on the outside of the envelope that confidential materials are included and specify which statutory exception provision applies. IAA reserves the right to make its own determination of confidentiality. If the IAA does not agree that the information designated as confidential should be withheld from public access under the Act, it will so advise the artist and may thereafter disclose the materials as required by law. The IAA expects that submissions in response to this request will contain sufficient non-restricted data to permit the review to proceed without delay for consideration of extensive claims of confidentiality. A claim of confidentiality that is strictly limited to the time period of the procurement action will not be a cause for rejection. Overly burdensome claims for exemptions from public access may cause the IAA to view the submission with disfavor.

The Arts Council of Indianapolis will make every effort to ensure the safe handling of submitted materials; however, it will not be responsible or liable for any loss or damage. Neither the Arts Council, the IAA, nor any person or entity, creates any obligation, expressed or implied, by issuance of this announcement or by receipt and consideration of any responses/proposals. The Arts Council and the IAA reserve the right to reject any applicant, artist or display author, or to terminate the selection process, at any time for any reason without prior notice. The Arts Council and the IAA also reserve the right to directly solicit proposals from individual artists or community groups or to invite artists to exhibit without submitting an initial proposal.

All decisions made during the selection process are final, with disputes subject to review only by the IAA’s Board of Directors.

By submitting this proposal, I/we agree to adhere to all the policies, procedures, rules and guidelines that have been, or will be, disclosed to me/us by representatives of the Arts Council and/or the IAA. I/we understand that if I/we am/are selected to realize this proposal, all artwork is installed at my/our own risk, and I/we agree to release, indemnify and hold harmless the Arts Council of Indianapolis, the IAA, and their directors, employees and representatives, for any and all claims and damage to the displayed items and for any injuries to artist, artist personnel, or the public or property during the installation period(s), removal period(s), while on display, and during maintenance visits. I/we also agree to indemnify the Arts Council and the IAA for any claims and damage or injuries to third parties caused by the display; such indemnification shall not be limited by any insurance policies I/we may hold. Any damages that I or my representatives may cause to IAA premises or property shall be my/our responsibility to repair or replace, at my/our sole expense.

An agreement summarizing all applicable policies, procedures, rules, regulations, terms and conditions, including insurance and work-order requirements, will be signed between the IAA and selected display authors prior to installation.

QUESTIONS?  Contact Lindsey Lord, Artist Services and Special Projects Manager, or (317) 631-3301 x214.



Please type or print. Editable copies of this form are available upon request: email .

For the  purposes  of this document,  “contact”  refers  to the  primary  individual producing and  responsible  for the  installation  during the planning, on-view and removal periods. This may be the same as the exhibiting artist.


CONTACT NAME / DISPLAY AUTHOR:  _____________________________________________

ARTIST NAME (if different):       ____________________________________________________


Mailing Address:  ___________________________________________________________

Phone:  _________________    FAX:  ___________________    Email:  ____________________

Artist Website URL:       _______________________________________________

Preferred social media:  Facebook        Instagram         Other: ________________________



Number of weeks:  ____________________

(note:  the minimum display period is 12 weeks; a typical display period is 16 weeks)

Preferred installation date:  ________________ Preferred removal date:  _____________

Is this period tied to a specific time-delimited event?   (circle one)  Yes   No

If yes, please briefly explain:      _____________________________________________________



DESIRED DISPLAY LOCATION(S):   (mark all that apply)

____    Ticket Hall display case(s) north

____    Ticket Hall display case(s) south

____    Concourse A connector built-in display case

·       Glass shelves required?   Yes  No

____    Concourse B connector built-in display case

·       Glass shelves required?   Yes  No

____    Other (please identify location)  _______________________________________________

By submitting this display proposal, I/we agree to adhere to all the policies, procedures, rules and regulations that have been, or will be, disclosed to me/us by representatives of the Arts Council of Indianapolis and/or the Indianapolis Airport Authority (“IAA”). I/we understand  that if I/we am/are selected to realize this proposal, all displays are installed at my/our own risk and expense, and I/we agree to release, indemnify and hold harmless the Arts Council, the IAA, and their directors, employees and representatives for any and all claims and damage to the displayed items and for any injuries to IAA personnel  or the public or property during the installation period(s), removal period(s), while on display, and during maintenance visits. I/we also agree to indemnify the Arts Council and the IAA for any damage or injuries to third parties caused by the display; such indemnification shall not be limited by any insurance policies I/we may hold. Any damages that I or my representatives may cause to IAA premises or property shall be my/our responsibility to repair or replace at my/our sole expense.


Signature: _________________________________________         Date:  _____________

Printed Name:  _______________________________________


ARTS COUNCIL USE ONLY:  Date received  ________________   Date reviewed  ___________________

Disposition (Recommend, Deny, Hold) __________________


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